206.323.4433 2115 - 23rd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144

Concierge Curbside Service During COVID-19 Pandemic

Concierge Curbside Service During COVID-19 Pandemic | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

We’re taking extra precautions to care for your pets during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing concierge curbside service. All of our regular wellness, surgical, and illness-care services are available.

However, due to state requirements for social distancing, and to reduce the possible transmission of coronavirus disease, human clients are not allowed in the hospital.

How Concierge Curbside Service Works

  1. You and your pet arrive in our parking lot and remain in your vehicle.
  2. Call us from the parking lot: 206-323-4433.
  3. Our staff will escort your pet into the hospital while you remain in your car.
  4. Our staff and doctors will communicate with you via phone, provide care for your pet, and then return your pet to your vehicle. Please be prepared to answer the doctor’s call while you are waiting in your car.
  5. Payment can be collected over the phone.

Important Notes

  • Cats and tiny dogs must be in a carrier.
  • We’ll provide our own leash for larger dogs.
  • Refills for medication and prescription diets will also be delivered to your car.

FAQ About Pets and COVID-19

Concierge Curbside Service During COVID-19 Pandemic | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Q: Can pets get COVID-19?

A: To date, two cats and one dog nationwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19, out of the many thousands who have been tested.

Q: Can I get COVID-19 from my pets?

According to the CDC, “there is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Q: Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am ill with COVID-19?

A: Yes. If you are ill with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), avoid contact with pets and other animals, just as you would around other people.

Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet.

According to the AVMA, “if you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet or service animal. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.”

Q: If I have symptoms of COVID-19 and my pet needs veterinary care, should I bring my pet to the veterinary hospital?

A: If you are symptomatic, please stay home unless seeking medical care for yourself. If your pet needs medical attention, contact a local public health official. This individual can then consult with local veterinarians to discern how to provide care for your pet while minimizing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to others. If you aren’t sure whether your pet needs to be seen, call Atlantic Veterinary Hospital at 206-323-4433.

Q: Should I wash my hands before and after interacting with my pet?

A: Yes; always! Animals can spread diseases other than COVID-19 to people; hand-washing helps minimize the spread of any germs or diseases. Always practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.

Where to Find Accurate Information About COVID-19 and Pets

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

COVID-19 Advice and Resources,” World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA)

Animals and Coronavirus Disease 2019,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Pets, Healthy People

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

World Health Organization (WHO)

15 Days to Slow the Spread” – Whitehouse.gov

Basics for Your Pet’s First-Aid Kit

Basics for Your Pet’s First-Aid Kit | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

We’ve all experienced accidents. Injuries. Sudden illness. Poisoning. Natural disasters. These things happen to our pets, too, so it’s important to have both human and pet-specific first-aid supplies on hand.

We recommend putting together two pet first-aid kits – one for your car and one for your home. Before you create your pet’s first-aid kit, talk with your veterinarian, who will suggest items appropriate for your pet’s breed, age, medical history, and lifestyle.

You can buy ready-made first-aid kits for pets, and you can also use many of the supplies in your household first-aid kit for your pet.

Here are some basic items for your furry family member’s first-aid kit:

➡️ Contact information. A hard copy of phone numbers and email addresses for your veterinarian, emergency veterinarian, animal control, and animal poison control. Program this information into your cell phone, as well.

➡️ Medications. Backup supplies of all current prescribed medications (make sure they have not expired). Also include vet-approved, over-the-counter medications such as flea and tick preventives, sedatives for traveling, and antacids.

➡️ 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. If your pet ingests something poisonous, you may need to induce vomiting. Always contact your local animal poison control or your veterinarian before inducing vomiting.

❗ Do not use Hydrogen Peroxide to clean or disinfect wounds, as it can slow healing.

➡️ Milk of magnesia or activated charcoal can be used to absorb poison. As with Hydrogen Peroxide, always contact your local animal poison control or your veterinarian before administering either of these items.

➡️ Canned tuna (in water) or a can or chicken broth. Some plants and household cleaners can irritate your pet’s mouth, causing severe drooling and foaming. Giving your pet something tasty (such as the water from the can of tuna) can dilute the taste and safely flush the chemical out of your pet’s mouth and esophagus.

➡️ Saline wound flush for cleaning, irrigating, or flushing a wound. A bottle of saline eye/contact lens flush or saline nasal spray can also be used.

