Sparkle & Smile

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Healthy Home

Important Information For Pet Owners

According to the ASPCA, thousands of dogs suffer (and some die) each year by ingesting common household foods and substances. If you suspect that your pet has eaten any of them, seek emergency help right away:

Because alcohol can be fatal to dogs, no amount of alcoholic beverage is safe.  Even beer should be off limits.

The darker the chocolate, the more harmful. The methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine) in chocolate can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, experience rapid, irregular heart beat, have increased urination, and experience muscle tremors and seizures. The effects can be serious. Death from chocolate toxicity can occur with 24 hours.

Coffee, tea and cola contain caffeine, a methylxanthine also found in chocolate. The signs of toxicity include rapid heart beat, hyperexcitability, tremors, and seizures.
Macadamia nuts can temporarily cause muscle weakness, often in the hind legs. Other signs include vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. The mechanism of the toxicity is unknown. Affected dogs recover with no treatment and no long-term effects.

Onions and garlic have a chemical that damages red blood cells in dogs and can cause anemia. Even one small whole onion can cause death. Be extremely careful when disposing of left-overs that contain a significant amount of onions, such as pizza or Chinese take-out. The small amounts of onion and garlic powder used in pet foods is safe and well below the toxic levels.

Raisins and grapes cause vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney failure. The minimum safe amount is not known, so keep these foods well out of reach of your pet.

Sugarless gums and candies are certainly sweet, but the sugar substitute xylitol can cause a rapid drop in your dog’s blood sugar.

Moldy or spoiled food and garbage should stay in the trash. They can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting, diarrhea, and damage to internal organs.

Yeast dough, like the kind used in making bread or desserts, is designed to expand. If swallowed by an unsuspecting canine, it can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possibly rupture of the stomach or intestines.

Medications such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Naproxen may give you some relief, but painkillers and other common medications can be deadly to your dog. Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, cold medicines, diet pills, antidepressants, anti-cancer drugs, and vitamins, in closed cabinets out of your pets’ reach. Never give your dog medication unless directed by a vet.

Plants can be deadly for your dog. Many common yard and houseplants can be poisonous, including lily, daffodil, oleander, rhododendron, azalea, yew, foxglove, rhubarb leaves, and cycads.

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about our environment and the health of you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to and  Watch our video on achieving work/life balance at  To learn more about the hidden allergy and asthma triggers in your home, log on to

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