Is my dog ​​poisoned? Causes, symptoms and toxic substances

Dogs, like children, are exposed to all kinds of dangerous substances in the home. Examples of poisoning are really life-threatening and require immediate attention.

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They happen mostly because of the insatiable curiosity of the dog and the tendency to rummage around the house or yard. At other times, a small dog can become the unfortunate victim of malicious poisoning by suspicious nutrients given by strangers.

Whatever the cause of poisoning, the fact remains that there are ways to effectively deal with it or prevent it from happening in the first place. This article will look at the causes of poisoning in dogs and highlight foods and substances that are toxic to them. You will also find some suggestions on how to prevent poisoning, malicious or unintentional.

Causes of poisoning in dogs

Dogs, being naturally curious and always hungry, will almost swallow anything they come across. It is not uncommon for small pieces of food to fall to the ground and mix with chemicals on the floor to find their way into a dog’s stomach. They also take whatever they find while digging in or out of the yard.

Passers-by or neighbors who give dogs food that interacts with toxic substances or bacteria can cause poisoning. Some of them may do so with malicious or malicious intent.

Owners can feed their dogs food that is unsuitable or toxic to them without realizing that these foods, while suitable for human consumption, are not safe for dogs.

Nutrients toxic to dogs

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What foods are not safe for dogs to eat? Some of these many things are the foods we eat every day and they would surely surprise someone! Remember that the smaller the dog, the less of any of these elements is required for a toxic effect.

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes / raisins
  • Fruits / fruit pits
  • The onion
  • White garlic
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Caffeinated items
  • Macadamia nuts of all kinds
  • Dough with alcohol and yeast


Grapes and raisins can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys in dogs. Ingestion of about 4-5 grapes is enough to send the levels of toxicity in a dog weighing 20 kilograms!



Chocolate is a paradise for us, but definitely not for dogs. Contains Theobromine, a heart stimulant and diuretic.

In particular, cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are poisonous forms of dog chocolate, as they contain 10 times more Theobromine than the usual forms of chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate is also dangerous for a dog, although not as dangerous as cocoa powder or cooking chocolate.

The onion

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Onions contain thiosulfate, and are even more dangerous to dogs than chocolate. Dogs that suffer from onion poisoning show symptoms only a few days after the poisoning occurs. Onions are a big part of our cooking and the best way to avoid them is not to feed our dogs food from the table.

Dogs with onion poisoning usually develop hemolytic anemia, in which red blood cells burst as they circulate in the body, along with other symptoms of poisoning, which will be discussed later.



Garlic also contains the chemical thiosulfate and is found in much of our cooking. Less dangerous than onions, more should be consumed before toxicity occurs, but it is still dangerous.

Macadamia nuts

The phosphorus in macadamia nuts is largely responsible for causing poisoning in dogs. Causes the development of bladder stones, muscle tremor, distress and shortness of breath. The limbs may also swell.

Caffeinated products

Like chocolate, caffeine elements have a chemical theoexchange. Like chocolate, it causes hyperactivity and vomiting. If the dog has difficulty clearing the poison, the veterinarian may cause vomiting in the dog.

Artificial sweeteners (eg xylitol)

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They stimulate the pancreas to secrete too much insulin, causing liver damage. It causes the development of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) and if not treated early enough, the damage can be permanent.

Dough with alcohol and yeast

The ethanol in alcohol damages the central nervous system and respiratory damage. Yeast dough does the same. Lethargy and depression are very common signs of alcohol poisoning.

Fruit pits and seeds

Any fruit pit or seed can cause cyanide poisoning. Skin irritation and coma would be common symptoms. Diarrhea may also occur.


Non-food products that are poisonous to dogs

In addition, the dog may come into contact with or consume household substances that are dangerous to them.

  • Preparations / disinfectants
  • antifreeze
  • Poison for rats
  • drugs
  • Insecticides / fungicides
  • Flea products

Cigars and cigarettes

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Just as nicotine is toxic and harmful to us, so it is to dogs. Cigars and cigarettes should be kept out of the reach of dogs.

Detergents and disinfectants

The wide range of compounds in detergents, when ingested into the blood, can also cause skin poisoning and irritation.

Flea products

An overdose of pets with flea products can also cause poisoning. It is always important to follow the dose recommended by the manufacturer.

Insecticides and fungicides

They disrupt the dog’s nervous system and should be stored away in containers where the dog cannot access them. When spraying, make sure it does not land on the dog’s coat. Licking can cause it to be absorbed into the nervous system.

