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A young pup in one of our classes recently became very ill from suspected substance intake.
Luckily he pulled through, but it was a sobering reminder that many common human food items and household substances can be very harmful  and even deadly to our dogs when ingested.

You should always be mindful of what ingredients are in food you share with your dogs, or those unattended temptations you leave on the counter and of course what substances such as detergents and chemicals that you leave in dog reach.

Here are some you should be particularly aware of:



Human food Items

  • Butter – if ingested in a large quantity this can be fatal. It can cause pancreatitis. Do not leave it within reach. Dogs Love butter!
  • Chocolate – if eaten in large quantities can have an adverse effect on some dogs. Some dogs are fine. It is an allergic reaction to the ingredient theobromine.
  • Xylitol – banters take note! Xyllitol even in small amount is extremely harmful and can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), leading to seizures seizures, liver failure or even death! Check any ‘sugar free’ products to see if they are Xylitol sweetened.  We’ve yet to see Xylitol sweetened peanut Butter on South African shelves, but rather stick to un-sweetened, organic peanut butter if you’re giving it to your dogs.
  • Fruit stones, seeds and pips: Be careful of any seeds, stones and pips of most fruits. Fruit pips are generally very high in oils and may contain harmful chemicals e.g. a form of cyanide in apple seeds. All pips and seeds may cause respiratory difficulties such as strenuous-breathing, coughing and sneezing.
  • Grapes: In large quantities can be toxic to dogs as they may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and kidney damage.
  • Hops: Craft beer and micro-brewing enthusiasts please don’t leave your ingredients in dog reach – symptoms are excessive panting, elevated heart rate, seizures and may result in death.

Pesticides and other toxic Substances

  • Snail Bait – do not use when you have a dog, they like the taste and will die if not caught in time…seldom pull through.
  • Anti Freeze – dogs like the taste of this too so make sure it is not lying around on the floor. Seldom pull through.
  • Rat Poison – Your dog will die from ingesting, so again make sure none about. This will cause internal bleeding. Can be fatal.  Also please watch out for poisoned rodents that may make it onto your property, or encountered on walks and be eaten by your dogs, or cats – according to the numbers secondary poisoning is a much lesser risk, but it’s still not a good idea!

Plants in Your Garden

  • Cycad fruit…die within 4 hours of ingesting
  • Seringa Berries if ingested in large quantities will cause poisoning
  • Amarylla bulbs…make the dog very ill and affects the liver
  • Delicious Monster/ Yesterday today and tomorrow/Strelitzia/Clivias: all of these if consumed or chewed on will cause drooling/vomiting and diarrhoea…sometimes seizures.