The five most common causes of poisoning in dogs

The five most common causes of poisoning in dogs

Health & Safety

Dogs are not always hugely discerning about the things they eat, and also, dog owners often feed their dogs things without really thinking it through, which can all result in poisoning in dogs.

Some substances dogs might eat or be fed are more dangerous than others, and are more likely to result in acute illness and treatment for poisonous. Knowing what these are can help you to head off potential risks; and this article will tell you the five most common causes of poisoning in dogs. read on to learn more.

Non-prescription medications

Most of us keep a number of common painkillers and other simple medications on standby in case of headaches and other minor ills, like paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin, and perhaps things like antacids as well. Non-prescription medications are medicines that any adult can buy without seeing a doctor and being given a prescription; some can be bought from supermarkets along with the shopping but some of the slightly stronger options can only be bought from a pharmacist.

We often think of these medicines as being largely harmless as they’re so easy to get hold of and we take them regularly, but they should still be treated with respect, as taken incorrectly or taking too many can still be dangerous.

Also, human medications (and particularly all of the common human painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetamol) are highly toxic to dogs; just one pill of any of these types could be fatal to a dog, or make them seriously ill. Medicines of this type should never be given to dogs, and are in fact one of the five most common causes of accidental poisoning of dogs in the UK.

People giving their dogs human pills for minor ills and dogs chewing pill packets and ingesting pills alike can cause acute poisoning.

Even some herbal supplements and alternative medicines can be poisonous to dogs, and they’re included in the risk too.

Prescription medications

Prescription medications, medicines that have to be approved and prescribed by doctors, come next. Once more, dog owners might think they can treat their dog at home using leftover prescription medications or a medication that makes them personally feel a lot better, or medicines left lying around might get eaten by an inquisitive dog.

As well as once more painkillers, a great many other human medications can be very toxic to dogs too, as well as some that you might not expect.

Antianxiety and antidepressant medications can cause serotonin syndrome in dogs and be acutely dangerous to them, as can medications to treat high blood pressure, and many other different medications too.


Chocolate is perhaps the best-known poison to dogs, and virtually all dog owners know that dogs can’t have chocolate as it can quickly make them acutely sick. It doesn’t take much chocolate to make dogs ill either, depending on the size of the dog and the amount and type of chocolate they ate, and very dark chocolate is by far the most dangerous.

Even though the vast majority of dog owners are very vigilant to never give their dogs chocolate, dogs in their turn tend to be very vigilant about finding or scavenging unattended food, and can quickly home in on and eat chocolate you might have left within their reach even for just a second. The amount of chocolate we tend to have around and how popular it is contributes greatly to chocolate being one of the top five causes of poisoning in dogs.

Veterinary medications

Veterinary medications might seem like something that is obviously safe for dogs; but this is only the case for veterinary medicines prescribed to the dog in question and used exactly as directed. Giving a dog a medicine that was designed and prescribed for another dog, giving medicine in the wrong dosage, or even giving a dog leftover medicine that was actually prescribed to them previously can all result in dangerous situations that can risk a dog’s health.

Even flea and tick medicine not intended for or dosed for the dog in question can make a dog sick, and as is always the case with dogs, there’s a risk of them getting their paws on a veterinary medicine that was not put away or stored properly and eating it.

Household cleaners and other chemicals

Finally, household cleaners and chemicals in various forms make up the final of the five most common causes of poisoning in dogs, and this encompasses a wide range of different products and scenarios.

One of these and one that all dog owners should be aware of is the risk that comes for dogs that are apt to drink from the toilet bowl, as this can result in the ingestion of chemical and toxin-laden water due to the use of bleach, disinfectant, and even rim blocks.

Water from a mop bucket can be dangerous too if your dog drinks this, and everything from chemicals for a hot tub to oven cleaners can poison dogs if they’re not stored and used with great care.



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