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Dog Poisons -top reported

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

Top Poisons for DOGS – as reported to poison control centers 1-888-426-4435

All poisons are not created equal. Some things that your pets get into are deadly or have the potential to be, if consumed in quantity. Other items are just plain painful, irritating or noxious, but usually your pet will survive.

Why take a chance in the place your pet resides daily? Check out this list and secure potential poisons where kids and pets can’t reach them.

In addition, if your pet gets into a personal drug stash PLEASE let the vet know what the drug is. If you don’t know what the pet ingested, it can be difficult to counteract; true of any poison.


Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both are methylxanthines. Methylxanthines are the chemical compounds in chocolate that are dangerous to pets. The chemical is more heavily concentrated in darker varieties. These compounds can cause hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, and potentially death. The more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Bakers and dark chocolate are the most toxic, milk chocolate can be dangerous if ingested in larger amounts.


Xylitol is a sugar substitute common in sugar-free chewing gum and now, many other products. It can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia and liver damage in dogs. If you suspect your dog has eaten anything containing xylitol it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately.

Grapes and other foods

Even in small amounts, grapes, raisins and currants can cause kidney failure in dogs. Though not as common, it is pertinent to note the following food toxins. Macadamia nuts can cause your dog to become seriously ill. Onion, garlic and chives can cause red blood cell damage. The pits of fruits can be very toxic: cherry, peach, and apricots especially. Avocado pits are more of an obstruction issue, but some dogs do develop pancreatitis from only a small amount of the fleshy fruit. Yeast dough can rise in your dog’s stomach causing discomfort, potentially leading to bloat which can cause the stomach to twist requiring life-saving surgery.

Prescription ADD/ADHD Drugs

These drugs are amphetamines and can cause tremors, heart problems, seizures, and death in pets.

Cough, Cold and Allergy Medications

Many of these preparations contain acetaminophen (Tylenol) and pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine (decongestants) and are highly toxic.


Human OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Motrin, and Aleve can cause gastrointestinal problems, ulcers, and kidney failure. Rimadyl or carprofen also NSAIDS, are flavored and if in reach of your dog and consumed in quantity can lead to toxicity issues even though prescribed by your vet. Please keep all medicines in a closed cabinet.


Rat and mouse poison can contain inactive ingredients that are appealing to dogs. Aside from eating the poison itself, any predator can become sick from eating a rodent that has ingested the poison. Exposure to rat and mouse poison can cause internal bleeding, seizures, and kidney damage resulting in death. If your pet has consumed rat poison, please contact your vet immediately.

Insect Bait/Sprays

Disulfoton is a pesticide and can also be found in some fertilizers. One teaspoon of 1% disulfoton can kill a 55# dog! Be aware that slug baits are often just scattered on the ground, depending on the kind used they can be toxic. Do not allow your dog to be out when you are fogging for mosquitos or spraying for ants or other insects in or around the home. Once sprayed insecticides dry, they are usually harmless, but licked or inhaled they can cause issues.


Blood meal contains 12% nitrogen. While it’s a great organic fertilizer, if ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe inflammation of the pancreas. Some types of blood meal are also fortified with iron, resulting in iron toxicity.

Bone meal is very palatable to your dog so make sure to keep your pet from digging in it and ingesting the soil. It becomes a problem when consumed in large amounts as the bone meal forms a large cement-like foreign body in the stomach – which can cause an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract – resulting in possible surgery to remove it.

Oxygen Absorbers and Silica Gel Packs

Oxygen absorbers are found in packages of pet treats, beef jerky, and other consumables. They contain iron that can cause iron poisoning in dogs. Silica gel packs are the small white packs found in shoe boxes, purses, and backpacks. Silica packs that are white are not a toxicity concern, however dark silica packs may contain iron and those are a concern.

Polyurethane glues

Gorilla Glue is one of the first available to the general public and is present in many households. The sweet smell and taste can be an attractant. When this glue reaches the gastric juices in the stomach a volatile reaction happens, and the glue expands as foam and then hardens. The resulting obstruction cannot generally be ejected by vomiting and requires surgery to remove.

sources: pet poison helpline, Encyclopedia Britannica

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