What dogs can and can't eat. Get the facts!

what dogs cant eat dog sick trouble

Below we have compiled some of our most frequently asked questions about what dogs can and cannot eat. Most of these are completely fine and at worst will cause some minor stomach upset, but some are highly toxic and can lead to bigger problems like GI obstruction and poisoning. Of course, all dogs have different stomachs, different susceptibility to stomach distress and obstruction, and will respond differently to what they eat and how they get treated. Dogs also vary widely in size, and smaller breeds will tend to show more exaggerated responses to smaller quantities of some of these items. We can't even count how many people contact us and say "my dog ate chocolate, what should I do!?" but rest assured, below we go through all of the most common offenders (and some rare ones), to give you updated facts about what things are more or less dangerous for your dog to eat.

In our opinion, if you have any doubt at all about what your dog ate, and how it will influence his health and well-being, stop reading Scuttlepaws.com and immediately call your veterinarian! Never use the advice you receive on a website to substitute for sound medical advice from your veterinarian!




My dog ate an ant trap, will it be OK?

This is usually OK, as most ant traps do not contain enough poison to do any serious harm to a dog. However, the sharp plastic fragments of the casing can cause some stomach distress. If your dog is lethargic, not eating, vomiting, or seems to have stomach pain, definitely get your dog checked by a veterinarian. Even worse are the sticky bug and mouse traps; one of our dogs had one of those traps stuck to its nose and fur and it was one of the most painful experiences (for all of us) to get the thing off!




My dog ate antifreeze, will it be OK?

No, antifreeze is a very dangerously toxic substance for your dog, due to the ethylene glycol content. And it doesn't take much antifreeze ingestion to kill a dog. Even just a tiny puddle on your driveway getting licked up by your dog can prove fatal. It is extremely important that if you think your dog ingested any antifreeze, to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. It could be a life-or-death situation, so act quickly.




My dog ate an apple, will it be OK?

The good news is that apples are included in many high-end dog foods (see our list of the best ones here), so they are not a cause for concern. In fact they can be a very nutritious treat for your dog. However, apple seeds are a different story as they contain trace amounts of cyanogenic glycosides (cyanide). If your dog chewed up more than 10-15 apple seeds (like more than a couple small apples) he could develop some complications. If your dog seems lethargic, uncomfortable, or is vomiting or not eating, seek immediate veterinary assistance.   




My dog ate avocado, will it be OK?

Avocado is actually included in some popular dog foods, like AvoDerm, so it's generally not a concern for cats or dogs, though it is a problem for birds or larger animals, like cows and horses. Avocado does contain a toxin called "persin" but dogs aren't affected by it. The bigger issue is if your dog swalled an avocado pit whole, which can cause a very serious obstruction to the gastrointestinal system. If you think your dog may have swallowed the pit whole, without chewing it up, you should definitely seek veterinary assistance.




My dog ate bacon (cooked or raw), will it be OK?

Bacon is not a healthy food for your dog, just as it is unhealthy for humans. Such salty, fatty and rich foods can cause bloat and inflammation of your dog's pancreas (pancreatitis) over time. However, if your dog ate a strip or two of cooked bacon on a single occassion, don't worry. But don't get into the habit of letting him do it, it could lead to some very unfortunate health outcomes. Raw bacon is even worse since not only does it contain the salt and fat, but it also can contain parasites, worms, and bacteria. If your dog ate some raw bacon, seek veterinary assistance if you notice any lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and upset stomach. 




My dog ate baking soda, will it be OK?

If your dog licked up a tiny bit of powder on the kitchen floor, he'll probably be OK. Anything more than that, and we suggest calling a veterinarian immediately. Baking soda is not toxic, but when it is combined with the heat and acids in your dog's stomach, it can cause a dangerous reaction that can lead to nutritional imbalance, muscle spasms, heart failure, and death. Definitely not something to let your dog eat!




My dog ate a bee, will it be OK?

It's not really the fact that your dog ate a bee, which in itself is completely fine. The problem is that he probably also got stung in the mouth or throat, and that can be a big issue. Every bee sting causes swelling, and it can be very dangerous to have swelling in the mouth or throat. A blocked airway and breathing problems, or even worse if there's an allergic reaction, require immediate veterinarian assistance. Check in your dog's mouth for signs of swelling, and monitor your dog very carefully for swelling outside the mouth, any signs of labored breathing or wheezing, or any other signs of respiratory distress (coughing, sneezing, etc).




My dog ate birth control pills, will it be OK?

You're right that this seems pretty scary to have your dog consume a bunch of hormones in a single sitting. But even if your dog ate the entire package of birth control pills, containing 21 estroten and/or progesterone pills, they will likely be unaffected. Toxic levels of estrogen in dogs are about 1 mg per kilogram of body weight. So if you have a 50 pound dog, he would have to eat about 600 birth control pills to cause a major problem! So stop worrying and get to your doctor to order a replacement pack! 




My dog ate bread, will it be OK?

Bread is not harmful for dogs, though it has zero nutritional value for them and repeated ingestion of carbohydrates can be very unhealthy for a dog. It can cause a slight stomach ache for dogs but is otherwise harmless as a rare (and usually unintended) snack. If he managed to eat an entire loaf of bread, anticipate dealing with some diarrhea in a few hours; if your dog shows signs of restlessness, fast or labored breathing, stomach pain, or vomiting, then eating a large amount of bread may cause bloat, which is a very serious condition (contact your veterinarian immediately). 




My dog ate butter, will it be OK?

Though butter is very unhealthy for a dog, given all the saturated fats, if your dog has eaten a bit of butter, he will likely be just fine. If your dog ate an entire stick of butter, especially a smaller dog (<20 pounds), you will need to keep a close eye on him. Expect some loose stools and diarrhea within about 8-16 hours, but if you see that your dog loses his appetite and vomits within about 24 hours then he might have a more serious condition and you should seek veterinarian assistance. Any high quantity ingestion of high fat foods can cause pancreatitis, which can be life threatening. 




My dog ate cat food, will it be OK?

Every once in a while a dog gets a chance to devour some cat food and goes at it like a champ. Your dog will be completely fine, though he might have some diarrhea or vomiting due to the very high protein content of cat food. Your dog's stomach just isn't used to it, so it can cause quite a shock to its tummy!




My dog ate Chapstick, will it be OK?

There's just something about Chapstick that dogs love! We can't count the number of lip balm and lip gloss containers we've lost to one of our dogs. The contents of a lip balm are usually completely fine, just as it is OK if you were to eat a bit of it yourself. However, if you have a smaller breed you might see some signs of stomach distress like cramps, loose stools, and diarrhea. Larger dogs will usually get through without any issues. However, if your dog ate the entire plastic tube that can be cause for concern due to an obstruction, and sharp pieces of plastic can cause a perforation of the esophagus, stomach, or intestine; if you notice any vomiting, loss of appetite, bad diarrhea, or other distress over the course of the next 24 hours, seek veterinary assistance.




My dog ate cheese, will it be OK?

Your dog will probably be just fine. Cheese is included in many dog foods (see our list of the best ones here), such as the top-rated Fromm Family Gold Nutritionals, which includes Wisconsin cheddar. So most likely your dog will be completely fine if he eats a bit of cheese now and then. However, if he is lactose intolerant (many dogs are), or ate a ton of cheese (like a wedge of cheese), he will likely get loose stools and/or diarrhea. Otherwise, cheese can make a great reward snack once in a while, and many owners like to use cheese when giving medications.     




My dog ate chicken bones, will it be OK?