Medicines intended for human use

Again, the drugs contain many compounds that severely damage the dog’s nervous system. To reduce the cost of the drug, you may be tempted to eat dog drugs suitable for human consumption when it is sick. It is recommended that you never give a dog medicine for human consumption, as this can lead to an overdose, which can be fatal.


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Antifreeze, which has a sweet tempting scent for dogs, contains ethylene glycol, which can endanger the life of the animal within one hour after consumption. Be careful where there is access to antifreeze, especially alleys and garages.

Make sure that all these harmful substances are stored well away from animals and children, who will always have a tendency to get in place from curious problems.


Symptoms of poisoning in dogs

Symptoms of poisoning in dogs may not be immediately apparent. They include:

  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • dripping,
  • staggered,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • hallucinations,
  • skin irritation and
  • muscle tremors.

The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount of toxic substance that has been ingested.

If your dog develops such symptoms, take him to a veterinarian immediately.

What to do if your dog eats poison

Take your dog to a veterinarian immediately. Although your veterinarian may use the following methods, you should not try them yourself.

Induced vomiting

Induced vomiting is the best way to cleanse the venom from a dog’s gut and is probably the method that veterinarians will use. However, it is not recommended to induce vomiting if your dog has consumed any of the following items:

  • Battery acid
  • Cleaners
  • kerosene
  • Washing powder
  • Machine oil
  • Paints / paint thinner / brush cleaner
  • Pine oil

Note: Your veterinarian may also prescribe laxatives to speed up the process of eliminating the poison from the dog’s body.

Activated carbon

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Activated charcoal is NOT the charcoal used for barbecue. This is the charcoal found in the health aisle of a grocery store. This is a fine, odorless and non-toxic powder. Reduces the presence of toxic substances by up to 60%.


Antidotes are available for some poisons, but they are only effective if used at the beginning of the treatment process. To help your veterinarian correctly prescribe the right antidote, it is a good idea to determine in advance the venom that the dog has ingested.

How to prevent accidental poisoning in dogs

Use pet products according to the instructions given.

Fleas and ticks often require the use of medicated sprays and shampoos. Make sure they are used in the correct dosage and according to the instructions given to prevent cases of overdose and, therefore, poisoning.

Use only products and medicines suitable for pets.

Some substances suitable for human consumption may not be suitable for a pet, including medicines such as Paracetamol and other painkillers. Use medicines only on the advice of a veterinarian.

Keep medicines out of the reach of children.

Pets are naturally curious, so keeping substances carefully stored in containers inaccessible to them is vital for safety.

Wash your pet’s feet after walks.

Wash your pet’s feet after walks to prevent exposure to irritants and toxins on the skin. In addition, pets can lick their paws and inadvertently swallow the venom.

Deal with antifreeze!

Antifreeze is harmful to dogs and other animals, so finding a safe alternative to it is recommended. An antifreeze that uses propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol is strongly recommended.

Eliminate the use of rat poisons.

Rat poisons will kill rats. As they do, it is quite possible that exposing them to harm and even kill your pet. Eliminate their use completely and keep the house clean.

Common and houseplants.

Many of them are poisonous to pets, so it is good to prevent their chewing during the yard.

Common dietary dangers.

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Do not feed your pet from the table, as many foods contain onions and garlic mentioned earlier. The fruits contain a lot of seeds, so they should not be given to a pet if possible.

How to prevent malicious poisoning in dogs

Sometimes pets fall victim to cruel and cruel acts of poisoning as a result of people deliberately throwing poisoned food out of them in need of revenge, perhaps against a dog that may have been annoyed by its excessive barking. Others just do it with a perverted sense of fun. Much can be done to prevent such events.

Be a good neighbor.

Don’t let a pet steal your neighbor’s bins. In addition to being a very non-neighborhood act, your pet may inadvertently consume toxic substances.

Grind your pet if necessary to stop excessive barking.

As mentioned earlier, malicious actions can be the result of conflict. If the dog has problems with barking, hook it up when necessary to prevent cases of vindictive and malicious poisoning.

Keep your dog safe and secure.

Make sure that your pet is not exposed to any of the above substances, which must be stored safely and securely.

Supervision is the key.

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Do not allow your pet to loosen for too long without supervision. These are the moments when he tends to take unnatural and toxic substances.

Teach your dog to say no.

Condition your pet to take food from no one but himself for his own safety.