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Protecting Your Furry Friend: Uncovering the Risks of Common Household Products

Protecting Your Furry Friend: Uncovering the Risks of Common Household Products

By: Mary Jane Gallagher

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen” – Orhan Pamuk. Are you aware of what household items can potentially make your beloved pup sick? Many pet owners don’t realize that regular everyday items people consume, such as chocolate and coffee, could be extremely harmful to their canine companions. While these may seem like harmless treatments for humans, they can be severely damaging to pets who are exposed to them. Understanding the Risks of Chocolate, Coffee, and Tea for Dogs

When it comes to chocolate, coffee, and tea products, you need to be extra careful. All of these delicious treats contain a chemical called theobromine which is toxic for dogs – even in small amounts. Vcahospitals states that theobromine acts as a heart stimulant, diuretic, smooth muscle relaxant and blood vessel dilator in both humans and animals. Unfortunately, dogs metabolize the substance very slowly leading to an enhanced effect that could make them ill. Dark chocolate tends to have the most amount of deadly theobromine followed by milk chocolate than white chocolate. If a dog ingests one of these household items, you might start seeing signs of vomiting, diarrhea or trembling muscles – all repercussions of being poisoned. In extreme cases, this could cause seizures, coma or even death so leaving these delights out of reach might just save your best friend. It is also important to note that different dog breeds also react differently to the same amount of theobromine, but nevertheless the chemical remains highly toxic to dogs.


How Onions, Chives, and Garlic Can Be Harmful to Dogs

Onions, chives, and garlic may be commonly found in most households but can cause serious illness to your beloved canine companion. These vegetables and herbs contain a compound called N-propyl disulfide. When ingested by dogs, this compound damages their red blood cells, causing anemia. Among these three ingredients, garlic has the highest toxin levels and all forms of them (dried or raw) have the potential to make your furry friends sick. The American Kennel Club highlights that items containing onions can also prove to be toxic to dogs – meaning always read labels. Poisoning symptoms range from vomiting and diarrhea to lethargy, pale gums and difficulty breathing, as well as increased heart rate making it important for owners to keep watch when their pets eat something suspicious off the floor. Although there isn’t any evidence suggesting that certain breeds are more susceptible than others – even small amounts can harm, so avoiding these veggies altogether is advised since no dog deserves sickness from preventable sources. Bottom line, if you happen to have onions, chives or garlic in your kitchen cupboards – make it a point to keep these products out of reach from hungry snouts and instead opt for pet-safe ingredients when preparing delicious meals.


The Perils of Grapes and Raisins for Dogs

Grapes and raisins can be hazardous to your pup’s health, even though they may not seem dangerous. The compound responsible for this effect is called Tartaric acid, as cited by the Grady vet (Veterinary website) and consuming even a small amount of grapes or raisins can potentially lead to kidney failure in some cases. The symptoms of grape/raisin poisoning are usually vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, a slight decrease in appetite as well as decreased urination or discolored urine, which could all be signs of acute renal failure if enough grapes/raisins are ingested. If your precious pup has ingested too many grapes/raisins you should immediately induce vomiting if possible (contact a vet before attempting), administer activated charcoal and provide supportive care at home while keeping an eye on any concerning behavior changes that would require emergency medical treatment. This includes excessive vomiting or lack of energy overall. Otherwise, hospitalization and intravenous fluids may also be necessary just because one cannot know beforehand how intensely your special fur baby will react to it.


Handle with Care: Why Human Medications Pose Risks for Dogs

Many people don’t consider the fact that human medicines and household products can make their dogs ill. According to Petmd, some medications such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) commonly used to treat pain and fever in humans can cause liver failure and damage red blood cells in dogs. Due to this, self-medicating with acetaminophen isn’t advisable as it could have serious consequences for your pup. Antidepressants are another medicine you should never give your dogs without consulting a vet first. In case of accidental ingestion, these drugs could cause vomiting, diarrhea or seizures – all dangerous side effects for our little buddies. Severe cases might even end in death which makes this one too important to overlook. So if your dog starts acting sluggish or lethargic out of nowhere – keep him away from any form of human meds.

It is important for all pet owners to understand the risks associated with letting their four-legged friend ingest any type of human food or medicine. Educating individuals on what not to give to their four-legged loved ones at home could help prevent any devastating health complications in the future. Knowing which foods contain certain compounds that are toxic to your beloved pup may even save their life one day.