➡️ Liquid dish soap (not dishwasher soap) can be used to gently remove potentially poisonous chemicals or toxins from your pet’s fur.

➡️ Antibiotic ointment. For minor skin wounds, over-the-counter antibiotic ointment may work in a pinch. Ask your veterinarian which ointment they recommend for your pet.

➡️ Bandages and gauze. Do not use human adhesive bandages on pets. Invest in vet wrap, a flexible, stretchy, self-adhering bandage that is semi-watertight. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the correct width and to show you how to properly apply it.

🐾 Also include gauze rolls, gauze pads, non-stick bandage pads, self-adhesive bandage covers, bandage tape, blunt-tip bandage scissors, and tweezers.

➡️ Rectal thermometer, water-based lubricating jelly for use with the thermometer, and disposable gloves. Know what your pet’s “normal” is and ask your veterinarian how to properly use the thermometer.

➡️ Muzzle. When pets get wounded, they can become frantic. A muzzle covers your pet’s head and keeps it from biting.  If your pet is vomiting, do not muzzle it!

➡️ Leash, collar, poop bags, and kitty litter. Dogs can snap leashes in accidents, and a sick dog goes through a LOT of poop bags! If you are a cat owner and need to evacuate your home, you’ll be thankful that your first-aid kit includes a quart-size bag of kitty litter.

➡️ Collapsible travel food and water bowls. Whether you’re running errands, taking a road trip, or hiking, your pet needs to stay hydrated. Silicone bowls are ideal, as plastic can easily break into sharp pieces.

🐾 Include bottled water in your first-aid kit, too, of course.

➡️ Canned pet food. In some emergencies, you may need to evacuate immediately. Make sure your kit includes several cans of canned food with a pop-off lid, in case you forget a can opener.

Where to store pet first-aid supplies

Put supplies in a large tool box, fishing tackle box, backpack, shoulder bag, rubber bin, or in a heavy-duty, sealable plastic bag. Whatever storage system you use, make sure it’s easy to pick up and take wherever your pet needs treatment.

Store a kit in each automobile you drive, and one kit inside your home, out of the reach of children and pets.

Check your first-aid kit every few months and replace any missing or expired items.

Additional Resources

Weight Loss Tips for Dogs and Cats

Many of us make resolutions that pertain to decreasing the size of our waistline.

Sadly, many pets need their owners to make – and keep – resolutions pertaining to their waistlines too. Obesity rates in pets are increasing and now parallel the growing number American adults with a weight problem.

Fifty-four percent of dogs and cats are overweight or obese, according to reports from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

Fat Cats

Fat is a biologically active tissue, and excess fat tissue can wreak havoc on a pet’s metabolism. Cats with excessive body weight are at significantly higher risk for developing insulin-dependent diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Plump Pups

Overweight and obese dogs also have increased risk of arthritis, diabetes, heat exhaustion, and cancer. Obese animals also have increased anesthetic risk should they require surgery.

Weight Loss Tips for Pets

Losing weight involves strategically and carefully decreasing calories (while preserving critical nutrients) and gradually increasing exercise. Sound familiar? Yes, we humans go through the same process to lose weight!

Please consult us before starting your pet on a diet. We will help you determine the proper number of calories, the type of diet, and the amount of exercise your pet needs each day, based on several factors:

  • your pet’s weight and metabolism
  • whether your pet is spayed or neutered
  • your pet’s age
  • typical daily activity your pet currently gets
  • whether your pet is indoors or outdoors, or both

Measure & Track

Once you know how many calories per day your pet should be eating, you’ll want to measure and track how much you feed your pet. Studies show that feeding even 10 extra tiny kibbles per day can add up to a pound of weight gain per year in small dogs and indoor cats!

Avoid Sugary Treats

Cut back on the treats, please! You don’t want to sabotage your efforts to help your pet lose weight by “rewarding” him with sugar- and fat-laden treats. As little as 30 extra calories per day can result in a weight gain of more than three pounds a year (kind of like humans gain weight when we inhale high-calorie drinks, donuts, and snack crackers).

When you give your pet a treat, look for healthful low-calorie, no-sugar goodies. Some treats offer the added bonus of helping keep your pet’s teeth clean. Ask us to recommend healthy goodies.

