I'm speaking from personal experience here - my own dog has gotten into the pantry and tried to poison himself - twice - with raisins. Each time I've had to make him vomit with hydrogen peroxide, take him to the clinic, and give him activated charcoal and lots of extra fluids. Thankfully he's fine, but learn from my mistakes: keep all these items well away from your pets!
1. Chocolate (and coffee) - the darker the bar, the more toxic. Chocolate can cause vomiting/diarrhea, agitation, and seizures. It becomes most dangerous in large quantities, so smaller dogs are most at risk for the toxic effects (or large dogs who eat entire bars).
2. Raisins/Grapes/Currants - not all dogs and not all raisins, but they can cause fatal kidney damage so need quick treatment. We don't know exactly what the toxic compound is and we can't predict which dogs will be affected, so the safest course is to decontaminate as quickly as possible and support the kidneys with fluids.
3. Onions - cause damage to the liver and red blood cells. Avoid both cooked or raw onions.
4. Xylitol (found in sugar-free gum, baked goods, and some peanut butter) - causes our pets' blood sugar to drop dangerously low because they release a flood of insulin in response to the xylitol. It can lead to coma and even death. Exposure often requires hospitalization and IV dextrose support until the blood sugar returns to normal.
So, what to do in case of exposure?
If you know your pet has eaten any of these items recently, induce vomiting at home with hydrogen peroxide (ask us for a dose before this happens so you know what to do in an emergency). Then call us so we can get your pet the treatment needed as soon as possible to hopefully prevent serious injury. Remember - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - keep these away from your pets!