Chicken bones are something you should definitely avoid, as they are very brittle and will shatter into sharp pieces that can puncture your dog's esophagus, stomach, and/or small intestine. If your dog ate a couple small chicken bones, we suggest waiting it out a bit to see what happens. The odds are, he will be completely fine, but you need to watch for vomiting, gagging, loss of appetite, or any other distress that is out of the unordinary for your dog, you will need to call your veterinarian as soon as possible. Smaller dog breeds may have issues with even a couple small bones. If your dog ate several chicken bones, or something like the entirety of a bone-in chicken breast, then definitely contact your veterinarian immediately. Better safe than sorry when it comes to chicken bones. One strategy that some veterinarians suggest is to feed your dog bread, canned pumpkin, or anything with high fiber to help bulk up the stool, pad against puncture, and get things moving out.  




My dog ate chocolate (milk or dark), will it be OK?

There are two primary ingredients in chocolate that are dangerous for dogs: theobromine and caffeine. Chocolates with the highest amounts of these toxic ingredients are cocoa powder (the worst), baker's chocolate (very bad), semisweet chocolate (very bad), dark chocolate (very bad), milk chocolate (not terrible), and white chocolate (probably OK). If your dog had a small amount of milk chocolate, like a Hershey's kiss or a couple M&M's, they will likely be completely fine. But larger amounts, especially of the darker varieties, can be very dangerous. A very useful tool (at a very annoying website with pop-up ads, etc) can be found here - you enter your dog's weight and the amount and type of chocolate consumed, and it will tell you how much you should be worried. The two toxic ingredients can cause nervous system stimulation and in some rare cases, death. In any case, we suggest you contact your veterinarian immediately and watch your dog carefully within the first 6-12 hours after eating chocolate. If he vomits, has diarrhea, seems over-excitable, has seizures, or becomes unresponsive, you are in an emergency situation.    




My dog ate chocolate cake, will it be OK?

There are two primary ingredients in chocolate that are dangerous for dogs: theobromine and caffeine. A chocolate cake, along with many other chocolate flavored pastries, actually contain relatively low levels of these toxic ingredients. A slice of chocolate cake is very unlikely to harm your dog, though if your dog has more than that, or it's a small breed, you should definitely contact your veterinarian to be safe. They will likely to tell you to watch for symptoms of distress that tend to come along with chocolate toxicity in dogs:If he vomits, has diarrhea, seems over-excitable, has seizures, or becomes unresponsive, you are in an emergency situation. 




My dog drank coffee, will it be OK?

Coffee itself isn't dangerous for your dog, but the caffeine content can be very dangerous. Caffeine is toxic for dogs, and as little as about 50mg per pound of body weight can be lethal, and an 8-ounce cup of coffee typically has about 100 mg of caffeine. Starbucks coffees have much more, like a venti coffee will have about 400 mg of caffeine. If your 10 pound dog drank a conventional cup of coffee containing about 100 mg of caffeine, he will probably be wired for a few hours but then completely fine. But if he drank more than that, it can quickly develop into a big problem. Signs of caffeine poisoning in your dog include hyperactivity, restlessness, abnormal heart beat, tremors, seizures, high blood pressure, vomiting, and collapse. You must seek immediate veterinarian attention if your dog drank anything more than a small cup of normal coffee.  




My dog ate a coin (penny, nickle, dime, quarter), will it be OK?

This can be pretty dangerous, for a few reasons. First, larger coins in smaller breeds can cause an obstruction in the esophogus, stomach, or small intestine, leading to a major problem. Second, the zinc levels in a coin can cause major problems. Pennies in particular have high zinc content, whereas silver-color coins tend to use steel, copper, and nickel. Pennies are basically solid zinc with a copper coating that quickly dissolves in the stomach, leaving behind what is basically a very high dose zinc pill. Zinc poisoning due to ingesting coins containing zinc (or nuts, bolts, or galvanized metals) can cause severe illness and death. If your dog swallowed a penny, seek immediate veterinarian assistance. If your dog shows any symptoms of zinc poisoning, such as weakness, pale or orange gums, vomiting, decreased appetite, discolored urine (usually blood colored), increased heart rate, or rapid breathing, you need to seek urgent help. It is likely that your veterinarian will need to do an x-ray to find the location of the penny, and possibly perform surgery to extract the penny.  




My dog ate deer poop, will it be OK?

Eating other animals' poop, and even their own poop, is actually pretty common and normal in dogs. But that's not to say it isn't dangerous, because eating another animal's poop can cause major (though rare) problems. The big issue here is with bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can be in the other animal's poop. Many of these can be harmful for your dog, and also can be transferred to humans, which can make you very sick as well. Eating the poop of an herbivore like a deer is less likely to cause harm in general (but still can!), but eating the poop of another carnivore can be very dangerous. If your dog eats the poop of another meat-eating animal (like a racoon, cat, bear), then you might have cause for concern. Watch your dog for vomiting, loss of appetite, foaming, diarrhea, retching, and other signs of gastrointestinal distress. If any symptoms develop, contact your veterinarian immediately.  




My dog ate drywall, will it be OK?

Drywall itself isn't usually toxic, though there are stories of pretty bad chemicals being present in imported drywall from places like China. In general, though, drywall is most dangerous due to causing irritation of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines, and commonly causing obstructions that can be very dangerous and deadly. If you think your dog ate a small bit of drywall and it was well chewed up before swallowing, he will probably be just fine. However, if you think your dog ate a larger amount of drywall, or if you have a smaller breed of dog, this can be a big deal. Call your veterinarian to get some advice. It is likely they will tell you to watch carefully for symptoms of gastrointestinal distress and obstruction: vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, and other strange stomach-related symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately seek veterinary assistance.




My dog ate an ear of corn, will it be OK?

Eating corn off the cob generally isn't an issue, though it is a high amount of a single carb-laden food at one time so it could cause some mild stomach upset. However, if your dog ate an entire corn cob it can be a much bigger issue. The reason is that the cob itself is not at all easy for your dog to digest, and it can cause a major obstruction and even perforation in the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. As with any foods that might cause obstruction, the earlier you detect an issue (lethargic, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea) the easier it will be for a veterinarian to remove the obstruction. If your dog shows any of those symptoms, usually within 8-16 hours of eating the corn cob, seek immediate veterinary assistance. If your dog is a really good chewer/shredder before swallowing, it is less likely to be an issue; any swallowed chunks can quickly become a problem, so definitely give your veterinarian a call. 




My dog ate Eos lip balm, will it be OK?

I bet when Eos came out with their awesome new lines of lip balms and lip glosses (check them out here), they didn't realize how attractive they'd be for dogs. A crunchy little ball that can be chewed up, with a tasty waxy treat in the middle! That's super appealing for dogs, and we've heard tons of stories of these Eos lip balms being devoured by dogs. The contents of a lip balm are usually completely fine, just as it is OK if you were to eat a bit of it yourself. However, if you have a smaller breed you might see some signs of stomach distress like cramps, loose stools, and diarrhea. That's mostly because it's highly concentrated waxy fat, making it a bit difficult to digest. Larger dogs will usually get through without any issues. However, if your dog ate the entire plastic container that can be cause for concern due to an obstruction, and sharp pieces of plastic can cause a perforation of the esophagus, stomach, or intestine; if you notice any vomiting, loss of appetite, bad diarrhea, or other distress over the course of the next 24 hours, seek veterinary assistance.




My dog ate epsom salt, will it be OK?

Epsom salts, made of magnesium sulfate, have a variety of uses in both humans and dogs. One of those popular uses is as a laxative, so if you want to give your dog an epsom salt bath, feel free! However, don't let your dog drink too much of that epsom salt water. Dogs don't do well with any salt intake, but epsom salts in particular will cause pretty bad diarrhea, just as it will in humans. If your dog had a lot of it, it can also cause tremors and tiredness, but diarrhea is the most common outcome with a small amount of ingestion. Our suggestion is that if the diarrhea gets too frequent and too uncomfortable for your dog, and lasts for more than a couple days, definitely get veterinarian assistance. If your dog consumed pure epsom salt right from the container, contact your veterinarian immediately. If your dog consumed epsom salt mixed with water (like during an epsom salt bath), expect diarrhea for a day or two; but other than that, he should be OK.  




