A very popular new year’s resolution is to get fitter or healthier. While doing this, some of us may choose to take supplements to help aid our diets or boost our performance in the gym. Other people decide to use supplements during the winter months to keep them healthy so that they do not succumb to all those nasty bugs going around!
What do supplements contain?
There are a huge number of supplements on the market and they are readily available to buy in pharmacies such as Boots, supermarkets, health food shops such as Holland and Barrett as well as online.
Many will contain multivitamins, minerals and amino acids which are required in small amounts for our general health. In most cases, if your pet were to eat these, they are unlikely to result in serious health issues.
Which vitamins and minerals are dangerous to our dogs?
Some supplements could contain ingredients that may be harmful, (brace yourself, here comes the science bit!) for example:
· Iron - in large amounts can lead to severe stomach upset and organ damage in severe cases.
· Vitamin D - in large amounts can lead to increased calcium levels in the blood.
· 5-hydroxytryptophan (or 5-HTP), can cause ‘serotonin syndrome’, which results in high body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, and tremor or seizures.
· Caffeine, guarana, coffee extract, tea extracts etc. are stimulants and can cause increased heart rate and body temperature, tremors and seizures.
· Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) which is an antioxidant can cause low blood sugar and liver damage in cats and dogs.
· Glucosamine, chondroitin and methylsulfonylmethan (MSM) which are often present in joint supplements for conditions such as arthritis can cause stomach upset, or even liver damage if a large quantity is eaten
Are there any other ingredients in supplements which are poisonous to dogs?
For those of us taking supplements that are made up in a drink, for example effervescent products or protein powder products, if these are sugar free, be aware that they may contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can cause low blood sugar and liver damage in dogs. Protein powders may also contain cocoa powder or chocolate which dogs and cats do not tolerate well, causing stomach upset and symptoms similar to caffeine.
Animal PoisonLine’s top 3 tips for supplements poisoning:
1. Do not give human vitamin and mineral supplements to your pet – they may be healthy for you but toxic to your dog or cat
2. Keep all supplements hidden away from pets so that they cannot access them, this includes handbags which dogs frequently raid!
3. If your pet has eaten your supplements by accident make sure that you seek advice quickly and ideally have the packaging to hand with the strengths of the different ingredients
Please be aware, this list is not exhaustive and new products are being launched all the time. If you are worried your pet has eaten something they or been exposed to something they should not have, please call the Animal PoisonLine on 01202 509 000 for advice on what to do next. If your pet starts showing any signs, then take them to your local vet practice immediately for treatment. The sooner they are treated, the better the outcome.
- Mar 22, 2018 Asthma inhalers in dogs Mar 22, 2018
- Mar 19, 2018 Are fertilisers dangerous for dogs and cats to eat? Mar 19, 2018
- Mar 12, 2018 What types of detergents are dangerous to our pets and why? Mar 12, 2018
- Mar 8, 2018 Vaping around pets – Are e-cigarettes dangerous to our pets? Mar 8, 2018
- Mar 5, 2018 Is it safe to give paracetamol, human painkillers or pain relief medicine to my pet? Mar 5, 2018
- Mar 1, 2018 Are daffodils poisonous to cats and dogs? Mar 1, 2018
- Feb 26, 2018 Top 7 common poisons for pets - found in your handbags! Feb 26, 2018
- Feb 22, 2018 How dangerous is Cannabis for dogs? Feb 22, 2018
- Feb 19, 2018 Supplements which can cause harm to your dog! Feb 19, 2018
- Feb 15, 2018 Dog poisoned by anti-depressants? What do you do? Feb 15, 2018
- Feb 9, 2018 Animal PoisonLine's Valentine's Day Special - How to keep your pets safe this February 14th Feb 9, 2018
- Feb 8, 2018 Help! What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Rat Poison? Feb 8, 2018
- Feb 3, 2018 Cats & lilies! How to protect your cats! Feb 3, 2018
- Feb 1, 2018 Is it safe to make my dog sick? Feb 1, 2018
- Jan 18, 2018 Is chocolate poisonous to dogs? Jan 18, 2018
- Jan 11, 2018 Why Cough and Cold Medicines are dangerous for our pets? Jan 11, 2018
- Dec 28, 2017 New Year's Eve Pet Poisons Dec 28, 2017
- Dec 21, 2017 Animal PoisonLine’s Christmas Guide – How to keep your pets safe this CHRISTMAS III Dec 21, 2017
- Dec 21, 2017 Animal PoisonLine’s Christmas Guide – How to keep your pets safe this CHRISTMAS II Dec 21, 2017
- Dec 14, 2017 Animal PoisonLine’s Christmas Guide – How to keep your pets safe this Christmas Dec 14, 2017
- Nov 23, 2017 Vitamin D supplements – toxic risks to our pets from the sunshine vitamin Nov 23, 2017
- Nov 16, 2017 Xylitol – Why is it Dangerous for our Dogs? Nov 16, 2017
- Nov 9, 2017 Why you shouldn’t let Cats near AntiFreeze! Nov 9, 2017
- Nov 1, 2017 How to keep your pets safe during Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night! Nov 1, 2017
- Oct 26, 2017 Halloween trick or treats your pets can’t eat! Oct 26, 2017