Most dog owners are well aware of the most common canine toxins and poisons, such as chocolate, garlic, grapes and certain plants, all of which can lead to potentially very serious poisoning and may ultimately prove fatal.
However, as well as the serious toxins listed above and other very widely recognised potential poisons such as the ones listed within this article, there are also a significant number of other common household products and substances too that, whilst they are unlikely to lead to acute poisoning or prove fatal, can also pose a risk to the health of your dog.
In this article, we will look at ten of the most common household products that can make your dog sick if they eat or chew them, and how much of a risk each of these things actually is. Read on to learn more!
Ice packs are useful for storing in the fridge or freezer to use in an emergency if someone injures themselves, or to relieve a headache, migraine or inflammation. These flexible packs are usually blue in colour and contain a soothing gel that helps to relieve pain and inflammation once applied to the affected spot.
However, the blue gel within ice packs is composed of a chemical compound that is of course not designed to be eaten, and can make your dog rather sick if they do happen to bite through an icepack and ingest some of the gel. Keep such things well out of the reach of your dog!
Whilst the use of coal-fired appliances to heat our homes is not as common today as it was historically, a significant amount of homes still use raw coal or processed, smokeless coal for heat during the winter. Whilst coal might not seem like something that the average dog would be keen to eat, it can happen, and of course, many dogs that love to play will pick up a piece of coal to try to encourage you into a game.
Coal ingested in small quantities may give your dog an upset stomach, whilst if your dog eats it regularly, this should be investigated by your vet, as it may potentially make your dog quite sick.
Silica gel is used as a desiccant in packed products-you may well have seen sachets of it marked up with “do not eat.” The beads within these sachets taste bitter to discourage ingestion, but some dogs will swallow the packets without giving it much thought, which then poses the risk of it causing a blockage within the intestine.
Blu-tac and other similar products are safe to use and non-toxic in terms of the chemicals that they contain, but the texture and viscosity of such thigs can lead to them collecting in the stomach or intestine and again, causing a blockage. If your dog eats a small piece of blu-tac, this is highly unlikely to cause a problem, but if they eat a whole ball or card of it, they should get checked out by the vet to ensure that it passes normally.
Wax comes in the form of candles, crayons and other related products, and certain scented candles and even crayons may have an appealing scent to your dog, who may like to chew them up. Again, the risk from ingesting such things is less to do with the compounds present in them that may be poisonous, but more to do with the difficulty that they may have passing through your dog’s system, as they can potentially form into balls or blockages.
Sunflower seeds are a healthy, tasty snack that many people enjoy, and if your dog eats a few of them, this is likely to be fine. However, the shells of sunflower seeds are sharp and spiky, and whilst your dog will likely swallow them with no problem, they can potentially cause internal damage.
Polystyrene is a popular packaging material, although it is less widely used these days as it is not easy to recycle. Dogs often enjoy playing with and jumping around in polystyrene, but take care to ensure that they do not ingest any of it, as it is not broken down in the stomach and can lead to potential problems.
Every dog owner knows that certain types of plants can be toxic to dogs, but did you know that plant food itself can be too? Plant food contains highly concentrated nutrients that are designed to boost plant growth-but they will not have the same effect on your dog! The concentration of chemical nutrients in plant food can cause your dog to suffer from diarrhoea and sickness if ingested, but they are unlikely to pose an acute risk to their health.
Remember that the same cannot be said for weed killer and other toxins, so keep all of these things out of the reach of your dog.
Certain scented bath products like soaps, bath bombs and other objects that smell good enough to eat may encourage your dog to do just that! Whilst scented products are usually deliberately designed to taste bitter and unappealing to keep children from eating them, as anyone who owns a Labrador retriever can tell you, some dogs eat first and think later!
Bath products, soap and the like are unlikely to prove poisonous to your dog, but they will potentially give them a short bout of stomach problems, including diarrhoea and vomiting.
Finally, small batteries, of the type that we often use to power clocks, torches and other small electrical objects are often left lying around or in the rubbish. Whilst they are not likely to prove hugely appealing to dogs, if a rolling battery catches your dog’s eye or they otherwise decide that the battery is a potential toy, they run the risk of piercing the battery casing, and coming into contact with the corrosive acid within. Always dispose of batteries safely, and don’t leave them out around your dog!