Pantry of pet poisons

Do you know what items in your kitchen are poisonous to dogs and cats? Pet toxicology experts identify top 10 toxins commonly found in a pantry.

When you think of your pantry, images of household staples, cooking supplies, snacks and other food items come to mind. In reality, what you may find is a pantry full of potential pet poisons.

In honor of National Poison Prevention Week, March 20-26, the toxicology experts at Pet Poison Helpline reviewed their case data and developed a list of the top 10 potential pet poisons commonly found in your pantry.

“Most people don’t realize that common household foods for human consumption can be toxic to pets, especially if they consume them in large quantities” said Dr. Renee Schmid, a senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline. “Many pets join the family in the kitchen, and often have access to the pantry. Hidden inside that pantry are a number of items that are either dangerous on their own or contain ingredients that can be toxic to pets.”

Here is Pet Poison Helpline’s Top 10 Pantry of Pet Poisons:

1. Alcohol

Animals are at a high risk for developing alcohol poisoning even with small amounts of alcohol.  Low blood sugar, lethargy and seizures can occur.

2. Chocolate

The darker the chocolate, the higher the amount of methylxanthines, increasing the risk of poisoning. Keep away to avoid vomiting, diarrhea, and agitation.  Large ingestions can result in heart rhythm changes and even seizures.

3. Coffee beans/grounds

Caffeine is a stimulant for everyone – too much can cause tremors and a racing heart. Keep your pet off of the ceiling and out of the hospital.

4. Garlic and onion

Garlic and onion can cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as anemia and other red blood cell changes depending on the amount ingested due to sulfur containing oxidants.

5. Macadamia nuts

These nuts can cause dogs to have difficulty walking, which can be stressful and dangerous around stairs.  Additional risks include joint pain and pancreatitis.

6. Raisins

Ingesting only a few raisins can result in kidney injury for your furry pet.  Early signs include vomiting and lethargy.

7. Salt

Pets should never be given salt.  Salt is a poison for dogs and can cause vomiting, tremors and seizures.

8. Tea

Small dogs and cats may have too much caffeine from a bag of tea and all pets might have trouble passing the bag with a string.

9. Xylitol/Birch sugar (gum, mints, sugar-free products, protein bars, specialty peanut butters)

Xylitol/birch sugar and dogs are not a good combination.  Beware of seizures from low blood sugar as well as possible liver failure – this is not a sweet treat!

10. Yeast

When mixed into a dough, yeast organisms are busy making alcohol and lots of gas through fermentation. The dough can expand in the stomach, blocking the ability for the dough and gas to pass through.  The alcohol produced may result in alcohol poisoning.