My dog ate fish food, will it be OK?

Fish food is usually made of fish meal, insect larvae, insect shells and bodies, vitamins, minerals, and plant matter. Usually nothing in there that will cause a major issue for your dog. Expect minor diarrhea and stomach discomfort that will last about 24 hours. We would worry more about the plastic container he probably devoured when getting access to it! If your dog ate the plastic container, you need to worry about large pieces obstructing the esophagus, stomach, and intestine, and sharp pieces that got swallowed can puncture any of these areas as well. Monitor your dog for symptoms of obstruction, like lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, severe diarrhea, and a sensitive abdomen. If your dog shows and of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. 




My dog ate flour, will it be OK?

Raw flour straight from the bag usually isn't an issue, but you need to quickly provide your dog access to a lot of water to prevent the flour from becoming too glutenous in the stomach. If your dog won't drink enough water, you can always flavor it a bit by mixing in a tiny bit of peanut butter (just enough to flavor the water). Other than that, expect some loose stools since it's such high density carbs for a single meal. One of our dogs ate half of a 5-pound bag of flour once, paper and all, and other than some loose stools that lasted for 2 days she was completely fine, though we did get her to drink tons of water. That was a 55-pound black lab. Smaller breeds may show more discomfort and longer lasting diarrhea. 




My dog ate foil (aluminum), will it be OK?

You can ignore a lot of the rumors out on the internet that suggest that aluminum foil is toxic for your dog. If your dog ate a small amount of tin foil (like the size of a tube of Chapstick) they will very likely be completely OK. If it was balled up and larger sized, it can be an issue: it can get lodged in its throat and cause choking, and can also cause obstruction in the esophagus, stomach, or intestine, which can be very dangerous. If your dog seems lethargic, refuses to eat, is vomiting or retching, has bad diarrhea, and/or shows other signs of stomach upset, call your veterinarian immediately.You should also put some thought into what exactly was in the tin foil that they might have been going after, like old food, or chocolate. Sometimes what's in the food is much more dangerous than the tin foil itself.     




My dog ate garlic, will it be OK?

There are a lot of websites that will suggest that garlic is a big deal. Technically, it does have some toxic ingredients to dogs, but it very rarely harms them unless they eat a very large quantity (like an entire bulb of garlic), are a very small breed, or eat it on a daily basis. If your dog grabbed a clove of garlic off the floor and scurried away with it, there is likely no cause for concern. They might get a tummy ache, but that's par for the course. If they ate a larger quantity of garlic, like 3-5 cloves for a small breed, or 6-10 cloves for a medium or large breed, you should contact your veterinarian to see if they'd like to induce vomiting or feed them something to help digestion. 




My dog ate glass, will it be OK?

Just like chicken bones, plastic, or anything else potentially sharp that could puncture the esophagus, stomach, or intestines, glass can be very dangerous. Call your veterinarian immediately. Many veterinarians will suggest immediately feeding your dog something to bulk up the stool and aid with transit through the gastrointestinal system: like canned pumpkin, bread, or Metamusil. Basically something to help bulk up the stools and help foreign objects pass through the body. If you see any signs of distress, such as vomiting, lack of appetite, severe diarrhea, lethargy, or signs of abdomen tenderness, then you need emergency veterinary assistance.  




My dog ate a grape (or raisin), will it be OK?

Grapes and raisins (dried grapes) are toxic to dogs, whether they are green, red, or any other shape or color. The flesh of the grape contains a yet-undetermined toxin that can cause kidney failure and death in dogs. How many grapes were eaten? At about 2 grapes for every 10 pounds of weight for your dog, things start to get dangerous. So if your 20-pound dog ate 4 grapes, or your 40-pound dog ate 8 grapes, there could be a major problem. Raisins are even worse because they are concentrated, so you can cut that number in half: 2 raisins for a 20-pound dog, or 4 raisins for a 40-pound dog. This does not mean your dog will suffer kidney failure and die at these levels, what it means is that if this happens call your veterinarian immediately. Kidney failure due to eating grapes or raisins will manifest in the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, tremors, dehydration, breathing difficulty, and a few other symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms after your dog eats grapes or raisins, you need emergency veterinarian assistance. The earlier you catch the problem the more likely your dog will survive; your vet will likely need to induce vomiting, feed activated charcoal, and give IV fluids.  




My dog ate gum (chewing), will it be OK?

It really depends on the type of gum. Some gums will be completely fine, especially if they're just sugar-based gums like Double Bubble. However, many modern gums contain a sugar alcohol called Xylitol, which is toxic for dogs to consume. Xylitol will cause your dog's insulin levels to spike, dropping blood sugar levels to very low levels and damaging the liver. This can be lethal. If you have a small breed, trouble can arise after eating only 1 piece of gum. Larger breeds will take many more pieces. In general, about 3 grams of Xylitol can kill a dog up to about 65 pounds. For reference, a piece of gum might have about a third of a gram of Xylitol. So three pieces is about 1 gram of it, which can kill a small breed. Six pieces is about 2 grams of it, which can kill a medium breed. And a pack of Xylitol-containing gum can have about 3 grams, which is enough to kill even large-sized breeds. Be very careful of where you store your gum, to keep it out of the reach of your dogs. If your dog ate some gum containing Xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately. Symptoms of Xylitol poisoning can begin in as little as 15 minutes after consumption, so call immediately. The veterinarian will probably tell you to watch out for vomiting, lethargy, weakness, seizures, lack of coordination, and even coma; they might even want you to induce vomiting at home over the phone.  




My dog ate ham (raw or cooked), will it be OK?

Ham is not a healthy food for your dog, just as it is unhealthy for humans. Such salty, fatty and rich foods can cause bloat and inflammation of your dog's pancreas (pancreatitis) over time. However, if your dog ate a small piece or two of cooked bacon on a single occassion, don't worry. But don't get into the habit of letting him do it, it could lead to some very unfortunate health outcomes. Raw ham is even worse since not only does it contain the salt and fat, but it also can contain parasites, worms, and bacteria. If your dog ate some raw ham, seek veterinary assistance if you notice any lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and upset stomach.




My dog ate his/her own poop, will it be OK?

This is unfortunately pretty common, and disgusting to watch. The technical term of this is "coprophagia." It is usually harmless, and dogs might do it for a variety of reasons. First, they might do it because they're bored and understimulated, if they have some sort of nutritional deficiency, or if they are under-fed. They may also just do it to seek attention, to keep their area clean and tidy, to relieve stress, or frankly just because they think it tastes good! Disgusting, we know, but completely normal and not something to worry about. Of course you may never want your dog to lick your face again, but that's an entirely different story. Note that eating other animals' stool is a different story, and can be quite dangerous.   




My dog ate human poop, will it be OK?

Unless there is reason to believe that the human has some parasites, bacteria, or worms, there is probably little to worry about if a dog eats your (or someone else's) poop. That's not to say it isn't disgusting and you shouldn't try to avoid it - it is gross and you should try to prevent it from happening, as it can make your dog sick. It is likely that your dog will develop mild diarrhea and stomach symptoms, but other than that it likely won't cause any big issues.




My dog ate incense, will it be OK?

Incense are typically harmless, but will likely cause some stomach distress such as diarrhea and discomfort. Also, if the incense is on a wooden skewer type of stick, it can be dangerously sharp and cause an obstruction and perforations in the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. That's much more dangerous than the incense themselves. If you notice your dog seems lethargic, or has diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or other symptoms to suggest a stomach issue, then definitely contact your veterinarian immediately.




My dog ate ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), will it be OK?