Monitor Serving Size

Break those treats into teeny-tiny pieces. Your pet can’t do math — she won’t realize that you’re rewarding her with half a treat!

Healthier Options than Store-Bought Treats

  • Dogs: small slices of apple, banana, baby carrots, broccoli, green beans
  • Cats: a flake of tuna or salmon

Exercise With Your Pet Every Day

Of course, daily exercise is a must. Exercise helps regulate weight and behavior, boosts your pet’s immune function, and improves cardiovascular health.

Take your dog on a brisk walk for 20 to 30 minutes.

Actively play with your cat for 5 to 15 minutes per day, using a cat toy, remote-controlled battery mice, practice golf balls (the ones with holes in them), or a wad of paper.

The health benefits of exercising with your pet will rub off on both of you!

Ask for Help

At Atlantic Veterinary Hospital, we have an arsenal of creative and time-proven strategies that may be helpful in your efforts to improve your pet’s weight, including what to do if some members of your family have a hard time accepting or adhering to a pet’s new health régime.

Please call us at 206-323-4433 for an appointment if you’d like to discuss your pet’s weight and set up an exercise plan.

Here’s to the health of you and your family, both human and furry.

6 Brain Games to Keep Your Dog’s Mind Healthy

Proper exercise for dogs is important to their overall physical and mental well-being. But often, mental exercise is given short shrift when looking at fulfilling a dog’s needs.

4 Easy Ways to Keep Your Dog's Mind as Healthy As Her Body | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Dogs that are bored or anxious can develop mild-to-severe behavioral problems. Providing your dog with brain exercise is easy to do.

Here are six ideas to try:

1. Train your dog to learn a new behavior

This video demonstrates how to work simultaneously on the “down-stay” exercise for your dog while getting your own workout.

You’ll need treats for your dog — consider using your dog’s daily allotment of kibble as rewards to help with weight control.

Here are 52 tricks you can teach your dog.

2. Enroll your dog in a continuing education class

People can take continuing education classes… why not dogs? After your dog “graduates” from obedience training, consider enrolling her in a “dog sports” course, such as agility training or scent work.

Or try a “brain games” class, where your dog can learn to ride a skateboard, discriminate colors, and more.

To find out what classes are available in your area, visit the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

3. Play nose work games

A dog’s sense of smell is thousands of times stronger than a human’s. Allowing her to “see” the world through olfactory senses stretches her mind and keeps her entertained.

You can teach your dog the “find it” or “seek” command with a nose work or scent game. As an enticement, select some smelly treats to have your dog find. The treat might be as simple as her regular kibble. Or it might be her favorite toy, or a favorite treat she doesn’t get very often.

Have your dog sit in the “stay” position and place a treat slightly out of her line of sight. Then tell her to “find it.”

Encourage her as she’s searching for the treat and praise her when she’s getting close and when she finds it. If she’s having trouble finding the treat, give her clues by making a scent trail for her to follow (or point out the treat to her).

As your dog masters the basics, you can up the game by placing treats or toys a little farther away, or in places where she won’t see them right away, such as on a windowsill or a chair.

4. Go on sensory walks

Similar to nose work games, sensory walks stimulate your dog’s olfactory senses while providing physical exercise. If you normally walk a straight line with your leashed dog next to you, consider designating certain times or areas during your walk for free sniffing. This video demonstrates how to teach our dog the “go sniff” cue.

Vary your walks, and search out places that have an abundance of new smells.

5. Arrange a dog-human “date”

Bring your dog with you on outings. Riding in the car and seeing new faces and places can be mentally stimulating for her and helps reinforce socialization.

Before setting out on your “date,” research dog-friendly places (such as coffee shops, restaurants, home improvement stores, garden/nursery stores). Check with the store manager first, and make sure your dog is on her best behavior during your date.

6. Give your dog an interactive puzzle toy

Dogs are natural problem solvers. Puzzle toys keep her focused on a task and boost her confidence.

You may need to experiment with several different types of puzzles until you find one that keeps her busy and engaged.

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth (Video)

We humans brush and floss our teeth daily (hopefully!). Brushing your dog’s teeth every day will help keep his smile healthy.How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth | atlanticvetseattle.com

Acclimate your dog to the tooth-brushing process when he’s a puppy, if possible, so he becomes comfortable with you looking at his teeth, opening his mouth, and smelling his breath.

