Common Food, Plants, and Substances From Your Environment That Can Be Poisonous to Your Chihuahua
As you may already know, our little furry friends are sensitive to a lot of things they encounter in their everyday lives. However, what you may not know is just what those things are. From medicine to food, there are substances that are poisonous for your Chi all around you.
In order to keep your pooch safe and healthy, it’s important to know just which substances your Chi can’t handle. Don’t worry, we’re here to teach you what you should keep an eye on! Let’s see the most common poisons you can find just lying around the house.
Things that you eat, but your Chihuahua shouldn't.
The first major group of things that can be toxic to your Chi is human food. Who are the biggest offenders and why? Let’s find out!
You’ve probably heard that dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate, especially in large doses. Did you ever wonder why? It’s because chocolate contains a chemical substance called theobromine.
Now, theobromine is similar to caffeine, and dogs metabolize it very slowly. As a result, your pup is susceptible to theobromine poisoning (or chocolate poisoning). Chocolate is especially dangerous for your Chihuahua, as even the tiniest amounts can be fatal due to the pup’s weight.
Additionally, it’s important to note that theobromine is more concentrated in dark chocolate than milk chocolate. In other words, dark chocolate is much more toxic for your cinnamon bun, even though it’s healthier for humans than milk chocolate.
- Raisins & Grapes
Grapes can be highly toxic to your little Chi. While experts still can’t figure out the reasoning behind it, grapes and raisins are known to cause damage to a dog’s kidneys. In the worst-case scenario, eating grapes will lead to sudden kidney failure, which is incredibly difficult to treat.
Interestingly, not all dogs will have a strong reaction when they eat grapes and raisins. However, under no circumstances should you give your Chi a grape to test its reaction. It’s better to be safe than sorry and keep grapes far away from your pooch.
All alcohol is toxic to your little gremlin. For now, let’s take a look at ethanol, which is a type of alcohol most commonly found in alcoholic drinks, as well as some rubbing alcohol. If your pup drinks even the tiniest amounts of ethanol, it is at a risk for alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol poisoning causes a ton of problems for your Chi’s health, including low blood sugar, respiratory distress, low body temperature, and metabolic acidosis. All of these can easily be fatal, which is why it’s crucial for your pup to avoid alcohol at all costs.
- Uncooked Bread Dough
Now, you probably know that you shouldn’t give your pooch alcohol. However, did you know that eating raw bread dough can also lead to alcohol poisoning in your dog? It’s because the fermenting yeast gets absorbed by the body, where it produces the highly toxic ethanol.
Additionally, if your Chi gets its paws on bread dough, it can continue to rise in the pup’s stomach. This creates a number of other problems, as the dough stretches the tummy, puts added pressure on adjacent organs, and may even cause the intestine to rupture.
If you’ve ever thought about sharing your morning cup of Joe with your Chi, you may want to think again. As you know, coffee contains caffeine, which is very toxic to doggies, and especially Chihuahuas. In fact, our tiny friends can get caffeine poisoning even from the tiniest amount of coffee ingested.
Obviously, the same rings true for all other foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as tea, soda, energy drinks, etc. As a result, if you ever spill your latte on the floor, make sure to clean it up as soon as possible, before your Chi has a chance to take a sip.
- Onions & Garlic
Onions, garlic, leeks, chives, shallots, and scallions all belong to the Allium genus. What’s particular about this genus is that all of its species contain a sulfur compound called thiosulfate. This compound damages your pup’s blood cells and leads to a disease called hemolytic anemia.
For what it’s worth, some of the aforementioned plants are more toxic to dogs than others. For example, onion is more toxic than garlic. However, as your Chi needs very little to feel unwell, it’s best to steer clear of any members of the Allium genus.
Now, xylitol obviously isn’t a food. However, we included it in the “food” category because it’s an extremely common additive you can probably find in your own pantry. It’s a natural sweetener that can be found everywhere, from candies to sugar-free gums.
While xylitol isn’t toxic for humans, it’s extremely toxic for your pooch. Ingesting even the smallest amount of xylitol causes a rapid release of insulin in your pup’s body, which, in turn, causes a fast drop in your Chi’s blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). In higher doses, it can even lead to kidney failure.
Your medicine is your pup’s poison.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that common human medicine can be dangerous for your dog. The biggest offenders of this are NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), but also acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. The brand names you should avoid are Tylenol, Advil, Aleve.