While ibuprofen is commonly used as a pain killer and anti-inflamatory in humans, it is very rarely used in dogs due to toxicity. It is very common for ibuprofen to cause bleeding stomach ulcers, and if left untreated it can cause kidney and liver damage and failure. If your dog ate a single pill he will likely be fine, but anything more than that can be very dangerous. Either way, contact your veterinarian immediately. They may want you to induce vomiting at home very quickly after ingestion, to see if they can get it out before it dissolves. They may also tell you to watch out for poor appetite, vomiting, black/tarry stools, vomiting blood, weakness and lethargy, and increased thirst. All of these could be signs of ibuprofen toxicity.  




My dog ate insulation, will it be OK?

Insulation can be very dangerous if ingested by your dog, for a few different reasons. First, it can become lodged in the esophagus, stomach, or intestine, and cause an obstruction. Second, if it is fiberglass insulation, the fiberglass particles are quite sharp and can cause a perforation/puncture in the gastrointestinal system. No matter what, if you see evidence that your dog has eaten insulation, contact your veterinarian immediately. They may suggest simply monitoring your dog for signs of obstruction, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea, or they might want to bring your dog in for an x-ray to make sure there is no obstruction. 




My dog ate a jalapeno, will it be OK?

A jalapeno is not toxic for your dog, but it will cause some severe stomach distress and really hurt when coming out in the stool. The reason is that dogs are not accustomed to eating spicy foods, and it will likely cause diarrhea or at least loose stools for the next day or so. You might want to help your pup out a bit and give them something to help them digest and rid themselves of the jalapeno, like canned pumpkin, metamusil, bread, or other bulky high fiber foods. 




My dog ate Jell-o, will it be OK?

It's not healthy to feed your dog Jell-o, but it is unlikely to hurt your dog. You are basically just feeding your dog sugar water, gelatin, and food coloring. Nothing in there is particularly concerning, in fact many dog foods (see our list of the best ones here) include gelatin as an ingredient. So not to worry, but don't get into the habit of feeding your dog such an unhealthy food!




My dog ate jelly, will it be OK?

Usually not something you need to worry about, unless it is grape jelly. Grapes are toxic for dogs, and they only need to eat a couple of them for major problems to arise. If the jelly is any other flavor, like strawberry or raspberry, it is certainly not a healthy snack at all, but also not a problem. If your dog did eat grape jelly or preserves,call your vet and watch out for the following symptoms of kidney failure: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, tremors, dehydration, breathing difficulty, and a few other symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms after your dog eats grapes jelly, you need emergency veterinarian assistance. The earlier you catch the problem the more likely your dog will survive; your vet will likely need to induce vomiting, feed activated charcoal, and give IV fluids. 




My dog ate kale, will it be OK?

Kale is completely fine for your dog to eat once in a while, as part of a well-rounded diet. If your dog grabbed a bit of kale and snuck off with it, there is no cause for concern. Frequently eating kale can cause some issues due to the high levels of calcium oxalate, but outside of that you have nothing to worry about.




My dog ate kielbasa, will it be OK?

While it is by no means toxic or cause for immediate concern, sausage is not a healthy food for your dog, just as it is unhealthy for humans. Such salty, fatty and rich foods can cause bloat and inflammation of your dog's pancreas (pancreatitis) over time. However, if your dog ate a small piece or two of cooked kielbasa or any other sausage on a single occassion, don't worry. But don't get into the habit of letting him do it, it could lead to some very unfortunate health outcomes. Raw sausage is even worse since not only does it contain the salt and fat, but it also can contain parasites, worms, and bacteria. If your dog ate some raw sausage, seek veterinary assistance if you notice any lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and upset stomach.




My dog ate kinetic sand, will it be OK?

This can be very dangerous for dogs, since kinetic sand contains a binding agent that keeps it from breaking apart in the gastrointestinal system. It is not toxic, but it is very likely to cause an obstruction if more than a small amount (like tablespoon) is ingested. If your dog has an obstruction in the esophagus, stomach, or intestine, it can be very dangerous. Call your vet if your dog ate kinetic sand, and ask for their advice. They may want you to help it get through the system by feeding your dog something like mineral oil or canned pumpkin. They might also want to induce vomiting to see if you can get it out before it gets too deep into the gastrointestinal system.  




My dog ate kitty litter, will it be OK?

We are assuming that your dog was going after cat poop, rather than kitty litter, so we'll discuss both of those issues. First, eating cat poop is not a major disaster for your dog. However, because cats are carnivores, their feces are more likely to contain worms, parasites, bacteria, and viruses, which can all make your dog sick. If you notice that your dog develops diarrhea over the next day or two, you should contact your veterinarian. Second, eating kitty litter can cause clumping in your dog's esophagus, stomach, and intestines, and that can get pretty dangerous. However, it would take quite a bit of kitty litter to cause any major problems, so it's likely not a concern unless your dog really went to town on the kitty litter. If so, your dog can develop an obstruction, the symptoms of which are lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and other signs of stomach upset. If so, you need to get in touch with your veterinarian immediately.




My dog ate a lemon, will it be OK?

Citrus fruits don't agree well with dog stomachs, so we don't suggest feeding them too much orange, lemon, lime, pineapple, etc. However, other than some mild stomach upset there really isn't much risk here. Most dogs don't like the sour flavor of a lemon, but your dog seems to be pretty adventurous! No need to worry, and lemons are sometimes used to freshen a dog's smelly breath. 




My dog ate a lighter, will it be OK?

Butane and lighter fluid can cause bad mouth irritation, including ulcers on the gums and tongue, which can be very painful. Look inside your dog's mouth and check for any sores, redness, or bleeding. If you see any of these, contact your veterinarian and get an appointment. It's likely they will get your dog started on antibiotics and/or pain medications to help with the sores/ulcers. There is also the risk that your dog has consumed sharp pieces of plastic, and these are very dangerous for causing an obstruction or puncturing a part of your dog's esophagus, stomach, or intestine. This can be very dangerous, so if your dog has swallowed pieces of plastic, watch him closely for: lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and any other sign your dog might show during times of stomach upset. If any of these symptoms emerge, immediately contact your veterinarian. In the meantime, you might want to feed your dog some bread and/or canned pumpkin to help coat the stomach and quickly pass any plastic.




My dog ate lipstick, will it be OK?

The contents of lipstick are usually completely fine, just as it is OK if you were to eat a bit of it yourself. However, if you have a smaller breed you might see some signs of stomach distress like cramps, loose stools, and diarrhea. That's mostly because it's highly concentrated waxy fats and coloring, making it a bit difficult to digest. Larger dogs will usually get through without any issues. However, if your dog ate the entire plastic container that can be cause for concern due to an obstruction, and sharp pieces of plastic can cause a perforation of the esophagus, stomach, or intestine; if you notice any vomiting, loss of appetite, bad diarrhea, or other distress over the course of the next 24 hours, seek veterinary assistance.




My dog ate lotion, will it be OK?

This is one of those difficult to answer questions, since there are so many types of lotions with so many different possible ingredients, some of which are harmless and some very harmful. An ordinary hand lotion will likely just give your dog some stomach upset and diarrhea. However, if it contains certain ingredients there could be larger issues. For instance, hydrocortisone, antibiotic, or antifungal creams will cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, panting, and dehydration. Diaper rash ointment or any other lotion containing zinc oxide will cause vomiting and diarrhea, and it can get very severe; if your dog ingested anything containing zinc oxide, contact your veterinarian for advice. They might want you to help protect your dog by feeding him some bread, canned pumpkin, or other high fiber and bulky food. No matter what type of lotion they ingested, keep an eye on their stool. If you see bloody diarrhea, bloody vomiting, or other signs of gastrointestinal distress (lethargy, loss of appetite, sensitive abdomen), immediately contact your veterinarian.  




