SALT LAKE CITY -- Veterinarians are concerned by a growing incidence of dogs getting poisoned by things their owners don't realize are toxic. Since so many of us consider dogs part of the family, here's what you should know to help your family Stay Safe.
Natalie Christensen's dog Sy had a bad reaction two days after she caught him eating grapes.
"When he'd hold his head up, it would tremble. He couldn't walk strait. He just looked listless," Christensen says.
The vet gave him a 20 percent chance to live. After a week in a pet ICU, several thousand dollars and months of treatment, he's finally himself again. But now Sy's owner wants other dog lovers to recognize chocolate is not the only food off-limits for dogs.
"A grape is a fruit. How could a fruit be bad for a dog? But people need to know that grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs' kidneys," Christensen says.
Dr. Jeffery Simmons, veterinarian with Advanced Veterinary Care, says, "Some dogs can have a bunch of grapes or raisins and not have any problems, and some can get toxic from just two or three; and we don't really know why that is yet."
Vets have also seen an increase in poisoning with things like sugar-free gum, coffee grinds in garbage, onion, garlic and people giving dogs medications meant for people. [CLICK HERE for a list of the Top 10 Pet Poisons]
"Dogs and cats can't take our drugs like ibuprofen and Tylenol, and such the same if at all. And that's a very common toxicity in dogs," Simmons says.
The old concerns of fertilizer, chemicals and antifreeze have given way to household products, and vets believe that reflects a trend in families.
"A lot of that may be because more exposure, more animals are staying in the house, more pets per household," Simmons says.
Veterinarians suggest if your dog has consumed grapes, raisins or any of those other household items we mentioned, you should take them to the vet before waiting to see their symptoms.