Top 10 Toxic Items to Your Pet

If your dog gets into everything, you're likely used to putting food items away right after meals and keeping your shoes in the closet.

Did you know there are much more subtle threats to your furry family member you may not even think twice about?

Check out our list to see if you can avoid a trip to the vet by taking care of these risks before they cause a problem.

Wood Chips

Luckily, most puppies chew wood chips because the porous texture feels good on their budding chompers and are not usually interested in having them as an afternoon snack. The real danger here is three-fold: splinters, pesticides, and obstructing their bowels. We know, none of those are appealing. Best to smell the flowers in a grass-lain garden versus on your neighbor's front lawn (or anywhere that harbors these pesky chippings).

Air fresheners

There is one main concern when it comes to air fresheners: phthalates leaching into the oil and being released into the air.

Phthalates are essentially chemicals used to make plastic and help them keep their shape and contain whatever is inside the product (shampoo, bleach, etc.).

For air fresheners that you plug in the wall, the scented oil that sprays out in a puff is usually heated which warrants a concern of the phthalates in the plastic leaching into the oil and being released in the air that way.

This, combined with the proximity our furry friends have to these devices since they are closer to the ground poses the concern that they may be ingesting these toxins which can harm the respiratory and reproductive systems.

Garbage

The tricky thing about this treat is how garbage is not a constant mix of certain items -- it changes for most of us every day. Not to worry; the biggest thing to look out for are any toxic foods (keep reading to see some of the worst), and raw meat (for those not on a raw-only diet) as it poses the risk of E. Coli.

Dogs get into the garbage usually out of hunger or boredom but baby-proofing the top of the garbage can easily combat this!

Toxic Foods

We don't pour our dogs a cup of coffee every morning (though that scene in Lady and the Tramp is adorable) but did you know caffeine is toxic? Here are some other foods to avoid splitting with your pup:

  • Xylitol (often found in peanut butter)
  • Grapes (and raisins)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Avocado
  • Caffeine in any form
  • Fruit peels/pits/seeds

While technically not food, the kitchen garbage also poses a risk to our pets. Containing rotting or potentially moldy food as well as the debris that food is stored in like chip bags or wrappers, it definitely makes the list of risky things to watch out for.

Other Threats

Try to keep these out of reach of wandering puppy paws too:

  • Houseplants
  • Medicines
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Alcohol

5 Interesting Dog Facts

Pups embody the perfect companion. They are loyal, empathetic, loving, and unbelievably selfless. It is no wonder then that they are man's best friends. 

Now, in addition to these natural attributes of theirs, there are some others that you probably don't know about. 

Here's five of them:

  1. They Sneeze to Indicate Zero Aggression

You've probably noticed a bit of sneezing going on between pups when they are tangling together. They use these sneezes to communicate the playful nature of their entanglement. 

This helps to prevent things from getting out of hand. It's really not about dust or pollen in the air. Other interesting signals would include stretching out their paws; if a pup does this to you, it's an indication of friendliness or invitation to play. 

  1. Dogs aren't Big Huggers

Hugging or putting your arms around the shoulders of your pet means something altogether different to them. They enjoy other types of physical contact, but hugging is seen as an attempt to dominate. 

You would sometimes notice a pup place his foreleg over the shoulder of another pup. The position is called "standing over" is a form of assertive or superior behavior. 

A better way to show physical affection is scratching behind their ear or rubbing their belly. 

  1. Humans and Dogs Share a Similarity In the Locations of the Brain that Responds to Vocalization

According to researchers at Etvs Lornd University in Hungary, the reason why pups can understand your happy sounds is that they have sections in their brain that respond to vocalization. 

This allows your pups to react differently to you based on the various voice tones that you use depending on the emotion that you're feeling. Furthermore, these regions are located in a similar area to the human brain. 

  1. The Wetness of Dogs' Noses Helps them Absorb Scent Chemicals

This answers a riddle that has probably crossed your mind several times. Pups have a wet nose because it helps them absorb scent chemicals. 

The nose initially secretes a specific mucus for the sole purpose of absorbing the chemical. Once the mucus has done its work, your pup then licks his nose to ascertain the exact nature of the smell. 

Now the folktales can finally go to rest. 

  1. Dogs Can Actually See Colors

Popular belief is that dogs only see in monochrome and they detect outlines in objects using the difference in brightness. 

However, this is not entirely true. Following the discovery of scientist Jay Neitz that dogs’ eyes possess two cones, researchers at the Russian Academy of Science performed their own experiments

They selected eight dogs of different breeds and sizes and tested their eyesight. Using four pieces of paper, all four of different colors, they used this to detect whether dogs identified via brightness or color. 

6 out of the 8 dogs picked based on color 9 or 10 out of 10 total times.