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Most Common Types of Pet Poisoning

Pet poisoning cases are more common than most people would think. According to a survey, pet poisonings in the U.S. exceed 232,000 cases every year. Moreover, most of these were not caused by apparent poisons like rat poison, but by ordinary household substances. While many may think it came from neglect of the pet owner, it is more accurate to say it came from a lack of knowledge. 

Many pet owners know that certain common things are harmful to their pets. However, they do not understand that some things that are okay for humans may be toxic to their pets. Hence, it is essential to learn about the most common things you find in most households that can be dangerous for your pet.


Human Medication

Most people assume that human medications have the same effects on animals, but several things make human medicine dangerous to pets.

For one, pets are much smaller in body size, so a typical dosage for a human being could be an overdose for a pet. Additionally, our biological systems operate differently, meaning human medication may not work in the same way for a pet. 


Human Food

The holy grail of pet poisons is human food. How can my food be bad for my dog—right? Only some of your food is good for your cat or dog; others may be hazardous to them. The main reason is that a pet's metabolism significantly differs from your pet's. 

Here are some common foods that will not be safe for your pet to eat:



While it goes without saying, alcohol is a no-go zone for your pet. While you get alcohol poisoning from drinking large amounts of alcoholic beverages, your pet does not need that much. If your pet has alcohol poisoning, it will usually show the following symptoms:


  • Vomiting

  • Difficulty breathing

  • May go into a coma

  • Death in severe cases



You know that avocados are healthy for you, giving all these healthy fats and fiber that are good for the body. However, they have more of those in their composition than just fats and fibers. They also have a compound called persin that causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.


Macadamia Nuts

Yes, your dog has nut allergies. While other nuts may not have the same effect, macadamia nuts significantly affect your dog's health. They can lead to uncomfortable and sometimes scary effects on your dog. They can cause overheating, vomiting, and general weakness after consumption. 


Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are bad snacks for your pet. These tiny fruits can do so much damage to your pet's internal organs, especially the kidneys. When ingested, they lead to kidney failure. You must rush your pet to the vet if they eat these fruits. 



Probably one of the most dangerous on this list, xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in plenty of foods in your household. It is in candies, chewing gum, and some supplements like fish oil. When your pet ingests even a small amount, it leads to rapid drops in blood sugar and seizures. Some dogs may suffer liver failure. 


For more on the most common types of pet poisoning, call the Eastern Animal Hospital at our office in Baltimore, Maryland at (410) 633-8808.

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