Establishing a “normal” baseline is important, because it’ll help you recognize changes, such as reddened or puffy gums, cracked or broken teeth, growths, swellings, discharges from the teeth and gums, or a change in breath. (If you notice any changes, schedule an appointment with us so we can do a thorough exam.)

Here’s a 7-step process  to help your dog get used to having his teeth brushed:

Step 1:

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth | atlanticvetseattle.com

First, you’ll want to get your dog used to having your hands near his mouth. For a few days, gently run your fingers around his lips and the outside of his mouth (muzzle) until he gets comfortable with you touching around his mouth (praise your dog and reward him with a treat).

Step 2:

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth | atlanticvetseattle.com

Once he’s comfortable with that, gently lift his lips and run your fingers along his teeth and gums for a few days.

Step 3:

Find out which pet-approved toothpaste your dog likes. Don’t use human toothpaste, which usually contains fluoride, a substance that can be toxic if swallowed (and dogs can’t spit in the sink, nor do they rinse their mouths after brushing). Some toothpastes for humans contain a sweetener called xylatol, which can be deadly for dogs.

Get a couple of enticing-to-dogs flavors such as beef and poultry. Let your dog taste-test the toothpaste. Put a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on your clean finger, and allow your dog to lick it off your finger. If he likes the flavor, the tooth-brushing experience will be more pleasant for both of you.

Step 4:

Using a veterinarian-approved toothbrush that’s the correct size for your dog’s mouth, add a dab of toothpaste to the brush and gently brush his front teeth and the adjacent gum line for a couple of seconds, using a small circular motion. Do this for a few days to help your dog get used to the tooth-brushing experience.

Step 5:

Over the course of several days, slowly work your way to the back of the mouth, brushing on the outside of the teeth. Ninety-six percent of tartar is on the outside of a dog’s teeth, so don’t worry about brushing the inside of your dog’s teeth; his tongue will keep the inside of the teeth fairly clean.

Step 6:

Gradually work up to brushing both sides of your dog’s mouth for 30 seconds per day.

Step 7:

After every session, lavishly praise your dog and reward him with a crunchy veggie treat.

Monthly and Yearly Checks

Once a month, do a thorough check inside your dog’s mouth to see whether you notice any unusual changes.

Once a year, schedule an oral health exam. Every 1-3 years (depending on your veterinarian’s recommendation), schedule a professional dental cleaning.

Wellness Plans Make Routine Dental Healthcare Affordable

Atlantic Veterinary Hospital’s Wellness Plans are a program we designed to save you money on important preventive healthcare services for your furry family members.

Each Wellness Plan provides all essential preventive healthcare services we recommend for one year, plus discounts on any additional care your pet may need. Some of our plans include additional services like a professional dental cleaning and full-mouth digital dental radiographs.

Wellness Plan costs have some built-in discounts and spread the cost of care over 12 months with zero interest, allowing you to budget for your pet’s care. If you’d like to learn more about our affordable wellness plans, give us a call at 206-323-4433.

Related articles:

Why do Pets Get Dental Disease?

Dental Checkups and X-Rays: An Important Routine to Keep Your Pet’s Teeth Healthy


5 Tips for a Healthier Dog Smile

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth (video) – White Cross Vets

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

How to Clean Your Dog's Ears | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Ear infection, or “otitis,” is one of the top three reasons dogs see a veterinarian.

A variety of things can cause ear infections in dogs, but environmental and food allergies are the two most common underlying reasons.

Other causes include ear conformation, such as a narrowed ear canals, hair growing inside the ear, or a floppy ear – anything that traps moisture inside the ear canal.

Foreign objects inside an ear (like foxtail seeds), ear tumorsear mites, and endocrine disorders can also be underlying causes of ear infection as well, but are much less common.

The pollen count in our area as been high this spring, and the same things that make our eyes itch and noses run affect our pets, causing similar symptoms, plus ear infections and itchy skin and feet.

How to clean your dog’s ears

Regular ear cleaning (once or twice a week) can go a long way in preventing ear problems in dogs that are prone to ear infection, and thus reduce veterinary visits. Ear cleaning decreases cerumin (ear wax) accumulation, as well as diminishes the pollen, bacteria, and yeast on the ear canals’ surface, helping prevent an ear infection. Gentle care must be taken when cleaning pets’ ears, as their ear drums are as thin as onion skin and can rupture, exposing the fragile middle ear.

