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List of toxic substances for dogs

What is poisonous to dogs? Dogs are often experts at eating things they shouldn't. It is also not easy to keep track of what is dangerous and what is not. Some things can be directly life-threatening, while others are only toxic in large quantities. Here we list some of the things that can cause poisoning in your dog.

What is poisonous to dogs?

The following are toxic to dogs:

  • Blue-green algae
  • Chocolate
  • Dough
  • Acorn
  • Wasp sting
  • Glycol
  • Cocoa
  • Onion
  • Nuts
  • Toads
  • Raisin
  • Rat poison
  • Salt
  • Snail remedy
  • Grapes
  • Painkillers
  • Poisonous plants
  • Xylitol

Do you suspect that your dog has been poisoned?

To figure out whether your dog has been poisoned, find out the following:

  • What your dog has ingested
  • How much it has absorbed

Always consult a veterinarian if you are unsure. If you are an Agria Pet Insurance customer, you can get veterinary advice at any time through the Agria Vet Guide

If you have to see a vet, it is good to bring as much information as possible about what and how much your dog has eaten. 

Blue-green algae

Dogs that bathe or drink water from lakes or streams during algal blooms can suffer from poisoning. Blue-green algae contain algal toxins (cyanobacteria) that are toxic to your dog. Whether or not your dog becomes poisoned depends on the levels of algae toxins in the water, how long your dog bathes and whether the dog drank the water.

What to do

If you suspect that your dog is poisoned, rinse and shampoo the dog. Make sure your dog doesn't lick his fur.

Symptoms

Diarrhoea, vomiting, fatigue, itching, irritation, convulsions, paralysis, liver damage, kidney damage, nerve damage, lung damage, internal bleeding, etc. Can also lead to death.

Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which are toxic to dogs. How much chocolate a dog can handle is individual and size dependent.

How much chocolate is dangerous?

The Poisons Information Center has produced examples of how much chocolate the dog can eat without being poisoned:

  • A dog of 10 kilos can eat 12-40 grams of dark chocolate without getting such serious symptoms that a vet or animal hospital needs to be visited.
  • If the dog has eaten light chocolate instead, it can eat about 100 grams.
  • Pralines, chocolate pieces with filling, contain less chocolate. The dog can then eat approximately twice the amount without serious symptoms arising.

Remember that the amount of chocolate varies depending on the size of the dog.

Symptoms

Vomiting, abdominal pain, increased thirst, incontinence, tremors, increased salivation, palpitations, etc. Can also lead to death.

Dough

Fermented doughs are not good for dogs to eat. The dough ferments in the dog's stomach and alcohol is formed. The condition is rarely life-threatening but can cause great discomfort for your dog. Therefore, be careful to put the dough out of reach and smell of your dog.

What to do

Keep your dog under supervision so that the dog does not injure itself. A drunken dog can easily get hurt on, for example, stairs and table edges. Some dogs can also become aggressive when they get drunk as it is an unpleasant situation for them.

Symptoms

Unsteadiness, wobble and more.

Acorn

Acorns contain tannin, which dogs are sensitive to as it is corrosive. If the dog ingests a high dose, it can be fatal. Cases of poisoning have, for example, been seen in dogs weighing around 10 kilos that have ingested between five and ten acorns.

Symptoms

Fatigue, decreased/no appetite, fever, constipation, tarry diarrhoea, kidney damage, liver damage and more. Can also lead to death.

Wasp sting

A wasp sting or other insect bite or sting is usually not dangerous for the dog. But dogs, just like people, can be hypersensitive to, for example, wasp stings and therefore have an allergic reaction. A dog, without being hypersensitive, can also suffer an allergic reaction if it is stung several times. Wasp stings more often cause allergic reactions as they are more "aggressive" than normal wasps.

What to do 

Keep your dog under supervision. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, contact a veterinarian for advice or see your veterinarian in case of major problems.

Symptoms

Local swelling, soreness, vomiting, breathing problems and more.

Glycol

Glycol is highly toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. Coolant and washer fluid are examples of fluids that contain glycol. Glycol is very sweet and dogs usually find it good to lick. If a dog has ingested glycol, crystals form in the kidneys.

What to do 

See a veterinarian if you suspect glycol poisoning.

Symptoms

Increased thirst, increased urination, shakiness, reduced kidney function and more.

Cocoa

Cocoa contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs. How much cocoa a dog can handle is individual and size dependent.

Symptoms

Vomiting, abdominal pain, increased thirst, incontinence, tremors, increased salivation, palpitations, etc. Can also lead to death.

Onion

Onions contain allicin, which is toxic to dogs. Allicin is found in both raw and cooked onions and can cause anaemia in your dog. It is difficult to know how much onion can lead to poisoning. Therefore, do not give your dog any kind of onions. Important to consider for those of you who usually give your dog food scraps is that our food scraps often contain large amounts of onion.

Symptoms

Diarrhoea, vomiting, convulsions, reduced appetite, breathing problems, pale mucous membranes, abdominal pain, etc. Can also lead to death.

Nuts

Macadamia nuts are considered extra toxic for dogs. Also keep in mind that salted nuts can lead to salt poisoning in your dog.

Symptoms

Decreased appetite, vomiting, bloody stools, impaired liver function, diarrhoea, stomach problems, unsteadiness, lethargy, paralysis, etc. Can lead to death.

