Our pets are our family and as such we do everything in our power to keep them safe and healthy. Be aware of common toxins that can be found in and around your home. This article aims to educate of potential risks.
With weather changes it is common to have pests such as rats and mice move into your home seeking shelter. There are many types of baits and traps targeting elimination of these pests. Many of these products contain toxins which will also affect your cat or dog. Dogs more commonly have exposure to these as the baits are formulated to be appetizing to rodents and thus are often appetizing to our canine friends. There are a few main categories for these toxins that aim to cause death by different means. Anticoagulants are the first to pop to mind. They affect the body's ability to create blood clots and will cause hemorrhage and death. Another type called bromethalin (Tom Cat) causes paralysis, seizures, and death by affecting the central nervous system. A third type is an overdose of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) which increases calcium in tissues and leads to heart changes, mineralization of the lungs, and acute kidney failure.
Many fruits and vegetables from the kitchen are safe for dogs such as carrots, broccoli, apple slices (no seeds or cores), and bananas. These can often be used as treats or incorporated into diets for lower calorie intake. However, the kitchen can also contain foods that are dangerous to dogs and cats. There are foods that have toxic properties such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, onion, garlic, macadamia nuts, pits/seeds (cherry, apple, peach), and products containing the sweetener xylitol. There are also foods that pose risk of obstruction such as corn cobs, apple cores, and avocado pits; or risk of damage to the gastrointestinal tract such as rib or chicken bones. And of course there are foods that can induce inflammation within the pancreas called pancreatitis. These are commonly fatty foods that are not normal to your dog's diet. For more information, discuss what foods are safe to use as treats with your veterinarian.