Guildford and Epsom Branch

Garbage can kill

The dangers of food waste: important advice about your dog’s wellbeing

You may have seen in the news earlier in the year the tragic incident where two local dogs sadly lost their lives after ingesting food waste from a food waste recycling bin. They became severely ill with a condition called toxicosis and unfortunately the vet couldn’t save them.

Garbage toxicosis is a condition caused by the ingestion of mouldy, decaying food that is contaminated with bacteria or other toxic substances.

Symptoms can include

  • Seizures/fits
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Loss of coordination
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Appetite loss
  • High body temperature
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness Shock (cold extremities, weak pulse, inactivity, respiratory failure).

If you suspect that your dog has ingested food waste, especially if any of the above symptoms are observed, contact your local vet immediately. However, a little bit of mould is usually not harmful. A good guideline is that dogs should not eat food with more mould than we would eat.

Certain types of dogs are at a higher risk

  • Small breed dogs (Maltese, Miniature Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, Miniature Pinscher, Shih Tzu, and Yorkshire Terrier)
  • Young dogs under five years old.

Preventing illness in the first place is always better than curing it

For preventing your pets from ingesting food waste, we recommend ensuring the food waste kitchen caddy and outside bin lids are always locked using the handle.  This can be done by either pulling the handle up or forwards. So even if the bins topple over, no food waste will spill out. You will have peace of mind.

Please spread the word and share this with any other dog owners you know to help prevent another tragic accident.