My dog ate maggots, will it be OK?

Maggots are just fly larvae, so they are pretty innocent. If your dog ate maggots, he should be fine. However, if your dog also ate some rancid food that attracted the maggots in the first place, that can be a very different story. Usually maggots are not randomly clustered around on something unless there is also something rotting/spoiling/rancid as well. If your dog ends up getting sick after eating maggots, it is very likely that he is actually sick from eating the rancid item they were attracted to in the first place. As always, if you're uncertain, ask your veterinarian. They will let you know what the risks are, and what to keep an eye out for.




My dog ate marijuana (pot, weed, cannabis), will it be OK?

Some dog owners actually give very low doses of marijuana to their dogs to relieve a wide range of ailments. However, it is very difficult to accurately gauge how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is in the marijuana, and therefore how much of this particular chemical is being consumed. Research shows that THC is toxic to dogs at doses exceeding about 80mg/kg; that means if your dog weighs about 40 pounds, anything over about 1.5 grams of marijuana will cause signs of poisoning. Marijuana poisoning in dogs has several symptoms: slowed heart rate, dilated pupils, tremors, tiredness/lethargy, anxiety and/or depression. In more severe cases, your dog can even have seizures and slip into a coma. So if you see your dog consuming marijuana, then stop it as quickly as possible and try to induce vomiting. If you only see evidence that it has happened, but don't know when it occurred, then immediately call your veterinarian for advice. 




My dog ate a maxi-pad (new or used), will it be OK?

This can be pretty dangerous, especially if you think your dog ate the entire thing. Doesn't really matter whether it is new or used. The problem is that sanitary pads are designed for one purpose: to absorb as much fluid as possible. As they do so, they expand in size. This is a problem for a pad in the intestine, as it can cause obstruction. If you're lucky, your dog shredded it into tiny pieces and ate it, and it will pass in the stool without any issues. But sometimes dogs get so excited about eating something, or they're running from you while doing it, that they wolf it down with minimal chewing. This can be a big problem, so we suggest contacting your veterinarian and keeping a close eye on your pup. If you notice any signs of obstruction, like lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or other signs of stomach discomfort, you will need to get your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible. It is likely your dog will need surgery, maybe just with an endoscope, to get the foreign body out of the intestine.




My dog ate mushrooms (home or yard), will it be OK?

If you ever notice your dog eating some wild mushrooms in the yard, you better read him the riot act and make sure he realizes you mean business. There are several poisonous wild mushrooms that can cause major issues for your dog. If your dog has already consumed some mushroom, try to get a sample mushroom in a baggie and bring it to the veterinarian. There are four categories of toxic mushrooms (A, B, C and D), and which category it belongs to predicts the timing, type, and severity of poisoning symptoms. The hope is that your dog stumbled upon a category D mushroom which will mostly cause gastrointestinal distress. Category B and C mushrooms affect the nervous system and can cause uncoordinated movement, seizures, or even coma. Category A is the worst, being the most toxic and directly causing harm to the liver and kidneys. If you suspect your dog has ingested a mushroom from categories A, B, or C, then you definitely need to get your dog to the veterinarian. It's likely he will need to be hospitalized. If you catch things early enough, your dog should be fine with proper treatment. Here is a good visual guide of some of the most poisonous mushrooms for dogs.




My dog ate naproxen sodium, will it be OK?

While naproxen sodium is commonly used as a pain killer and anti-inflamatory in humans, it is very rarely used in dogs due to toxicity. It is very common for naproxen to cause bleeding stomach ulcers, and if left untreated it can cause kidney and liver damage and failure. If your dog ate a single small dose pill he will likely just have some temporary stomach symptoms, but anything more than that can be very dangerous. Either way, contact your veterinarian immediately. They may want you to induce vomiting at home very quickly after ingestion, to see if they can get it out before it dissolves. They may also tell you to watch out for poor appetite, vomiting, black/tarry stools, vomiting blood, weakness and lethargy, and increased thirst. All of these could be signs of ibuprofen toxicity.




My dog ate Nutella, will it be OK?

Nutella shouldn't be a major problem if your pup got into a small container and got a couple of ounces. The biggest issue is that it contains chocolate, which is toxic to dogs even in small quantities. Fortunately, Nutella doesn't actually contain much chocolate, it is mostly sugar, oil, milk, and hazelnut. But if your dog has a lot of Nutella (like an 8-ounce jar), then you might need to worry about chocolate poisoning. Nutella has a couple ingredients that aren't smart for dogs to consume, including chocolate and hazelnuts.There are two primary ingredients in chocolate that are dangerous for dogs: theobromine and caffeine. The two toxic ingredients can cause nervous system stimulation and in some rare cases, death. In any case, we suggest you contact your veterinarian immediately and watch your dog carefully within the first 6-12 hours after eating chocolate. If he vomits, has diarrhea, seems over-excitable, has seizures, or becomes unresponsive, you are in an emergency situation.  




My dog ate nuts, will it be OK?

Most nuts are fine for your dog to eat, like peanuts, cashews, and hazelnuts, especially when in moderation. But there are some exceptions. For instance, almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, hickory, walnuts, and pecans can all cause mild to severe gastrointestinal distress and in some cases pancreatitis due to excessive fat consumption. There are also some nuts, like walnuts, hickory, and macadamia nuts that may contain a toxin that can cause neurological symptoms like uncoordinated behavior, seizures, or even coma. In smaller breeds, obstruction from even the OK nuts (like peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts) is also more likely due to eating a large nut without fully chewing it. Signs of an obstruction usually include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and other signs of severe gastrointestinal distress.  




My dog ate an onion, will it be OK?

Whether raw, cooked, or powdered, if your dog ate onion it can be cause for concern. Onions contain a chemical called thiosulfate which is harmful to dogs when eaten in quantity, or eaten in low quantity but frequently. If your dog eats an onion ring, or ring of onion from your burger, he'll likely be completely fine. But do not give larger quantities of onion, and do not give small quantities very often, or there are several complications that can arise. These include toxicosi, Heinz body anemia (hemolytic anemia), liver damage, and several less severe issues like weakness, diarrhea, discolored urine, vomiting, and anemia. If your dog ate anything more than a small piece of onion (like the size of an egg), or if your dog is showing any signs of allergic reaction or gastrointestinal distress, contact your veterinarian.   




My dog ate an Oreo, will it be OK?

If your dog ate an Oreo, there is nothing to panic about. There is actually very little chocolate in an Oreo, it's mostly flour, sugar, oils, and additives. But even with that said, you should avoid feeding your dog Oreos other than by mistake. They are very unhealthy for dogs, and have no nutritional value. If your dog got into the package and ate several Oreos, you probably still have nothing to worry about except for some loose stools and diarrhea. You might want to check with your veterinarian either way to be safe, but there's so little chocolate that we think your pup will be OK. 




My dog ate paint chips, will it be OK?

Eating paint chips isn't likely to harm your dog unless the paint chips also contain lead. If you have an older home built before the late 70's, it is very likely that some paint in the home will contain lead. The problem is that if your dog ate the paint chips it's probably because they tasted good, which suggests they also contained lead. Now, a couple small paint chips will be completely fine either way, but if your dog licks up lead dust or paint chips during the renovation of an old home, there can be some serious issues. Lead poisoning in dogs results from the concentration of lead in the blood reaching a dangerous level. The first symptoms will usually include loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, grinding/chomping of the jaws, and uncoordinated behavior. More severe symptoms include seizure, blindness, and muscle spasms. If you think your dog might have ingested more than 1-2 small paint chips, then you need to contact your veterinarian immediately. Treatments can include induced vomiting, chelation therapy, and medication. 




My dog ate paper, will it be OK?