Ear cleaners: Dos and Don’ts

Do not put anything in your pet’s ears if they already have an ear infection. Call us first for an appointment. For routine ear cleaning, choosing an appropriate ear cleaner is very important. Most ear cleaners sold online or in pet stores are not appropriate. We recommend ear cleaning and drying solutions that are:

  • alcohol-free
  • have a pH (acidity) adjusted to dogs’ natural pH level
  • ceruminolytic (“wax dissolving”)
  • drying
  • do not interfere with ear medications, if they’re necessary

Many over-the-counter ear cleaning solutions do not fit the above criteria and may actually harm a dog’s ears. Water and hydrogen peroxide, which turns to water in the ear, are also not recommended for use as ear cleaners, as they leave moisture in an environment that needs to be clean and dry.

We suggest either Epi Otic Ear Cleaning & Drying Solution or Malacetic Ultra Ear Cleaning & Drying Solution. Both fit all the criteria and are available through our hospital.

Dogs’ ear canals are longer and shaped differently than ours. Take a moment to watch the following video which explains and demonstrates proper ear cleaning technique.

If your dog already has an ear infection, we need to see him or her right away. Untreated ear infections are extremely painful, can become chronic if left unresolved, and cause permanent hearing loss.

After an infection is resolved, you can help prevent recurrences through effective, routine ear cleaning. Please give us a call at 206-323-4433 if you have any questions.

Why Grain-Free & BEG Diets May Be Harming Your Dog

Why Grain-Free & BEG Diets May Be Harming Your Dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Veterinary cardiologists have noticed sharp increase in a very serious heart condition in dogs the past 5 years. This condition, called dilated cardiomyopathy, seems to have an association with diets that are considered boutique, exotic, or grain-free, the so-called BEG Diets.

Dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, is a type of heart disease in which the heart becomes enlarged, the heart muscle becomes flabby, and it does not beat or contract effectively.

DCM can be a silent killer, resulting in the sudden death of a dog that appears normal. DCM can cause heart failure. Early signs of heart failure include weakness, coughing, slowing down, and fainting.

What is a BEG Diet?

  • Boutique:
    Small pet food producer without the resources or size to run their own research studies or employ a veterinary nutritionist.
  • Exotic:
    Protein and plant sources in diets that are considered unstudied, unconventional, and previously rare in the pet food market such as kangaroo, lentils, peas, fava beans, buffalo, tapioca, barley, bison, venison, and chickpeas.
  • Grain-Free:
    A diet that does not use grain-based products like wheat, oatmeal, corn or rice, usually substituting grains with other carbohydrate choices like potatoes, peas, lentils, taro root, or tapioca. Most raw diets are grain-free.

Taurine, Diet, and DCM

In cats, a diet deficient of taurine — an amino acid important in the metabolism of fats — has been associated with DCM.

Research linking taurine to heart disease in cats has been well-documented since the late 1980s; therefore, it is now a required component of all cat foods and cat diets. Tufts University is also studying the effect of BEG diets on cats and a potential link to DCM.

Dogs can typically synthesize or make their own taurine. However, ingredient factors like fiber type, carbohydrate and protein sources, cooking methods, and individual dog characteristics can affect how well their bodies make and use taurine. Until recently, dogs fed a commercial diet rarely had taurine deficiencies.

Some of the newly-diagnosed dogs with DCM cases were tested and had low levels of taurine. With taurine supplementation, some were able to restore their heart function close to normal.

More commonly, however, most dogs with DCM did not test low for taurine, but still responded to taurine supplementation and diet change. Some cases even responded with diet change alone. Sadly, however, the majority of dogs with DCM are diagnosed too late.

The FDA, veterinary nutritionists at Tufts University and University of California-Davis, and veterinary cardiologists are working to determine what specific components of BEG diets might be contributing to DCM. In the meantime, they recommend avoiding grain-free and other BEG diets. Visit taurinedcm.org for more information.

Grains in Pet Foods

Contrary to popular marketing the past 10 years, whole grains are NOT fillers in pet food. They add important proteins, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and fiber to pet diets.

Allergies to grain are very rare in dogs and there is no proof or reliable evidence that grain-free diets are better for our pets. In fact, grain-free diets have not been studied long-term.

