This Week in Internet Advice: Don’t Feed Your Dog Batteries


sick dog

The Internet is a funny place. We’ve firmly established that we can find literally anything on the Internet. Therefore, when we have problems we need solved or questions we need answered we simply type them into Google (or Bing! if you’re a weirdo). 

You ever have that one friend who is pretty knowledgeable about a certain subject so whenever you have a question about that subject you turn to them? After awhile, that friend starts to really enjoy the authority you place on them in regards to that topic and they’ll start giving you totally unsolicited advice just to remind you how much they know. 

That’s where we’re at with the Internet. We’ve asked it so many questions that it’s starting to just give us advice we didn’t ask for. That’s why you see so many articles like “14 Things to Think About Before You Get Married” or “12 Places to Get the Best Pumpkin Spice Latte After October” or “22 Signs You’re Job is Too Stressful For You” or “How to Tell if You’re Relationship Needs a Shakeup.”

Rarely will this advice better your life in the slightest. But sometimes, what it lacks in practical value it makes up for in unintentional comedy. 

That’s what I plan on sharing with you. We’re going to start this off with an article posted on Yahoo! entitled “26 Common Items that Are Dangerous to Cats and Dogs.”

This list, written by Dr. Mary Fuller and originally posted by, is intended to educate pet owners on some of the household items that they shouldn’t be feeding their cat or dog. You can be the judge, but I’d like to suggest that anyone who actually learned new information from this article probably accidentally killed their pet on the way back from the shelter. 


Here are a few examples:

Batteries can be toxic to both dogs and cats, leading to ulcers in the mouth, esophagus and stomach. Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.

Uhh…Ok, Dr. Fuller, then do tell me, what exactly am I supposed to feed my dog when he’s tired and needs energy for a walk? Apple screwed us with these new iPhone 5 chargers so I can’t even plug him in.

Detergents and fabric softener sheets can cause ulcers in the mouth, esophagus and stomach in dogs and cats. Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.

Has “the dog won’t stay out of the fabric softener sheets” ever been an issue for anyone anywhere?

Fertilizers can contain poisonous amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, herbicides and pesticides.

If your dog is eating fertilizer then that probably means it’s also just eating dirt on the ground in general. Dirt on the ground might not be as toxic as fertilizer, but it’s still a habit you might want to nip in the butt. 

Kerosene, gasoline and tiki torch fluids can cause drooling, drunken walking and difficulty breathing in dogs and cats. If these products contain antifreeze, they are even more problematic.

If this article prevents just one pet owner from feeding their pet tiki torch fluid then its done its job.

Nonprescription medications, such as ibuprofen, can lead to severe ulcers and anemia, as well as liver and kidney failure in pets.

If your dog learns to speak and manages to say, “I’ve had a really long day and my head is killing me,” then you can break the rule and give it an ibuprofen. Otherwise, just assume it doesn’t need it. 

Prescription medications, such as antidepressants and ADHD and cardiac drugs, are commonly ingested by pets when pills are dropped on the floor or left on counters. Even a small dose can cause problems.

So we’ve established that whether or not you have a prescription for your medications is totally irrelevant to whether or not your dog or cat can ingest it. What is relevant is whether the bottle says “For humans,” “For Cats” or “For Dogs.” If it’s the first one, don’t give it to your pet. 

Rodenticides, such as mouse and rat poisons, can contain a number of different toxins, which have different effects on dogs and cats. Several common ingredients, like warfarin and coumarin, can cause blood clotting problems and hemorrhaging.

This is a tricky one to remember: If it’s a substance that is created with the intended purpose of poisoning and killing an animal then you shouldn’t feed it to the animal that you have adopted and taken on the responsibility of keeping alive. 

Tobacco can be toxic to both dogs and cats. Ingestion of nicotine in the tobacco plant or in cigarettes or patches can lead to vomiting, tremors, collapse and death. Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.

I personally think they’re being a little uptight about this one. Sometimes at parties, my cat gets really socially awkward and doesn’t know what to do with her hands. So if she smokes a cigarette now and then I don’t think it’s the end of the world. It’s not like she’s addicted. 

Grapesraisins and currants – even grape juice – in small amounts can cause kidney failure in dogs. Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe

That one’s actually pretty helpful. I don’t really have a joke for that. 

Windshield wiper fluid can contain methanol or ethylene glycol. Ingestion of methanol can cause low blood sugar and drunken walking in dogs and cats. Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.

Seriously guys, stop leaving your windshield wiper fluid just lying around. Think of the animals. 

Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director of the Animal Poison Control Center, suggests that pet owners keep the organization’s phone number on their refrigerators in case of emergency. This sounds like good advice to me, but also makes me laugh at the notion of someone leaning against their fridge saying “Yeah…it’s me again. So I was taking down the tiki torches….”

Dr. Wismer also warned that cleaning products should be kept out of reach and that we should take our medication “in another room, behind a locked door.” I’m all for the other room part, but I’m not sure Dr. Wismer realizes that neither cats nor dogs have thumbs and therefore cannot function a doorknob. You might not have to lock the door.

The article finished with Dr. Wismer’s sentiment that “we sometimes say the surest way to pill a dog is to drop one on the floor.”…More like Dr. Wis-enheimer, am I right?

Congratulations people, you are now ready to own a pet.


The Internet. XOXO

P.S. See you on Instagram later. 

Jonny Auping 

One thought on “This Week in Internet Advice: Don’t Feed Your Dog Batteries

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