Paper is not nutritious or healthy for your dog to eat, but reasonably is not likely to be dangerous. If your dog ate some toilet paper, napkin, paper towel, or just plain paper, the odds are he will be just fine. The most common thing to happen after eating some paper products is that your dog will experience some stomach upset and diarrhea. It is unlikely that it will happen, but some dogs may also have an obstruction in their esophagus, stomach, or intestines, that can become very problematic. If your dog seems lethartic, has a loss of appetite, is vomiting, or has severe diarrhea, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. 




My dog ate pizza dough, will it be OK?

While your dog will absolutely love a slice of pizza and likely be completely fine after eating it, any type of dough (pizza dough, bread dough, etc) is a big no-no. There are two reasons for this. The first is that ingested dough can expand in the esophagus, stomach, and intestine and cause blockage/obstruction, which can be very dangerous. The second (and more concerning) issue is that the fermentation of the yeast in the warm damp stomach can cause severe alcohol poisoning. Both can be potentially life-threatening. Alcohol poisoning in dogs can be very serious, and eating just a single pizza dough ball can cause serious inebriation, especially in a smaller breed. If your dog shows any sign of uncoordinated behavior disorientation, unsuccessful vomiting, and lethargy, you must contact your doctor before some of the more serious symptoms arise (seizures, weakness, coma). 




My dog ate plastic, will it be OK?

If your dog ate more than just a couple small bits of plastic, this can be cause for concern due to an obstruction, and sharp pieces of plastic can cause a perforation of the esophagus, stomach, or intestine. In our experience, our dogs have eaten a ton of random plastic pieces from Chapstick containers to ant traps and dog toys, and have never had an issue other than a strained bowel movement and hurt feelings. But if you notice any vomiting, loss of appetite, bad diarrhea, or other distress over the course of the next 24 hours, seek veterinary assistance as there could be a serious obstruction or puncture of the intestine.




My dog ate Play-doh, will it be OK?

Play-doh actually contains very high levels of salt, which is one of the reasons dog tend to find it so appetizing. The problem, however, is that salt is very dangerous for dogs to ingest. Salt poisoning can be mild or severe and even life-threatening so it's important to watch for several important symptoms, such as vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, uncoordinated behavior, dehydration, tremors, seizures, or even coma. If your medium or large dog ate more than a small amount of Play-doh (like more than the size of an egg), then you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Even small amounts might be an issue for smaller breeds. Your veterinarian may want to have your dog put on IV fluids and attempt to flush the gastrointestinal system. 




My dog ate poop (his/her own), will it be OK?

This is unfortunately pretty common, and disgusting to watch. The technical term of this is "coprophagia." It is usually harmless, and dogs might do it for a variety of reasons. First, they might do it because they're bored and understimulated, if they have some sort of nutritional deficiency, or if they are under-fed. They may also just do it to seek attention, to keep their area clean and tidy, to relieve stress, or frankly just because they think it tastes good! Disgusting, we know, but completely normal and not something to worry about. Of course you may never want your dog to lick your face again, but that's an entirely different story. Note that eating other animals' stool is a different story, and can be quite dangerous.




My dog ate pumpkin, will it be OK?

We get this question quite a bit around Halloween, with frantic parents wondering whether their dog will survive having eaten some pumpkin or pumpkin seeds. We are happy to tell you that pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are frequently included in dog food (see our list of the best foods here) because of their high fiber content. However, if he ate more than a couple ounces of it, he might get an upset stomach and/or diarrhea. Be sure to provide plenty of drinking water. Note that a pumpkin stem is more of an issue as it's very difficult to digest and you might need to get your dog checked by a veterinarian if he is lethargic, won't eat, is vomiting, or his belly becomes bloated or painful. 




My dog ate Q-tips, will it be OK?

There are a couple different types of cotton tipped swabs, some with the typical paper stem and some with the plastic stems. If your dog ate some of the ones with the paper stems, there is probably no reason to worry unless he shows signs of gastrointestinal distress (vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea). But those plastic stems can be dangerous, as they can get lodged in the side of the intestine and cause an obstruction; they may also cause a puncture and internal bleeding. In either case, if you notice that your dog has any symptoms of obstruction then contact your veterinarian immediately. Symptoms of an issue may include loss of appetite, lethargy, abdominal discomfort and sensitivity to touch, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.




My dog ate quinoa, will it be OK?

Yes, many dog owners feed their dogs quinoa as a healthy source of fiber. However, because it has so much fiber, if your dog eats an unexpected high quantity of it, he will end up with some severe stomach discomfort, loose stools, and probably diarrhea. Especially if it is uncooked. The good news is that he will likely just pass it in stool and be completely fine. If your dog likes it so much, you should consider sharing this healthy snack with him, but in smaller quantities! Try mixing in a bit with dog food!




My dog ate a raisin, will it be OK?

Raisins (dried grapes) are toxic to dogs. The flesh of the grape contains a yet-undetermined toxin that can cause kidney failure and death in dogs. How many raisins were eaten? Raisins are concentrated, so they can get dangerous even with small quantities: 2 raisins for a 20-pound dog, or 4 raisins for a 40-pound dog. This does not mean your dog will suffer kidney failure and die at these levels, what it means is that if this happens call your veterinarian immediately. Kidney failure due to eating raisins will manifest in the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, tremors, dehydration, breathing difficulty, and a few other symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms after your dog eats raisins, you need emergency veterinarian assistance. The earlier you catch the problem the more likely your dog will survive; your vet will likely need to induce vomiting, feed activated charcoal, and give IV fluids.




My dog ate rat poison, will it be OK?

This one sounds really scary, and for good reason. The first thing you need to do is find the remaining package of rat poison and figure out what the active ingredients are. If you can find the EPA registration number that's even better. We suggest calling your veterinarian with that information immediately. There are several possible poisons in your rat poison, including long-acting anticoagulants, cholecalciferol, and zinc and aluminum phosphides. Each of these poisons has its own risk level and treatment options, and these will vary based on the size and age of the breed, and how much was consumed. In all cases it's extremely dangerous and possibly fatal for your dog, so you should seek veterinary assistance immediately.  




My dog ate raw chicken, will it be OK?

In the wild, dogs will eat raw meat all the time, and catching some wild poulty is a real treat for a dog! Eating raw chicken is generally safe for a dog, assuming the meat is not rancid/spoiled, and doesn't have any harmful bacteria that would make you or your dog sick. Of course, if it has salmonella, your dog will get sick just as you would. If you notice your dog vomiting or has bloody diarrhea, there could be a big problem and you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Even without any particular food poisoning, your dog will likely get a bit of stomach upset from eating raw chicken since it is such a rare part of their diet. Expect some loose stools and other signs of mild gastrointestinal distress.   




My dog ate rib bones, will it be OK?

There are two risks here. First is the risk of pancreatitis due to ingesting too much rich, fatty pork product remaining on the bone. Second is that pork rib bones should be avoided as just like chicken bones they are very brittle and will shatter into sharp pieces that can puncture your dog's mouth, esophagus, stomach, and/or small intestine. This is especially the case for cooked pork rib bones, with uncooked rib bones being a little less risky. If your dog ate rib bones you need to watch for vomiting, gagging, loss of appetite, or any other distress that is out of the unordinary for your dog. If you see any of these symptoms your dog might have an obstruction or puncture, so call your veterinarian as soon as possible. Better safe than sorry when it comes to pork rib bones. One strategy that some veterinarians suggest is to feed your dog bread, canned pumpkin, or anything with high fiber to help bulk up the stool, pad against puncture, and get things moving out.




My dog ate shrimp (raw or cooked), will it be OK?