Gluten intolerance in pets is even rarer than grain allergies. Gluten- or grain-free diets are considered marketing concepts to address pet owner demands, parallel to the increase in low-carbohydrate diets popular with humans.

Certain dogs may need very specific diets, so when considering a boutique, exotic or grain-free food, please ask us the pros and cons of a particular diet for your pet.

There are times when we may need to prescribe a food with an exotic protein or carbohydrate source to help rule-out or manage food allergies, but we will prescribe a diet from an established company with veterinary nutritionists on staff that conduct proper research.

While this increase in DCM cases is being studied, if you are feeding a BEG diet to your dog, we recommend transitioning diet to a grain-inclusive diet.

Guidelines for Choosing the Manufacture of Your Dog’s Diet

The WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) has guidelines to consider when selecting the manufacture of your dog’s diet. These include:

  • the presence of a board-certified veterinary nutritionist on staff
  • regularly conducted, well-designed research studies and feeding trials
  • publication of full nutritional profiles for each diet

There are only four companies in the US that meet these standards at this time: Royal Canin, Purina, Hill’s Science Diet, and Eukanuba.

Picking Your Pet’s Food

Here are additional resources for information on choosing a pet food from reputable sources:

When switching pets to a new food, always do so gradually over the course of 1-2 weeks to avoid causing gastrointestinal upset.

19 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog

19 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

1. Rodent Poison

If you have a mouse in the house, and you also have a dog, you’ll want to avoid putting mouse or rat poison out.

Several chemicals commonly found in rat, mouse, and mole poisons can be deadly for dogs. Poisoning can take place directly, when a dog ingests the chemicals bromethalin (which poisons the central nervous system), or brodifacoum (an anti-coagulant that keeps blood from clotting). Poisoning can also take place indirectly, when your dog nibbles on a rodent killed by the poison.

There are many different types of rat and mouse poisons, so if your dog ingests some, it’s important to bring either the original packaging, the EPA registration number, or a sample of the poison to the veterinarian so we can accurately identify the active ingredient in the poison (which will help us determine the appropriate treatment).

Rodent poisons are only one of many items you may have around the house that can be toxic to your dog.

2. Mosquito Repellent

During mosquito season, ask your veterinarian for an appropriate product that’s safe for your dog to use, rather than using a repellent made for humans. Mosquito repellents for humans often contain DEET, which dogs are very sensitive to and may cause tremors, seizures, and even death.

3. Slug Bait

Slug bait includes brown sugar or molasses to attract slugs. Unfortunately, the sweet stuff also makes the bait irresistible to our furry friends.

In addition to brown sugar or molasses, slug bait (which comes in pellet, liquid, or powder form) typically contains the active ingredient metaldehyde.

Ingestion of even small quantities of metaldehyde can be fatal. Poisoned pets may show symptoms within minutes, and symptoms may develop up to three hours after ingestion. Learn the symptoms of metaldehyde poisoning, and safer ways to get rid of slugs.

4. Alcoholic Beverages

It may seem funny or cute to get your dog tipsy, but you should never, ever give your dog alcohol.

19 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Similar to alcohol poisoning in humans, a dog who drinks alcohol can experience vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

5. Yeast Dough

Beer and vodka aren’t the only things than can make your dog drunk. Dogs can get drunk from eating raw bread dough!

19 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

That’s because yeast produces ethanol. In addition, yeast dough can rise while it’s in your dog’s stomach, causing painful gas to accumulate in her digestive system. This, in turn, can cause her stomach to bloat and potentially twist.

6. Cigarettes, E-Cigarette Liquid, and Nicotine Patches

In the same way that alcohol is poisonous for dogs, products that contain nicotine can kill a dog. Common reactions to nicotine include severe vomiting, depression, elevated heart rate, decrease in blood pressure, seizures, respiratory failure and, in severe cases, even death.

Be particularly careful with e-cigarette/vaping liquid, which is often flavored, making it irresistible to dogs.

7. Marijuana

With recreational marijuana legal in Washington State, we are seeing a significant increase of marijuana (THC) poisoning in dogs.

Some dog owners are treating their dog with CBD oil (without consulting with us) because they’ve heard that it’s a cure-all for practically any ailment. At Atlantic Veterinary Hospital, we get several requests per day from dog owners who want to treat their dog with CBD oil. Veterinarians do not yet have data about whether the products are safe, what the toxic dose might be, or whether the products contain a consistent amount of CBD. As such, it is illegal for us to recommend CBD oil.

