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How Poisonous Are You To Your Dog?

Did you know that most pet poisonings happen right in the owner’s home? Most pet poisonings could easily be prevented if we were more conscious of our daily decisions and actions.

Let’s look at each room in our home individually. I can almost promise you that you will find at least 1 item (most likely more) in each room that is poisonous to your pets and should be made inaccessible for them.

I will list you a few things that you most likely will find in each room at your house and feel free to look for more as the lists can be endless!

Living Room: Plants, cigarettes and/or drugs, air fresheners, alcohol

Bed Room: Medication

Kids Room: Food, pens, markers, paint, (many are safe for kids safety reasons but it never hurts to check)

Bathroom: Medication, tooth paste, cleaning supplies, dryer sheets

Kitchen: Food, cleaning supplies, garbage cans

Garage / Storage: Paint, oil, antifreeze, ant/rat poison

Yard / Outdoors: Plants, fertilizer, insects, snakes and other critters

This is a short version of what you might find in and around your house but it’s a good reminder that it’s every where and everybody has it right around them.

There is one more thing though... something that we often foreget and most visitors bring in our house on a regular basis.

Ladies, your purse!!!!

Your purse is a poisonous trap for many pets. Pets are naturally curious and like to sniff out what’s in those bags. How often do you have a friend visit, they place their purse on your couch or on the floor next to them, and before you even notice, your pet has its head deep in there to check this funny thing out. Often times purses contain things that we store out of reach at home for a reason but they are easily accessible in purses.

While we pet owners might be a little more aware of what’s in our purse our visitors aren’t and might even have more dangerous goods in their purse than we expect.

A small list of common poisons in your purse:

  • Sugar free gum/mints (contain xylitol which is highly poisonous)

  • Over the counter medications

  • Hand sanitizers

  • Chocolate bars

  • Cigarettes

  • Inhales

  • Mouth wash

How do you know if your pet might have been poisoned and what to do?

Signs of poisoning include (not all of them have to be present):

  • Pain

  • Excitability or Lethargy

  • Lack of coordination

  • Convulsions or seizures

  • Vomiting and/or Diarrhea

  • Ulcers on face or paws

  • Weakness

  • Signs of Shock

  • Excessive Drooling

  • Unconsciousness

  • Respiratory arrest

  • Irritation of the eyes

  • Noticeable odd substance on the coat


  • Maintain ABC’s

  • Try to identify the poison

  • Get immediate veterinary assistance

  • Dilute the poison by giving the

pet water

  • Induce vomiting only if instructed by a Veterinarian

  • Do never induce vomiting if the poison is an acid, alkali or petroleum product

For all poisonings, prevention is Key!

Just as you make your home child proof when you have little kids, make your home pet proof.

Make sure everything poisonous is stored away (even your visitors/your own purse!).

Know what poisonous plants you have in your house hold, or even better, know poisonous plants and chose safe plants to make your house look/feel prettier.

Don’t feed any human food without veterinary advice.

Make sure your garbage has a tight lid or even better is inside a cabinet and not readily accessible to your pet.

Teach your dog to not randomly eat things off the ground and don't let them roam unsupervised.

Don’t abuse flea or tick medications and never give your dog any medication (human or pet) without veterinary advice.

Have any emergency vet numbers readily available.

Find a list of pet poisons (food, palants, medications and more) here:

A very good resource is the Pet Poison Helpline which is available 24/7. (Credit card necessary and a fee will apply), but it's worth it!

While poisoning is one danger you can encounter in and around your home other emergencies can happen any time. Prepare yourself by completing on of your Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid courses and get peace of mind.

Our course cover everything from prevention to treatment of illness and injury as well as information on how to keep your pet in optimal health.

For more information regarding our courses visit our website or

About the author:

Simone Krebser - CPDT: Owner and head dog trainer of K9 Possible Dog Training serving the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia from Osoyoos to Penticton and Kelowna with result based dog training. Certified dog trainer, certified pet first aid instructor, member of the IACP, dog crazy and chocolate/cheese addict. “My life revolves around dog’s day in and out and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is my goal to help enhance the lives of as many dogs (and their owners) as possible. Your dog is my priority and I’m as committed to your dog as you are. But I can only help those who sincerely want to help their dogs and not only themselves.”

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