In general, feeding your dog some cooked shrimp is completely fine, and some higher-end dog foods (see our list of the best dog foods here) even include shrimp as an ingredient. This is the same for the shrimp itself and the shrimp tails: as long as it's cooked, your dog will likely be fine. However, if your dog ate raw shrimp there is a risk that he will become ill due to parasites, bacteria, worms, and/or viruses. For this reason, raw shrimp can cause shellfish toxicity and should be avoided; not to mention the high cholesterol levels that can be quite bad for a dog's cardiovascular system. If you notice your dog vomiting or has bloody diarrhea, there could be a big problem and you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Even without any particular food poisoning, your dog will likely get a bit of stomach upset from eating raw shrimp since it is such a rare part of their diet. Expect some loose stools and other signs of mild gastrointestinal distress.   




My dog ate a silica pack, will it be OK?

We get a lot of messages about dogs eating those little silica gel packets that you find in various packaging. The good news is that silica gel is actually non-toxic. Even though it is designed to absorb moisture in packages, it does not expand in size as it absorbs moisture upon being swallowed. So there is very little risk here, especially if your dog chewed it up prior to swallowing. If your small breed dog swallowed it quickly without any chewing, there is a risk of choking and obstruction, but that is quite rare with a silica pack. If your dog seems to be lethargic, has lost its appetite, is vomiting or dry heaving, or has diarrhea, definitely seek veterinarian assistance. 




My dog ate soap, will it be OK?

This usually isn't an issue for dogs, though expect they will develop some mild stomach upset, loose stools, and maybe diarrhea. This is expected when a dog consumes many of the common ingredients in soap, such as glycerine and sodium lauryl sulfate. The only large risk here is if your dog bit off a chunk of the soap and swallowed it whole and it caused an obstruction in the esophagus, stomach, or intestine. Though unlikely, you should watch your pet for symptoms of an obstruction, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, stomach/abdomen sensitivity, vomiting, dry heaving, and severe diarrhea.




My dog ate a sock, will it be OK?

This is unfortunately a very common and very expensive and dangerous mistake. If you have anything other than a very large breed (like a great dane or saint bernard), you are likely in for some trouble. Hopefully your dog will vomit the sock up. You should call your veterinarian for some advice on how to induce vomiting at home, which will hopefully bring the sock up and avoid any issues. The biggest risk with a sock is that it causes an obstruction in the esophagus, stomach, or intestine. Signs of obstruction include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and/or dry heaving, stomach/abdomen sensitivity, and/or severe diarrhea. No matter what, if your dog swallowed a sock you definitely need to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.




My dog ate spicy food, will it be OK?

Though spicy food is not ideal for your dog, it also shouldn't be toxic. Expect some severe stomach distress and pain when coming out in the stool. The reason is that dogs are not accustomed to eating spicy foods, and it will likely cause diarrhea or at least loose stools for the next day or so. A little bit of spicy food, like a tablespoon of spicy chicken, is unlikely to do much to your dog. but if they ate more than that, or you have a small breed, you might want to help your pup out a bit and give them something to help them digest and rid themselves of the food, like canned pumpkin, metamusil, bread, or other bulky high fiber foods.




My dog ate spinach, will it be OK?

Spinach is completely fine for your dog to eat once in a while, as part of a well-rounded diet. In fact, some dog foods include dried spinach in the ingredients. If your dog grabbed a bit of spinach and snuck off with it, there is no cause for concern. Frequently eating spinach can cause some issues due to the high levels of calcium oxalate, but outside of that you have nothing to worry about.




My dog ate Tampons (new or used), will it be OK?

This can be pretty dangerous, especially if you think your dog ate the entire thing. Doesn't really matter whether it is new or used. The problem is that the pad inside the tampon is designed for one purpose: to absorb as much fluid as possible. As they do so, they expand in size. This is a problem for a pad in the intestine, as it can cause obstruction. If you're lucky, your dog shredded it into tiny pieces and ate it, and it will pass in the stool without any issues. But sometimes dogs get so excited about eating something, or they're running from you while doing it, that they wolf it down with minimal chewing. This can be a big problem, so we suggest contacting your veterinarian and keeping a close eye on your pup. If you notice any signs of obstruction, like lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or other signs of stomach discomfort, you will need to get your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible. It is likely your dog will need surgery, maybe just with an endoscope, to get the foreign body out of the intestine.




My dog ate a tomato, will it be OK?

Ripe tomatoes are generally safe to feed your dog, and in fact some dog foods include it as an ingredient. There is a toxic ingredient in the tomato plant (tomatine) that is mostly present in the leaves, stem, and in green unripened tomatoes. That can be dangerous if eaten in large quantities, so definitely contact your veterinarian if your dog ate unripened green tomatoes, or the stems/branches of a tomato plant. Other than that, tomatoes are not an issue for occasional consumption.




My dog ate tums, will it be OK?

Tums use calcium carbonate to treat mild indigestion and heartburn, and are basically harmless for your dog to eat. If your dog had from 1-5 tablets, it usually isn't a cause for concern. In fact, calcium carbonate is given to dogs with upset stomachs as a medication. But if you see any odd symptoms after ingestion, such as vomiting, lethargy, or loss of appetite, definitely contact your veterinarian. Of course, if your dog had a ton of them, like 5+ tablets, contact your veterinarian. They will give you more information about what to monitor for.




My dog ate turkey poop, will it be OK?

Eating other animals' poop, and even their own poop, is actually pretty common and normal in dogs. But that's not to say it isn't dangerous, because eating another animal's poop can cause major (though rare) problems. The big issue here is with bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can be in the other animal's poop. Many of these can be harmful for your dog, and also can be transferred to humans, which can make you very sick as well. Eating the poop of an omnivore like a wild turkey can be problematic, since any meat-eating animal is more likely to have harmful bacteria, worms, parasites, and viruses in their feces. Watch your dog for vomiting, loss of appetite, foaming, diarrhea, retching, and other signs of gastrointestinal distress. If any symptoms develop, contact your veterinarian immediately.




My dog ate Tylenol, will it be OK?

Tylenol (acetaminophen) is actually very dangerous for dogs, and in severe cases can cause liver disease, liver failure, and even death. It is very important to estimate how many pills your dog has taken, how many milligrams of acetaminophen are in each pill, and report this information to your veterinarian immediately. In general, if your 10 pound dog ate anything more than a 250mg pill, they will likely suffer poisoning. If your larger 40 pound dog ate anything more than four 250mg pills, or two 500mg pills, they will likely suffer poisoning. Symptoms of acetaminophen poisoning in dogs include difficulty breathing, swollen face or neck, vomiting, jaundice color of eyes or skin, brownish-gray gum color, and even coma.     




My dog ate Unisom, will it be OK?

Because there are varied versions of Unisom, some of which contain some particularly harmful ingredients for dogs (like doxylamine succinate), it is important to contact your veterinarian to tell them what ingredients were in the pill(s), how many milligrams per pill, and how many your dog ate. That information, along with basic information about your dog's weight and age, will help the veterinarian figure out whether this is a major issue. If the pills contained doxylamine succinate and/or acetaminophen, there can be serious toxicity, so seek veterinarian assistance immediately.




My dog ate Vaseline, will it be OK?

Yes, your dog will likely be just fine after eating Vaseline. It's likely he will develop an upset stomach and diarrhea, but that's about it. We do not suggest attempting to make your dog vomit, as the risk of dangerous aspiration pneumonia increases if the Vaseline enters the lungs. In general, you might consider feeding your dog some canned pumpkin, bread, and other bulky fiber to help absorb the Vaseline and reduce transit time (i.e., how long before your dog poops it out!).




My dog ate vitamins, will it be OK?

Just like with adults, this can be a very dangerous situation. Certain vitamins are more dangerous than others, so you will need to check the nutrition facts for the vitamins, figure out how many were eaten, and then call your veterinarian. Vitamins A and D can be very toxic in high amounts, so your veterinarian might want you to induce vomiting at home in an attempt to get as much of the vitamin pills out of the system as soon as possible. We suggest calling your veterinarian and, if your dog ate more than 1-2 pills, taking him in to the clinic. They might want to induce vomiting, feed charcoal, and get your dog onto IV fluids to help flush the vitamins out of the body. 