Dogs are also getting into the pot brownies, so we’re seeing increases in both THC poisoning and chocolate poisoning. THC is the neuroactive substance in marijuana and definitely is toxic to dogs.

To be on the safe side, please don’t give your dog CBD oil or any marijuana products or ask us to do so.

8. Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine

Everybody knows that chocolate is bad for dogs, but we thought we’d remind you, anyway. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine, which is toxic to dogs.

19 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Chocolate and coffee also contain substances called methylxanthines. When dogs ingest these substances, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.

Rule of thumb: The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. Baking chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and gourmet dark chocolate are the most toxic types of chocolate. Toxicity is dose-dependent, meaning the smaller the dog, darker the chocolate, or bigger the volume of chocolate consumed, the more likely a problem will occur. We have calculations to help us determine if the toxic dose for a specific weight of dog. Call us right away if you find your dog has eaten chocolate. One chocolate chip cookie or a dropped M&M is not a problem, but a small square of baking chocolate can be toxic.

Keep chocolate-covered raisins, macadamia nuts, and espresso beans away from your dog, too. Not only is the chocolate poisonous, but the foods inside the chocolate are also toxic. Learn what to do if your dog eats chocolate.

9. Raisins and Grapes

19 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure.

10. Macadamia Nuts, Almonds, Pecans, and Walnuts

Don’t let your dog go nuts… keep her away from nuts! The high fat content in nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially, pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia.

11. Coconut, Coconut Water, and Coconut Oil

Small amounts of coconut-based products are not likely to seriously harm your dog. However, the oils can cause stomach upset, loose stools, or pancreatitis. Coconut water is high in potassium; don’t give it to your dog.

12. Citrus

19 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

The citric acid and essential oils present in the stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus products can cause everything from minor stomach upset (when a dog eats a small amount of the fruit) to central nervous system depression (when large amounts are ingested).

13. Milk and Dairy Products

Dogs don’t have enough lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), so dairy-based products can cause digestive upset and diarrhea. Licking your cereal or ice cream bowl is usually not a problem, but more than that can cause GI upset.

14. Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to dogs (and humans). Ingesting raw eggs can lead to skin and coat problems. When your dog chews on raw bones, she can choke or get punctures in her digestive tract. Chewing on bones also frequently breaks teeth, causing extreme pain and requiring surgical removal of the broken tooth.

15. Salt and Salty Snack Foods

Keep bags of chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn far away from your dog.

19 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Heavy doses of salt not only make your dog really thirsty (and cause excessive urination), but salty foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

16. Xylitol and Sorbitol

These two items are used as a sweetener in products such as gum, candy, toothpaste, sugar-free foods, baked goods, laxatives, and other medications.

19 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Even a tiny amount of xylitol (a stick of sugarless gum) can lead to hypoglycemia (a dangerous drop in blood sugar). Symptoms may include vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures, and can lead to liver failure.

Sorbitol, when consumed in large doses, can cause loose stools or diarrhea.

17. Breath Mints and Breath Strips

Human breath fresheners may contain menthol, which can irritate the tissues of the mouth and the gastrointestinal tract. Some breath-freshening products may also contain the sweetener xylitol (see information above on xylitol).

If your dog has bad breath, talk with your veterinarian. Together, you can come up with an appropriate oral and dental health plan.

18. Petroleum Jelly

Dogs have been known to eat practically anything, and petroleum jelly is no exception. If she ingests enough, expect diarrhea and possibly vomiting.

19. Bar Soap and Face Wash

Ah, those sweet-smelling soaps! So irresistible to a dog’s sniffer and taste buds.

19 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

But your dog is probably not smart enough to spit out the soap; instead, she’ll swallow it, which can cause loose stools, diarrhea, or vomiting (all of which can lead to dehydration). And if your dog decides to eat an entire bar of soap, her gastrointestinal tract can get clogged.

What to do if you think your dog was poisoned

Call your regular veterinarian or local veterinary emergency hospital immediately. The sooner we can start appropriate treatment, the better.

Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: (888) 426-4435 (fee-based).

Or call the Pet Poison Helpline (fee-based).

