Vets Offer Holiday Poison Warning for Dog Owners

The British Veterinary Association reminds owners of household dangers to dogs.

In light of the upcoming holidays, the British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation has re-launched its “Pets and Poisons” leaflet to warn dog owners about common household and garden substances that may be dangerous to pets. Such hazards include raisins, chocolate, licorice, antifreeze and electrical cables, among others.

“Our message to pet owners is don’t ruin your Christmas through carelessness,” said Bill Reilly, president of the BVA. “The loss or illness of a family pet is devastating, but poisoning in the home can be easily avoided.

“Some substances may make your animal drool or vomit so they should always have access to clean drinking water. If there is any doubt or concern, owners should contact their vets for advice immediately.”

Substances common around the holidays that can be poisonous to pets, as outlined by the BVA, include:

  • Chocolate and licorice;
  • Raisins;
  • Certain nuts;
  • Xylitol-sweetened foods;
  • Other foods such as onions, avocados and grapes;
  • Plants such as lilies and daffodils;
  • Cleaning products;
  • Car antifreeze;
  • Human medicines.

Substances with low toxicity that could cause drooling, vomiting or diarrhea include:

  • Charcoal and coal;
  • Cut-flower and houseplant food;
  • Expended polystyrene foam (used for large present packing such as in stereos and televisions);
  • Holly and mistletoe;
  • Matches;
  • Wax candles and crayons;
  • Silica gel (found in packaging).

Pet owners can download the leaflet online or e-mail for hard copies.

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