However, it’s better to be safe than sorry and keep all of your medicine in a cabinet, away from your pooch. This includes pain medications, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, etc. Eating any of them can result in grim outcomes.
Miscellaneous Chemicals in Your Home
When it comes to common household chemicals, using basic common sense will get you a long way. In other words, if something is dangerous for humans, it’s certainly going to be poisonous for your Chihuahua.
Unsurprisingly, bleach is extremely poisonous for your pupper. When properly used, bleach can be a great cleaning agent, if you thoroughly rinse it afterward, as well as air the room out. However, ingesting and inhaling bleach fumes causes a number of issues for your Chi, so be extra careful when using it.
- Essential Oils
While essential oils are more damaging to cats than dogs, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep essential oils away from your pooch. Unless advised by a certified vet, do not use these oils in a room where your pup spends a lot of time in.
Consuming antifreeze can be a death sentence for your pet, and it’s vital that your Chi doesn’t get into contact with it. It doesn’t help that antifreeze has a sweet taste that pups like. However, even a few drops of this dangerous substance can be lethal for such a small breed.
Not only should you keep antifreeze away from your dog, but you should also be extra careful when your Chi is snooping around cars, as antifreeze can drip from a car’s radiator. As a result, your pooch can lick it up.
- Rodenticides and insecticides
Naturally, these substances are used to kill rodents, insects, and other pests. It’s not surprising that they are also very toxic for your dog. Let’s be honest, a Chihuahua isn’t much larger than a rodent, and tiny doses of these pesticides can cause serious harm to your pup’s health.
Alluring, yet dangerous plants
To be honest, there are too many plants that are toxic for your pooch to name. Our advice is to keep an eye out for every (new) plant in your home and research the toxicity of that specific flower. We’ll name just a few of the most common plants that are poisonous for your Chi.
Additionally, you may want to look out for the most common plants that grow in your area, as some of these are specific to the locations they live in.
- Aloe Vera
Most of us use aloe vera as a soothing gel for our skin. However, ingesting aloe vera can be dangerous even for humans, much less for dogs. Munching on it can cause a variety of problems for your pup, including lethargy, tremors, and vomiting.
- Tomato Plant
If your Chi loves to explore the garden, make sure it’s staying away from the tomato plant. Tomato plants are toxic for dogs and can cause a number of gastrointestinal issues. Interestingly, the tomato itself is safe for consumption, as long as it’s nice and ripe.
- Sago Palm
Everything about the Sago Palm is toxic to pups. The side effects of eating a part of the Sago Palm are severe and can even result in death. Although an amazing decoration, it’s best that you get rid of it if you own a Chihuahua.
- English Ivy
The English ivy (also known as the European ivy, the common ivy, or even just ivy) is toxic for your pup. If you happen to have it in your backyard, or even just notice it on your next morning walk with your Chi, stay away from it. When ingested, it causes typical symptoms of poisoning, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
- Daffodils & Tulips
While beloved spring flowers, daffodils, and tulips shouldn’t be anywhere near your little munchkin. Daffodils contain an alkaloid called lycorine, while tulips contain Tuliposide A, both of which are extremely toxic to dogs.
While the highest concentration of these is found in the bulbs of the plants, even skin contact can cause your Chi to exhibit symptoms of poisoning. As a result, if your Chi is curious about these beautiful flowers, it’s best if it only admires them from a distance.
- Always check the ingredients list whenever you’re buying something that could potentially be toxic for your Chi.
- While it’s true that the dose is the poison, keep in mind that, with Chihuahuas, very small doses can lead to serious consequences.
- Store anything that your pup shouldn’t consume where it can’t reach it.
- Don’t assume anything when it comes to your little egg roll’s health. If your pup has ingested something that isn’t on our list, that doesn’t mean it can’t be toxic. If you have any reason to believe your Chi has been poisoned, call a vet immediately!
All in all, you may be surprised to learn just how many things can be dangerous for your Chi. With a little bit of knowledge, you’re saving your pup from a lot of pain and turmoil!
Finally, if you want to learn the signs of poisoning in your doggie, how to handle the unfortunate situation, as well as how to prevent your Chi from getting into it in the first place, make sure to read our “Things to Do When Your Chihuahua May Be Poisoned” article!