Foods, Plants, and Organisms
that can harm your pets
Companion Animal Biology
• : containing or being poisonous material
especially when capable of causing death or
• : exhibiting symptoms of infection or
• : extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful
• Essential oils and psoralens
• Clinical Signs: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression;
• Citrus has high acidity levels and dogs’
stomachs are set up to digest meat, already
• alcohol has the same effect on a dog's liver and
brain that it has on humans.
• Takes far less to do its damage.
• Causes vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous
system depression, problems with coordination,
difficulty breathing, coma, even death.
• The smaller the dog, the greater the effect.
• Avocados contain a substance called persin.
• Causes your dog to vomit and have diarrhea.
• Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well
as in the fruit.
ONIONS & GARLIC
• All forms - powdered, raw, cooked, or
dehydrated - can destroy a dog's red blood cells,
leading to anemia.
• An occasional small dose is probably OK. But
just eating a large quantity once or eating
smaller amounts regularly can cause onion
• Breaks down red blood cells because of
• Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, little
interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.
• Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal
for a dog.
• NO antidote.
• Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include
restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations,
muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding.
• In addition to tea and coffee - including beans
and grounds - caffeine can be found in cocoa,
chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as
Red Bull. It's also in some cold medicines and
• Grapes and raisins have often been used as
treats for dogs.
• Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in
dogs. And, just a small amount can make a dog
• Repeated vomiting and being hyperactive are
early signs. Within a day, the dog will become
lethargic and depressed.
• The best prevention is to keep grapes and raisins
off counters and other places your dog can
• Milk and milk-based products can cause
diarrhea and other digestive upset as well as
set up food allergies (which often manifest as
• Dogs should not eat nuts or foods containing
nuts because nuts can be fatal.
• As few as 6 raw or roasted macadamia nuts can
make a dog ill.
• Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors,
weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters,
vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid
• Eating chocolate with the nuts will make
symptoms worse, leading to possible kidney
failure and death.
Candy & Gum
• Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some
diet foods are sweetened with xylitol.
• Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin
circulating through your dog's body.
• That can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop
and lead to liver failure.
• Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and
loss of coordination.
• Eventually, the dog may have seizures, and liver
failure can occur within just a few days.
• The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine. It's
in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate.
• The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark
chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate.
• Eating chocolate, even just licking out the icing
bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea,
and be excessively thirsty.
• It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm,
tremors, seizures, and death.
FAT TRIMMINGS & SCRAPS
• Table scraps often contain meat fat that a
human didn't eat and bones.
• Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed
from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can
cause pancreatitis in dogs.
• A dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter
and cause an obstruction or lacerations of
your dog's digestive system.
PEACHES & PLUMS
• The problem with these fruits is the seeds or
• The seeds from persimmons can cause
inflammation of the small intestine in dogs.
• They can also cause intestinal obstruction.
Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats
the pit from a peach or plum.
• Peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is
poisonous to both humans and dogs.
• Two problems with giving your dog raw eggs:
– The first is the possibility of food poisoning from
bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli.
– The second is that an enzyme in raw eggs
interferes with the absorption of a particular B
vitamin. This can cause skin problems as well as
problems with your dog's coat.
Raw Meat & Fish
• Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can
contain bacteria that causes food poisoning.
• In addition, certain kinds of fish such as salmon,
trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite
that causes "fish disease."
• If not treated, the disease can be fatal within 2
• The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and
big lymph nodes. Thoroughly cooking the fish
will kill the parasite and protect your dog.
• Eating too much salt can cause excessive
thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion
• Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting,
diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body
temperature, and seizures.
• It may even cause death.
• Before it's baked, bread dough needs to rise.
And, that's exactly what it would do in your
dog's stomach if your dog ate it.
• As it swells inside, the dough can stretch the
dog's abdomen and cause severe pain.
• In addition, when the yeast ferments the
dough to make it rise, it produces alcohol
that can lead to alcohol poisoning.
