Tag Archives: poison

No, apple cores and seeds aren’t toxic to pets

A reader asks if apple cores are toxic to her dog. Was this important pet health information, or an excuse to write about QT Pi Becker? You decide!

Q: I like to give my dog apple cores, and he loves them, but I heard that the seeds contain cyanide. Should I stop giving them? I don’t want to poison him! — via Facebook

A: They say that an apple day keeps the doctor away, and it probably helps to keep the veterinarian away, too. Bites of apple — you probably don’t want to give a whole one all at once — are a good, low-calorie, crunchy treat for dogs. They can help to freshen a dog’s breath and are a good way to help a dieting dog feel like he’s not so deprived.

Keep giving your dog apple cores without worry. Apple seeds are overhyped as being poisonous to pets. The amount of cyanide within a few seeds is so minimal that it’s really not a concern. I know of some dogs who love to steal apples right off the tree when they can reach them, or just wait for them to fall.

QT Pi loves apples, especially Honeycrisps or Fujis that snap back when bitten into. How do I know this? Because I asked him, and he told me so. For variety, he likes them dusted with cinnamon or lightly dipped in Lighthouse caramel dip (three for daddy, one for son). Know that the gooey version is only an infrequent treat, and we closely monitor his calorie intake and weight to keep him at his ideal body weight.

Other great, healthy “people food” treats — in moderation, of course — include bananas, blueberries, carrots, green beans, cooked sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and watermelon. A couple of dogs I know even like slices of tangerine and orange.

If you ever do think your pet has eaten something toxic and you can’t reach your veterinarian, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for life-saving advice.

Find out more in this week’s Pet Connection!

When pets down dangerous substances: Some nontoxic food for thought

Your pet comes in licking his chops well before mealtime. Uh-oh. What has he gotten into?

Chances are, it’s something that’s not good for him. Last year, the Top 10 toxins ingested by pets were over-the-counter medications, medications prescribed for humans, insecticides, human foods that are toxic to pets, household items, veterinary medications, chocolate, plants, rodenticides and lawn and garden products.

If you find evidence or even suspect that your pet has swallowed something that could disagree with him in a serious or fatal way, the first thing to do is take a deep breath and remain calm. Then look for empty packaging or other clues as to what he might have eaten and how much.

Call the veterinarian to say that you’re on your way with your pet, and why. Bring the empty or partially eaten containers, plant material or any type of label. It will help your veterinarian to know if that chocolate bar your dog ate is milk chocolate or 77 percent cocoa Belgian chocolate.

Maybe it’s the middle of the night and you don’t have a 24-hour veterinary hospital in your area. Call a pet poison hotline. Be prepared to describe packaging, labels or plant type and whether your dog or cat is conscious, alert, breathing normally and able to stand and walk.

Don’t induce vomiting. It’s not the best way to remove toxic substances from a pet’s stomach, so toss out that old bottle of ipecac. Nobody recommends it anymore, for pets or kids. Instead, keep activated charcoal on hand. It acts like a sponge, absorbing what’s in the stomach. Stick with plain activated charcoal, available from your drugstore or grocery store.

Read more here