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Monday, August 29, 2005

Foods Dangerous to Small Dog Breeds

Many people aren't aware that certain everyday foods and sustances can be toxic for dogs. Small dogs are more vulnerable because even a very small amount can put their health at a huge risk.

  • Chocolate is toxic to canines. The darker the chocolate, the more harmful. A substance called Theobromine in chocolate can cause a dog to experience rapid, irregular heart beat, increased urination, muscle tremor seizures. The affects can be serious. Death from chocolate toxicity can occur with 24 hours.
  • Alcoholic beverages can be fatal to small dogs. No amount of alcoholic beverage is safe - even beer should be off limits.
  • Coffee, Tea and Cola contain caffeine, a stimulant that causes increased heart rate, hyperactivity, seizures and tremors.
  • Macadamia nuts contain a compound that can temporarily paralyze a dog's hind legs. Although very painful, the muscle weakness won't last long. And dogs affected seem to recover with no treatment and no long-term effects.
  • Onions and garlic have a chemical that damages red blood cells and can cause anemia in dogs. Even one small whole onion can cause death. Remember to be particularly careful when disposing of left-overs that may contain onions or garlic. Interestingly, onion powder in the forms and amounts used in many dog foods is not toxic and, in fact, enhances flavor.
  • Raisins and grapes can cause vomiting, diarrhea and kidney failure in dogs. The minimum safe amount is not known, so keep these foods well out of reach of curious muzzles.
  • Products containing a substance called Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in sugarless gums and candies, can cause a rapid drop in your dog's blood sugar.
  • Moldy or spoiled food and garbage can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting, diarrhea and damage to internal organs. Be sure to keep trash away from dogs.
  • Yeast dough, like the kind used in making bread or deserts, is designed to expand. If swallowed by an unsuspecting little dog, it can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possibly rupture the stomach or intestines.
  • Medications such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Tylenol, and Naproxen may give you some relief, but painkillers and other common medications can be deadly to a small dog. Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs-that includes cold medicines, diet pills, antidepressants, anti-cancer drugs and vitamins-in closed cabinets out of your pets' reach. Never give your pet medication unless directed to do so by a vet.
  • House plants are pretty, but some are possibly deadly for your dog. Many common houseplants can be poisonous, such as lily, daffodil, oleander, rhododendron, azalea, yew and foxglove, rhubarb leaves and cycads.

According to the ASPCA, thousands of dogs needlessly suffer (and many die) each year by ingesting these common household foods and substances. If you suspect that your dog has eaten any of them, seek emergency help right away.

Poison Control Information


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