We all know having a pet is a tremendous responsibility, one we’ve highlighted in many recent articles. In a former post, we looked at things we can possibly add to their diet, scheduling regular check-ups with our veterinarian and we even touched on the importance of dental hygiene when it comes to caring for our canines.

At the same time, we should be looking at things that we shouldn’t be giving them and unusual items to avoid when it come to the possibility of potentially poisoning our pets. One of the most often overlooked threats to our pets comes from plants found both inside and outside of our homes. There’s an enormous list of plants and flowers that have the potential of being hazardous or even deadly for not only our animals, but our children as well.

A child and a dog in a yard

It’s up to us as responsible parents of both our two-legged offspring and our four-legged friends to be especially vigilant about the flora and foliage found in areas where they regularly access. Think of it this way, there are a growing number of hospitals that aren’t allowing flowers (and other potentially dangerous gifts) through their doors due to many different types of risks, including poisoning, allergic reactions and infections.

Other Outdoor Avoidances

One of the biggest outdoor dangers for dogs and many other animals is the spillage and leakage of antifreeze. With a pleasant aroma and sweet taste, many critters will lap up some of this hazardous substance often with deadly consequences. Even the smallest amount of the poison found in the majority of this commonly used car product can kill a small animal in a very short time.

Be on the lookout for problematic puddles around machinery, where automobiles commonly park in driveways, on city streets and anywhere else where this liquid may be found. Usually greenish-yellow in color, it also has a rainbow-like film covering the top similar to a gasoline or motor oil spillage, which can also be toxic for animals even in casual contact situations.

A dog drinking water from a spring

Other Common Threats

As dog lovers go, the vast majority of us are already aware of some of the toxins that could be consumed by canines which can be extremely dangerous for them, like chocolate for example. But some seemingly ordinary foods, over-the-counter medications and other products found around our home can be equally hazardous for their health.

Threats like detergents, insecticides, caffeine and alcohol are ominous and obvious, but so are other often overlooked items:

  • An ingredient found in many brand-name pain relievers contain acetaminophen that acts differently in a dog’s digestive system and can wreak havoc with their health compared to us. A discarded or dropped pill can be drastic if discovered by a dog.
  • Grapes and raisins have been known to cause a variety of different problems with our pets and the exact reasons behind this toxic problem is still unknown, but they should still be avoided at all costs.
  • The fat content in avocados and many types of nuts can cause problems for pets. There’s also an increased danger of choking from the pit of an avocado or the nut itself.
  • Citrus fruits, including their leaves, stems, peels, seeds and juice can cause distress with our pets. Usually these items need to be ingested in higher amounts to cause any kind of real damage, but the threat is still present and should be discouraged.
  • Even though most dogs love dairy and cheese products, they don’t digest them very well and they can cause significant problems both long and short term.
  • Excessive salt and sugar consumption is just as dangerous for dogs as it is for humans. Everything from high-blood pressure, an increased risk of diabetes, possible heart and circulatory problems are present for pets as well.

Avoid most forms of “human food,” that are proven to be unhealthy, especially table scraps given to our animals. Always check the ingredients and read labels when it comes to purchasing pet foods. Although our vet always knows what’s best, sometimes we can be more aware of some simple and immediate surroundings and circumstances that have the potential to be poisonous or problematic.