My dog ate wax, will it be OK?

Wax, such as in a candle or the wrapper from a baby belle cheese, is typically non-toxic and will not harm your dog. You might see your dog develop an upset stomach and have some loose stools the next day, but nothing major. The only complication that might arise is if your dog swallowed a large chunk of wax and it got lodged in his esophagus, stomach, or intestine, causing an obstruction. If that happens, it's a major cause for concern. Watch your dog's behavior and make sure he still has an appetite, doesn't get lethargic, and isn't dry heaving or vomiting. If you notice any of those signs, contact a veterinarian immediately as the wax might have caused an obstruction.




My dog ate white chocolate, will it be OK?

There are two primary ingredients in chocolate that are dangerous for dogs: theobromine and caffeine. Chocolates with the highest amounts of these toxic ingredients are cocoa powder (the worst), baker's chocolate (very bad), semisweet chocolate (very bad), dark chocolate (very bad), milk chocolate (not terrible), and white chocolate (probably OK). Though white chocolate doesn't have any naturally occuring theobromine, many companies are adding this ingredient to their white chocolate manually, increasing risk to your dog. We suggest looking up the brand and type of white chocolate your dog age and checking whether it contains added theobromine. If you can't find any information online, contact your veterinarian. If your dog had a small amount of it, they will likely be completely fine. But larger amounts, especially of the darker varieties, can be very dangerous. A very useful tool (at a very annoying website with pop-up ads, etc) can be found here - you enter your dog's weight and the amount and type of chocolate consumed, and it will tell you how much you should be worried. The two toxic ingredients can cause nervous system stimulation and in some rare cases, death. In any case, we suggest you contact your veterinarian immediately and watch your dog carefully within the first 6-12 hours after eating chocolate. If he vomits, has diarrhea, seems over-excitable, has seizures, or becomes unresponsive, you are in an emergency situation.




My dog ate wood, will it be OK?

Wood can be dangerous for a few reasons. First, many varieties of wood, especially hard woods, are very prone to splintering. Small pieces of splintered wood can get caught in your dog's mouth and esophagus and cause pain and tissue damage. Second, large chunks of wood can cause obstructions, getting stuck in the stomach or intestines and stopping your dog from digesting properly.Call your veterinarian to get some advice. It is likely they will tell you to watch carefully for symptoms of gastrointestinal distress and obstruction: vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, and other strange stomach-related symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately seek veterinary assistance 




My dog ate a wooden skewer, will it be OK?

This is a tough one to predict, as it depends on how much your dog chewed up the skewer, how weak/moist it was, how large your dog is, and what the dog's showing for symptoms. We've seen several dogs eat things like chicken and beef teriyaki, wooden skewer and all, without any issues. But there are some risks. First, smaller breeds may have difficulty digesting and passing the wood. Second, the sharp end of the skewer can cause a perforation in the esophagus, stomach, and/or intestine. If your dog ate a wooden skewer, let your veterinarian know about it and get their advice. It's likely they will tell you thatif you notice any vomiting, loss of appetite, bad/bloody diarrhea, or other distress over the course of the next 24 hours, to bring them in to the clinic immediately.




My dog ate Xanax, will it be OK?

Some dogs are prescribed xanax for anxiety and separation, so it is not particularly dangerous at low doses appropriate for your dog's weight and age. However, a larger issue is that toxic thresholds are not well defined for dogs. For reference, common Xanax dosages for dogs is up to 0.05 mg per pound of body weight. So if you have a small dog, like a 5-pound chihuahua, they might be prescribed a dose of up to .25 mg. Larger dogs would have larger doses, like a 10 pound dog with up to a .50 mg dose, or a 40 pound dog with up to a 2mg dose. For humans, Xanax pills are usually about .25mg, .5mg, or 1mg. So if your dog ate a couple pills, you can do the math to figure out if it might be over the dose that might be prescribed to your dog (given its weight). If it is within those guidelines, you probably have nothing to worry about. Definitely contact your veterinarian either way!  




My dog ate Xylitol, will it be OK?

Many modern gums contain a sugar alcohol called Xylitol, which is toxic for dogs to consume. Xylitol will cause your dog's insulin levels to spike, dropping blood sugar levels to very low levels and damaging the liver. This can be lethal. If you have a small breed, trouble can arise after eating only 1 piece of gum. Larger breeds will take many more pieces. In general, about 3 grams of Xylitol can kill a dog up to about 65 pounds. For reference, a piece of gum might have about a third of a gram of Xylitol. So three pieces is about 1 gram of it, which can kill a small breed. Six pieces is about 2 grams of it, which can kill a medium breed. And a pack of Xylitol-containing gum can have about 3 grams, which is enough to kill even large-sized breeds. Be very careful of where you store your gum, to keep it out of the reach of your dogs. If your dog ate some gum containing Xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately. Symptoms of Xylitol poisoning can begin in as little as 15 minutes after consumption, so call immediately. The veterinarian will probably tell you to watch out for vomiting, lethargy, weakness, seizures, lack of coordination, and even coma; they might even want you to induce vomiting at home over the phone.




My dog ate yogurt, will it be OK?

This is definitely OK, and worst case scenario your dog will probably develop some stomach upset and loose stools. That's not because yogurt is particularly dangerous for dogs; rather, it's because your dog was likely been weaned off dairy long ago and their digestive systems just aren't used to it. If your dog shows prolonged stomach upset after eating dairy, like loose stools lasting for more than a day, definitely contact your veterinarian as you might be dealing with an allergy. 




My dog ate Zantac, will it be OK?

Zantac is not generally considered toxic for dogs, but like any medication it can be very dangerous if consumed in large quantities, especially for smaller breeds. If your dog ate one or two pills, they will likely be completely fine. If they've had a bunch of pills, like over 8-10 of them, your dog will likely show some side effects like diarrhea, restlessness, and vomiting. If you think your dog has consumed a higher number of these pills (like over 5 for a small breed, over 10 for larger breeds), definitely contact your veterinarian and they will let you know how to spot a problem early if one arises.  




My dog ate zinc pills, will it be OK?

Zinc poisoning due to ingesting items containing zinc (zinc pills, lozenges, pennies, nuts, bolts, or galvanized metals) can cause severe illness and death. If your dog swallowed zinc pills, seek immediate veterinarian assistance. If your dog shows any symptoms of zinc poisoning, such as weakness, pale or orange gums, vomiting, decreased appetite, discolored urine (usually blood colored), increased heart rate, or rapid breathing, you need to seek urgent help. It is likely that your veterinarian will need to do blood work, urine analysis, and might determine that IV fluids are necessary, medications to reduce stomach acidity and promote the transit of the zinc, and in some severe cases a blood transfusion might be required.




My dog ate Zoloft, will it be OK?

Zoloft is actually prescribed for dogs to reduce anxiety, typically at a dose of from 1 to 3mg per pound of body weight. So if your dog weighs 10 pounds, a usual dose might be about 10-30mg, and for larger dogs that weigh about 40 pounds, a usual dose might be about 40-120mg. Humans take a variety of doses, so check your pill jar for the mg content per pill, and do the math. For instance, if you think your 40 pound dog ate three 50 mg pills (150mg), they should be completely fine, though it might cause them to be quite sedated. But if your 10 pound dog did the same thing, he will likely suffer an overdose. Overdose of Zoloft can cause your dog to experience vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and increase salivating/drooling. It can get much more serious than that as well, including muscle tremors, agitation, seizures, coma, and even death. It is very important to contact your veterinarian if your dog has ingested any medication, as they will help you keep an eye on his condition and check for symptoms that indicate a major problem.