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Food poisoning in dogs: causes, how to react?

In case of food poisoning in dogs, it is essential to react as soon as possible. An emergency consultation with a veterinarian is of course highly recommended. This implies to identify the symptoms that can lead to suppose that the dog has been poisoned by eating something. Let's take a look at the causes of food poisoning in dogs and how to react to help your pet.

What is food poisoning?


Food poisoning is also called food poisoning. It is a digestive infection caused by the ingestion of food or non-food substances that have been contaminated by a pathogen such as
  • A bacterium,
  • A virus,
  • A parasite.
Some animals are particularly exposed to it because they have the annoying habit of eating what they find on their way. The dog is no exception to the rule. He can therefore also be intoxicated by different substances.

Symptoms of food poisoning in dogs


The symptoms of food poisoning are relatively similar to those of gastroenteritis. It is therefore necessary to be particularly vigilant because if the poisoned dog is not treated quickly, its health can be seriously endangered.

A foodborne illness in dogs usually results in the following symptoms:
  • Tremors,
  • Sudden loss of appetite,
  • Vomiting,
  • Hypersalivation,
  • Stomach ache,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Fever (body temperature over 39°C),
  • Paralysis,
  • Coma.
Coma occurs in the most serious intoxications. But it is necessary to react urgently at the slightest doubt, even if the dog does not present all the symptoms presented previously. Just one of them is enough to bring your pet to the veterinarian's office or directly to the veterinary clinic.

Foods that can cause food poisoning in dogs


Many foods that are suitable for humans are not at all suitable for our little companions. As far as the dog is concerned, it should absolutely not eat
  • Chocolate,
  • Raw potatoes because they contain solanine,
  • Cereals contaminated by molds that release mycotoxins,
  • Plants of the Allium family such as garlic, onion, leek, chives and many others because they are rich in organo-sulfoxides,
  • Grapes.
Among other causes of food poisoning in dogs, we frequently find:
  • Household products,
  • Pesticides,
  • Nicotine,
  • Methylxanthines such as caffeine and theine for example,
  • Certain essential oils,
  • Alcohols,
  • Xylitol from birch bark used as a sugar substitute or fake sugar,
  • Medications intended for humans,
  • Many plants.
Be careful with plants because they are known to be dangerous for cats but we often ignore that they are also dangerous for dogs. The house where we cultivate innumerable plants of interior just like the garden besides are so many dangerous universes for the dog because it is very sensitive to the toxicity (in particular of the sap) of a multitude of plants. Knowing that this animal does not hesitate, especially when it is still very young, to chew everything it finds, it is very exposed to food poisoning by plants. It is therefore better not to leave within its reach Aloe-Vera (rich in saponins), Geranium, Lily of the Valley, Glycine, Christmas Rose, Amaryllis, Hyacinth, Tobacco, Lilac, Rhododendron, Mistletoe, Chrysanthemum, Cyclamen, Azalea, Dieffenbachia, Cherry Laurel and Oleander, Yucca, Jasmine, Colchicum, Tulip, Digitale, Poinsettia, Hydrangea, Narcissus or Philodendron.

Attention, this list is not exhaustive. Many other plants can represent a health risk for a puppy or an adult dog. Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian for a complete list of plants that are toxic to your dog.

Beware of the effects of toad venom on dogs!


When walking in the countryside, the dog can be envenomated by getting a little too close to a toad. This apparently harmless batrachian has granular glands that secrete a venomous substance. These are called parotoid glands.

When the dog sniffs, or even worse, bites the small amphibian, a defense mechanism is triggered in the latter. When the dog presses on the body of the toad with its mouth, the excessive pressure immediately causes the release of a venom from the toad's parotoid glands. In addition to being hallucinogenic, this venom can be fatal to the dog because it contains various toxins that act on several levels. If the dog ingests toad venom, it can have serious effects on:
  • The heart,
  • The nervous system,
  • Mucous membranes,
  • Blood vessels.
Even if toad venom does not cause food poisoning, its danger for the dog is worth mentioning here, because there are risks that can follow the ingestion of toad venom.

How to react when your dog is a victim of food poisoning?


At the first sign of food poisoning, the pet owner should take his dog to the veterinarian. Tests may be necessary to identify the cause of the food poisoning. Only then can the doctor prescribe an appropriate treatment.

To avoid putting your dog's health at risk, it is recommended that you take the same precautions as with young children. Household products, medication and alcohol should be stored high up or in a closed cupboard. Grow plants that are safe for pets and make sure you don't give them forbidden foods, as some are suitable for humans but not necessarily for pets.