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How to Prevent Dog Poisoning


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You go to extreme lengths to take care of your body and health and you probably do the same for your beloved dog, too. One ailment that is easy to forget about, but could have potentially fatal consequences, is poisoning. Dogs can get poisoned from a whole range of things, from parsley and paracetamol, to palm lily and painter’s pallet. In fact, flowers are a frequent cause of poisoning amongst dogs. Your dog could suffer from a mild, easy to treat poison, or they could have a severe case of poisoning that could be fatal.

But what should you look out for if you're concerned your dog may have been poisoned? Has your dog lost its appetite and ability to swallow? Do they have red, watery eyes? Can you see foaming at the mouth? Are they vomiting a lot? Do they have difficulty breathing? Are they suffering from seizures? All of these could be indicators that your dog has been poisoned.


A lot of cases of canine poisoning are as a result of contact with dangerous plants. Take palm lily for example: its toxic elements are steroidal saponins and glycosides and if your dog consumes the root, flowers, or berries of the plant, he could be in serious trouble. They irritate the digestive tract and even wage war on your dog’s red blood cells.

Fortunately, these plant poisonings and others can be prevented with a few relatively straightforward steps. The plants are found in your dog’s environment, so limiting their access to potentially dangerous plants is the first preventative step you can take. The most effective preventative measure would be to change up their walking route and take them to places where you know they aren’t going to run into potentially lethal plants, for example, taking them on a more urban route.

You could also keep your dog on a lead when you know they are approaching a densely plant-populated area. This way you can keep them at a safe distance from the plants. This will be effective in preventing any poison getting into your dog’s system.

These steps will be somewhat effective in preventing your dog being poisoned from plants, but you cannot foresee and prevent every single dangerous plant in your dog’s surroundings.

Human Food

As home cooking for dogs is on the rise, so is accidental poisoning from spices and greens. Take parsley for example, an innocent part to many humans diets, so most people probably wouldn’t think twice about feeding some to their dog. But actually, the furanocoumarins contained in some types of parsley can cause sunburn-like symptoms in your dog when digested.

Thankfully, there are a number of straightforward preventative measures you can take as an owner. The most obvious thing to do is to stick to feeding your dog kibble or dog food. Dog food will have been thoroughly vetted to ensure it contains nothing that can poison your dog. You can get high-quality dog food that has all the nutrients needed to ensure a healthy, well-rounded diet. This is an effective preventative solution, that will work for as long as you keep up feeding them kibble/dog food.

If you want to continue cooking your dog’s food, get educated on all things poisonous. There are a number of books available on the subject and a wealth of information online. If you are introducing a new ingredient to your dog’s diet, do a quick search first to ensure it’s safe. This is effective to a limited extent, as there is always a risk of a potentially poisonous ingredient slipping through the net.

Household Products

A number of household cleaners can be poisonous to your dog. From antifreeze and surface cleaners, to pool cleaning chemicals and garden products. When your dog digests harsh, strong chemicals, their bodies and immune systems are at risk from a potentially lethal poison.

The good news is: you can take a number of simple steps to help prevent your dog encountering these poisons. If you are cleaning your house and surfaces with potentially dangerous products, put your dog in a room or the yard until all the chemicals have been completely absorbed and dry. If you have just put down weed killers or products on the lawn, keep your dog inside until a safe amount of time has passed. These simple steps will be seriously effective in preventing the poison getting into your dog’s system.

The next thing you can do is ensure all potentially dangerous products are securely stored away. Simply putting them in a high cupboard out of reach could make all the difference. Antifreeze, in particular, is a problem because it tastes so sweet! So keep them out of reach of energetic, inquisitive paws. This will be an effective long term preventative solution, however, it does run the marginal risk that one day you’ll forget to put them all away or you’ll leave the cupboard ajar.

Importance of Preventing Poisoning

There are only huge positives to be gained from preventing your dog coming into contact with poisons. Firstly, you could save your dog’s life, so prevention could give you a happier, healthier dog for longer.

But preventing poisoning will also save you as the owner, considerable vet bills and a whole host of stress. In addition, keeping harmful chemicals out of reach may also prevent children or other household pets getting ill from them.

Careful Management

A whole host of things have the potential to poison your dog. Anything from plants and human food, to a range of household products. It is also important to remember that a number of foods that pose no threat to humans can pose a risk to dogs. Preventing poisoning in your dog comes down to managing their environment and minimizing their contact with potentially dangerous objects. Feeding your dog commercial food will minimize the risk human foods present. Walking them on a lead will reduce the threat from plants and keeping household products stored securely away will all help to prevent poisons taking hold of your canine friend.

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