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By Melissa Magnuson, DVM
My dog, Luigi, loves to eat things he is not supposed to. He is a professional at stealing food and I am not even sure how he does it! He has eaten brownies, Tostito’s (party bag!), tortillas and loaves of bread to name a few. Most of these things cause stomach upset but there are many “poisons” lurking in your house that you may not even be aware of! Here are a few to keep far away from your pets:
Gum, diabetic foods and toothpaste…these all contain xylitol that is extremely toxic to our pets. One stick of sugar free gum can kill a 75 pound dog! Anything that contains xylitol, including almost all sugar free gum, bakery foods for diabetics, toothpaste and some children’s medicines should be kept away from all pets. Be sure to read labels that have “sugar free” on them and make sure they do not contain xylitol and if they do, keep them far away from your pet. If your pet does ingest these, it is an emergency, seek medical attention right away.
Rat and mouse baits….one block and your pet may die. These are extremely dangerous and toxic. Keep them away from all your pets. If you are using them and mice die in your house, make sure your pets do not eat the dead mouse as they ingest the poison in the mouse. It is better to not use them at all. There are many alternative traps for mice issues.
Tylenol and Motrin…these cause liver and kidney failure in our pets. Never give your pet these and keep them far away so they cannot eat them. If you drop one on the floor, find it, even one can cause severe illness.
Chocolate…bakers chocolate is the most dangerous. It causes the heart to beat too fast and your pet can die. Milk chocolate is not as dangerous but depending on the volume your pet eats, it certainly could be.
Grapes and raisins…a few are fine but handfuls can be dangerous. Be careful not to use these as treats or allow access to your pets. Approximately 3 cups of grapes can cause the kidneys to fail in a large breed dog.
Silica packets….you know the little packets that come in shoe boxes and other merchandise that says “do not eat”, dogs love them! And if they eat them, they swell in the stomach and cause stomach obstructions.
Diapers and feminine products…for some reason, dog’s enjoy digging these out of the trash. They are extremely dangerous because like the silica packets, they swell and cause stomach obstructions.
If you are concerned something may be toxic to your pet be sure to always ask your veterinarian. Something very simple can end up causing your pet much distress and illness. Be sure to always ask and make sure your pet will be safe if they ingest something besides their food or treats.
About Melissa Magnuson, DNM
Growing up on a farm in Minnesota has given me strong sense of family and that it takes a village to reach a common goal. My passion has always been taking care of animals from the time I was 4 years old. I dreamed of being a veterinarian and owning my own practice. When the veterinarian came to our farm I would rush out to help him and pray that he would let me stay and watch. Often times, animals would die because vaccines did not exist to protect against many infectious diseases. This was a defining moment for me. After graduating college I worked in vaccine development and created those vaccines to save animals. From there, I went on to graduate school to study genetics. Soon after, I attended and graduated veterinary school. I moved to NH to complete an internship where I met my husband and then launched a house call practice while we raised two beautiful daughters together. I launched Canobie Lake Veterinary Hospital at the same time my third daughter was born. It then all came together for me- I was living my dream and fulfilling my life’s passion! Today, we have three full service hospitals across southern New Hampshire, all of which share the same standards of care and philosophy. I encourage you to learn about us here on our website, our Facebook page and by stopping by for a tour and to say hello. Our motto is Trust Our Family with Your Family and we look forward to seeing you soon!