Learn more about dog hazards and toxins

Animal Poison Control Center Podcast

Download a free mobile app from the Animal Poison Control Center that will:

  • help you identify over 300 potential hazards and toxins found in and around the home
  • provide crucial information about the severity of the problem
  • suggest critical next steps


Glaucoma Can Rob Pets of Their Sight


Glaucoma Can Rob Pets of Their Sight | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

In a healthy eye, the clear internal fluid — the aqueous humor — maintains the normal shape of the eye and nourishes the inside tissues. A balance of fluid production and drainage keeps the fluid pressure at normal levels.

Glaucoma occurs when the fluid drainage system in the eye becomes clogged, resulting in abnormally high pressure levels. This high pressure causes severe side effects, including damage to the optic nerve and retina, and can lead to blindness and pain.

Glaucoma can be caused by a structural problem within the eye or can result as a secondary problem from another disorder or underlying disease condition.

Acute glaucoma is a legitimate emergency that requires immediate care to save a pet’s sight.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Glaucoma usually starts in one eye, but frequently progresses to the other eye. Signs are generally subtle at first, and glaucoma can be tough to recognize in its early stages before permanent eye damage occurs. Symptoms can include a cloudy cornea and bloodshot appearance to the eye.

As pressure builds within the eye, glaucoma becomes very painful, and pets often exhibit the following signs:

  • A squinty eye, decreased activity, and irritability.
  • They may stop eating and resist human touch.
  • They may sleep more, avoid bright light, and have trouble seeing.
  • Their eye(s) may even appear bulging in later stages.

While glaucoma can’t necessarily be avoided, if diagnosed early enough, it can be managed. To diagnose a pet’s eye condition, we perform a complete history, physical exam, and eye exam.

Additionally, we may recommend the following, depending on a pet’s specific needs:

  • A separate visit to a veterinary ophthalmologist, who specializes in eye diseases
  • Tonometry, which measures pressure inside of the eye with a small, hand-held instrument
  • X-rays or ultrasound of the skull to identify other abnormalities or tumors
  • Blood tests to try to determine the underlying cause, such as an infectious disease


If your pet is diagnosed with glaucoma, we will prescribe medications to help reduce the pressure within his eyes and make him more comfortable. Depending on the underlying cause, other medications or treatments may help treat the underlying condition.

Different types of surgical therapy may be recommended in an attempt to keep the pressure in the eye controlled. In long-term cases, surgical removal of the eye may be recommended as a last resort because glaucoma is such a painful condition for your pet.

If your pet exhibits any of the symptoms I described above, give us a call at 206-323-4433 or e-mail us to schedule an exam.

Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence are Closely Related

Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence are Closely Related | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

It’s a very sad topic, but one that needs to be discussed – violence and abuse towards humans and animals often occur together.

While the bond between animals and humans has certainly evolved over the years, animal abuse and neglect is unfortunately still a very real problem in today’s society. Veterinarians in the U.S. treat thousands of abused pets each year and are obligated to report the abuse to authorities.

Animal abuse may also be an indication there is other abuse happening in the family, as research shows there is often a link between animal abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse.

Sometimes pets can be used by batterers to intimidate or control family members.

More than half of pet-owning women entering women’s shelters report that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims; one-third reported their children had hurt or killed animals.

Foster care for animal victims of domestic violence

Concern for the safety of their pets can be a barrier to people leaving abusive relationships. To remove that obstacle, an increasing number of shelters are partnering with animal shelters, animal rescue groups, and veterinarians to provide foster care for the animal victims of domestic violence. The American Humane Society reports there are more than 160 “safe haven” programs for pets around the United States.

Spotting animal abuse

Animal abuse is not limited to households that experience domestic violence, and animal abuse can be extremely difficult to spot, even for the trained veterinary eye. Veterinarians may suspect abuse if a pet is brought in repeatedly because of trauma, has evidence of old injuries or unreported healed fractures, or has injuries which do not seem to fit with the explanation that the owner provides.

Services for victims of violence

Confidential help and services are available for human and animal victims of violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence, please seek help immediately by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Suspected animal abuse or neglect should be reported to local animal control officials; in Seattle, call Seattle Animal Control at 206-386-PETS (7387).

Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Seattle serves the following neighborhoods: Mt. Baker, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Seward Park, Capitol Hill, Leschi, Central District, Madison Valley, International District, and Georgetown.