• Common poinsoning in Florida dogs is poisoning from
Bufo marinus, the giant or cane toad.
• This species of toad produces a pasty yellow-
white toxin in the parotid glands, which extend from
the head backward over the shoulder region and is
released through pinhole openings in the
• When a dog mouths or bites a Bufo toad the toxin is
released and rapidly absorbed across the mucus
membranes of the mouth.
• Symptoms :
– occur suddenly
– may include:
• profuse salivation
• vocalizing and pawing at the mouth
• brick-red gums
• uncoordination or a stiff gait
• difficulty breathing and the intoxication can
rapidly progress to seizures and death.
• The severity of the poisoning depends on the
size of the dog and the amount of toxin
absorbed into the blood stream.
• Puppies and small breed dogs such as
Dachshunds, Mini-Pins, Jack Russell Terriers and
miniature Schnauzers are more seriously
affected because they get "more poison per
pound" than a large breed dog.
• DO NOT PANIC!!!
• IMMEDIATELY rinse the dog’s mouth out with a large
amount of water.
• Rinse the mouth from side to side. DO NOT DROWN
THE ANIMAL BY FORCING WATER DOWN ITS THROAT. The
toxin is very sticky and may need to be gently rubbed off
of the mucus membranes of the mouth.
• Be very careful so as not to get bitten by your pet. Even
the gentlest animal may bite if it is scared, in pain or
• Transport to veterinary care
• NO ANTIDOTE – ONLY SUPPORTIVE CARE!
• Black Widows
• All secrete toxins with bites that will attack
• Best thing to do indentify the bug responsible
for the attack.
• There are various courses of treatments can
be administered with antidotes to stop
swelling and spread of toxins.
• Supportive care
• Entire plant, Cardiotoxic.
• Can affect the heart, produce vomiting,
drooling, diarrhea, weakness and central
nervous system depression.
• Severe cases could lead to death from
• Tomato plants are also poisonous plants for
dogs. Eating the green parts of the plants, (the
stems and leaves), can cause many problems.
• Solanine – breaks down mitochondria.
• Some symptoms that your dog has eaten tomato
plants are abnormal behavior, clumsiness,
diarrhea, dilated pupils, drowsiness, excessive
salivating, fatigue, loss of appetite, slow
heartbeat, vomiting, and weakness.
• Most every garden has daisies or
chrysanthemums. They contain pyrethins and
• Irritants that cause diarrhea, drooling, skin
rashes and vomiting.
• Holly (leaves and berries) causes upset
stomach and can be potentially fatal to both
dogs and cats.
• Mistletoe upsets the stomach and can cause
heart collapse, while hibiscus may cause
• Poinsettias have an irritating sap that can
cause blistering in the mouth and upset
• Common car and house product
• It is the toxin ethylene glycol that makes
antifreeze lethal. Because of this, dogs will
consume great quantities of ethylene glycol
before being repulsed by its aftertaste.
• It does not take a significant amount of ethylene
glycol to cause fatal damage to the system; less
than three ounces (or 88 ml) of antifreeze is
sufficient to poison a medium-sized dog.
• Anti-freeze poisoning affects the brain, liver, and
• Drunken behavior
• Wobbly, uncoordinated movement
• Excessive urination
• Rapid heart beat
• Seizures/Convulsions/Shaking tremors
• Veterinarian will do full exam including
urinalysis and a complete blood profile.
• Vomit and stool will also help the
veterinarian determine the appropriate
course of action.
• Induce vomiting if you are sure that the
antifreeze was ingested with hydrogen
• Transport to veterinarian immediately.
• Veterinarian can administer antidote.
• Dialysis is useful and affective if procedure is
done quickly after ingestion.
• Dogs may survive but will have renal failure.
WHAT TO DO.
• Call your local vet, the closest emergency
clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control
Center - (888) 426-4435
• A $65 consultation fee may be applied to
your credit card.