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Tips & Advice

Toxic Treats to be aware of around the home

Beware of the ChocolatesWith all the Easter chocolate still lurking around, I've been keeping a beady eye on Monty.  He adores any choccy aromas in the house and will sniff at any wrappers so I am particularly cautious and have taken to stockpiling chocolate eggs in unreachable places. Talking to my mother-in-law recently about Monty's chocolate sniffer dog skills, it turns out that she had never heard of chocolate being toxic for dogs.  Over the years, she has had many dogs and never realised that chocolate could be so dangerous.  I pondered that if she didn't know then it is more than likely that lots of us are totally unaware of the potential hazards our dogs are surrounded by every day.  

I know that we had a recent scare with Monty at Christmas time when he was still a silly pup inclined to chew everything within reach.  He started playing with holly berries from a bush in the garden and I had no idea that holly was poisonous to dogs.  Before I knew it, Monty had ingested a berry, just one, but it proved to have monstrous effects.  Diarrhoea and vomiting and a trip to the vet for some probiotics - luckily he made a full recovery but it really could have been so much worse if he had swallowed more of them. 

That scare made me immediately go in search of advice on what else might prove fatal or dangerous if ingested.  When you have a spaniel puppy who hasn't grown out of chewing things, it is vital to know the difference between a tasty treat and a potentially toxic one. 

In the bathroom

There are some obvious ones of course - any human medicines can be potentially fatal for your dog if ingested.  One of the most lethal though is paracetamol which at best can leave permanent liver and kidney damage and, at its worst, will cause death.  Asthma inhalers, contraceptives, bleach, bathroom products, in fact any of these could prove fatal for a dog.

In the kitchenRaw bones only & no chicken

Chocolate - the darker the chocolate, the worse it is for dogs. 

Cooked bones - cooked bones do splinter and chicken bones and carcasses are to be avoided at all costs.  However, ask your butcher for a nice beef bone.  Ours gives bones to Monty and he loves chewing them on the CREAM carpet in the sitting room - anywhere else just isn't the same.

Onion - in any form this is bad news for your dog's blood circulation and can cause anaemia.

Raisins or grapes - even a small dose of these could be lethal for your dog.

Avocado - interestingly, this fruit can also be toxic to cats and other animals too.




Artificial sweeteners in particular xylitol - these can be found in sweets, sweetener tablets, jelly and almost anything that describes itself as sugar free.

Batteries  dont leave them lying around

In the garage or shed


White spirit

Wallpaper paste


Ant powder

Lighter fluid

In the garden

The list of plants, trees and shrubs that may be poisonous is a long one and my advice is to know your enemy when it comes to these. 

It's always best that in the event of you suspecting that your dog may have eaten something harmful, that you alert your vet and try to give a description of what you think that the dog has ingested.  This will help the vet narrow down how to treat your dog for any arising symptoms and give necessary antidote treatments. 

Beware of the berryThe Dogs Trust list of poisonous plants, garden and household substances leaflet has some really essential advice and provides a complete list of all plants, flowers, trees and shrubs which may be potentially hazardous for dogs.   I for one am going to add it to my list of bedtime reading!

For dog-safe treats, check out our range of chews and snacks.



Rebecca Fletcher

Rebecca is a freelance writer who finally upped sticks to rural Hampshire after over a decade in London.  She lives with her husband, 2 daughters, 2 cats, a motley crew of hens and her beloved working cocker spaniel Monty, general gundog dunce and probably the most spoilt dog in Hampshire.  With the phrase 'the more the merrier' being embraced as part of their new rural life, a bundle of joyful furriness named Isadora joined the family just before Christmas 2015 and life has not been the same since. 

They say that you can never have too much of a good thing!  Good job too as now there are two cocker spaniels at home to train, walk and play with, when they are not curled up at Rebecca's feet waiting for her to finish writing for the day!

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Rebecca Fletcher

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