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Top 10 Toxins for Dogs

Your dog is more than just a pet—he or she is part of your family! And we know you want to do everything you can to keep your pet safe, which is why we are bringing you the list of the top 10 toxins for dogs as identified by the Pet Poison Helpline. This list includes the top 10 household items that generated the most poison consultations for dogs in 2013.


If you believe your dog has ingested a poison or is experiencing a medical emergency, call Germantown Vet immediately at (240) 252-7467 for emergency vet care.

Top 10 Household Toxins for Dogs

Here are the top 10 household toxins for dogs:

  1. Chocolate – as many dog owners know, chocolate is a toxin for dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more hazardous it is—meaning bakers and dark chocolate are especially dangerous.
  2. Xylitol – this sweetener, which can be found in sugarless gum and candy, medications, and nasal sprays, can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar and liver failure for your dog. Be very careful to keep this away from your pup.
  3. NSAIDs – NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen, are not easily metabolized by dogs, and they can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure if eaten. NSAIDs are commonly found in medications like Advil, Motrin, and Aleve.
  4. Over-the-counter cough, cold, and allergy medication – any medication that contains acetaminophen or a decongestant like pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are very toxic to dogs, so keep them safely out of reach.
  5. Rodenticides (mouse poison) – it’s safe to assume that anything you use to exterminate another animal is going to be dangerous for your dog, and this rule applies to rodenticides. Ingesting this type of poison can lead to internal bleeding or brain swelling, even in very small amounts. So, if you need to use these kinds of poisons, be sure to place them in areas where your dog can’t get to them—and if he or she does, call for medical help immediately.
  6. Grapes and raisins – just because your pooch is begging for a grape or raisin doesn’t mean you should give him or her one—these harmless foods for humans can actually cause liver failure in dogs!
  7. Insect bait stations – although ingesting insect baiting stations rarely causes poisoning in dogs, the plastic casing can lead to a bowel obstruction.
  8. Prescription ADD/ADHD medications – ADD and ADHD medications have amphetamines in them which can cause serious problems or your dog, including tremors, seizures, cardiac problems, and even death. Make sure your medication is always in a safe and secure location where your dog can’t reach it.
  9. Glucosamine joint supplements – another common toxin for dogs is glucosamine joint supplements. These products commonly cause diarrhea, however they can lead to liver failure as well.
  10. Oxygen absorbers and silica gel packets – any oxygen absorbers that contain iron in food packages (such as beef jerky or pet treats) can be very dangerous for your dog because they can lead to iron-poisoning. Silica gel packets, on the other hand, are rarely a concern.

What to Do If Your Dog Is Exposed to a Poison

If your dog has been exposed to any of these toxins, call for emergency veterinary services immediately! The experienced and knowledgeable staff at Germantown Vet will do everything they can when you bring your dog in.

Contact us online or by phone at (240) 252-7467 if you have questions about our services or if you’d like to make an appointment!

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