Toads

Toads have glands under their skin that secrete a poison that dogs are sensitive to. The poison is as strong on Swedish toads, but your dog can still suffer from toad poisoning. Your dog can become poisoned by chewing or licking a toad. This type of poisoning is usually not dangerous but most troublesome for the dog.

What to do 

Inspect the dog, especially in the oral cavity. Most of the time, you only need to keep your dog under supervision. If the dog is severely affected, you can contact a veterinarian.

Symptoms

Increased salivation, reduced pupils and more.

Raisins

Ingestion of grapes/raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. It doesn't matter if the grapes are seeded or seedless, white, green or red. The exact mechanism behind the toxic effect is not known, nor why some individuals are sensitive to grapes/raisins while others are not. No connection between the amount ingested and poisoning in dogs has been established.

Symptoms

Dominant symptoms are vomiting that occurs 2 to 48 hours after ingestion, sometimes combined with rapid-onset diarrhoea. Abdominal pain, ataxia (shaking) and weakness may appear within 24 hours, but in most cases it takes up to 5 days for these symptoms to appear.

A dog with acute kidney failure caused by grapes/raisins requires early treatment with induction of vomiting, repeated administration of medicated charcoal, fluid therapy and intensive monitoring often extending over several weeks. Despite treatment, mortality is high.   

If poisoning is suspected, regardless of the substance, a veterinarian must be contacted immediately.

Rat poison

Rat poison contains substances that impair the blood's ability to coagulate. If your dog has ingested rat poison, it can lead to internal bleeding. This condition can be life-threatening.

The new rat poison was approved a couple of years ago and contains the substance alphachloralose, which can cause convulsions and unconsciousness in dogsWhat makes products containing alphachloralose dangerous is that there is no antidote. The symptoms come on quickly and a poisoned dog can become drowsy, have convulsions and have a reduced ability to react. In the worst case, it becomes unconscious.

Be vigilant about your dog when you walk in places where it is possible that rat poison is laid out. The biggest risk is that curious dogs ingest the poison directly, but they can also be affected if they eat mice or rats that have in turn ingested the poison.

What to do 

Rat poison can be dangerous depending on the content, so find out what kind your dog has eaten. Go to the vet and, if you can, take the rat poison packet with you.

Symptoms

Bleeding from the nose, oral cavity and throat. Bruises, internal bleeding, blood in faeces, etc. Can lead to death.

Salt

If your dog ingests too much salt, it can suffer from salt poisoning. Your dog may have drunk salt water or eaten salty food which can put your dog in that condition. It happens that some give salt as an emetic to their dog, which can therefore be directly fatal, especially for small dogs.

Symptoms

Diarrhoea, vomiting, stiffness, stiffness, cramps and more.

Snail killers

The use of snail killers is becoming more common as "killer snails" are becoming an increasing problem in Sweden. However, the pesticides are dangerous for our dogs.

Symptoms

Increased salivation, cramps, fever, stiffness in the body, small pupils and more.

Sponge

Poisonous mushrooms are dangerous for dogs. Some types of fungus are directly fatal and others can make the dog very sick. If you suspect that your dog has eaten poisonous mushrooms, it is important to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Symptoms

Vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors and more.

Grapes

Ingestion of grapes/raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. It doesn't matter if the grapes are seeded or seedless, white, green or red. The exact mechanism behind the toxic effect is not known, nor why some individuals are sensitive to grapes/raisins while others are not.

The smallest amount that has caused poisoning in dogs has been 4 grapes in a dog with 8.2 kg of body weight and 2.4 g of raisins/kg of body weight. No connection between the amount ingested and poisoning in dogs has been established. In some cases, the dog has eaten significantly larger amounts without symptoms being detected.

Symptoms

Dominant symptoms are vomiting that occurs 2 to 48 hours after ingestion, sometimes combined with rapid-onset diarrhoea. Abdominal pain, ataxia (shaking) and weakness may appear within 24 hours, but in most cases it takes up to 5 days for these symptoms to appear.

A dog with acute kidney failure caused by grapes/raisins requires early treatment with induction of vomiting, repeated administration of medicated charcoal, fluid therapy and intensive monitoring often extending over several weeks. Despite treatment, mortality is high.

If poisoning is suspected, regardless of the substance, a veterinarian must be contacted immediately.

Painkillers

Pain tablets intended for humans should never be given to dogs except on the direct recommendation of a veterinarian, e.g. Alvedon (paracetamol) and Bamyl (acetylsalicylic acid). The dosage differs between humans and dogs and therefore needs to be determined by a veterinarian. Overdose of painkillers can lead to poisoning in dogs.

Symptoms

In case of an overdose of paracetamol: liver damage, impaired oxygen transport in the blood, etc. Acetylsalicylic acid: can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Plants

There are an infinite number of types of plants and it can be difficult to know which ones are dangerous for your dog and which are not.

Read more about plants that are poisonous to dogs

Xylitol

Xylitol is dangerous for dogs as it lowers blood sugar levels and can poison your dog. Toothpaste, chewing gum, sweets and light products are examples of products that contain xylitol. How much xylitol a dog can handle is individual and size-dependent. Therefore, never give your dog anything containing xylitol.

Risk of hypoglycemia is seen if the dose of xylitol exceeds 0.1 g/kg body weight. This corresponds to 2-3 xylitol chewing gums for a dog with a body weight of 10 kg. A large intake is defined as more than 0.5 g/kg body weight.

Symptoms

Vomiting, shaking, lethargy, low blood sugar, seizures, unconsciousness, and more. Can lead to death.

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