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5 Common Human Products That Can Harm Your Dog

Your dog is a part of your family, so naturally, you want to keep them as safe and happy as you would your children. Unfortunately, just as there are many things that aren’t safe for kids, there are also many things that aren’t safe for your canine companion. We at Citizen Canine dog boarding want you to be aware of these five common human products that can harm your dog.


Everyone has heard that chocolate is bad for dogs, but few understand precisely why. It contains a chemical called theobromine, which is responsible for the pleasure that humans get from eating chocolate. For dogs, however, theobromine is anything but enjoyable. Their systems process the chemical poorly, resulting in toxic buildup. Common symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, accelerated heart rate, seizures and cardiac arrest.


Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is often used in sugar-free and diabetic-friendly foods. In dogs, this substance causes a massive insulin surge, driving down their blood glucose levels to a life-threatening degree. It causes muscle weakness, lethargy, excessive thirst, seizures and damage to the brain and liver.


Dogs will eat almost anything, even if it’s not food. If your pooch has a taste for money, however, it could kill them. Pennies made after 1982 contain zinc, which is toxic to dogs. Their stomach acid gets through to the zinc core rapidly and can cause problems within hours.

Mosquito Repellant

While mosquitoes, ticks and fleas can pose a health threat to your dog, you should never spray them with DEET-based repellants. These products are toxic and can cause vomiting, motor control issues, brain cell death and seizures.


It seems obvious that you shouldn’t give your dog beer or liquor, but there are other sources that you should be aware of. Mouthwash, vanilla extracts, tinctures and perfumes also contain alcohol, often in very high concentrations. Products containing rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) should also be avoided. Dogs absorb alcohol at an alarming rate, and depending on their size, they can reach fatal blood concentrations quickly, even in doses that would barely affect a human being.