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What pet parents can learn from Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's tragic Instagram post

If you follow Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on Instagram, you probably saw his sad update about his puppy Brutus.

Brutus, whom Johnson introduced to his fans just a few short weeks ago, ate a poisonous mushroom and, unfortunately, had to be put down.

Another reminder we have to live and love as greatly as we can today, because tomorrow is never guaranteed. At approximately 11:15pm last night myself and @laurenhashianofficial had to make the painful decision to end Brutus' suffering by taking him off of life support and sending his soul to pup heaven. I held his lil' paw as he was finally at peace. As all puppies and dogs do, he ate a mushroom while playing outside with his brother Hobbs. This mushroom happened to have a lethal toxicity and within hours it was rapidly destroying his liver and immune system to the point of no return. I encourage all of you out there to be mindful of mushrooms in your yards, parks or anywhere outside your dogs play. What looks innocent, can be deadly to your lil' family members. Thank you Dr. Deckelbaum and Dr. West and the incredibly caring nurses and staff at The Animal Medical Center At Cooper City. We'll always love you Brutus.. and you'll always be my lil' main man and rough housing Brute. #RIPBrutus #WICHSYOMT
A photo posted by therock (@therock) on


The photo caption reads:


"Another reminder we have to live and love as greatly as we can today, because tomorrow is never guaranteed.
At approximately 11:15pm last night myself and @laurenhashianofficial had to make the painful decision to end Brutus' suffering by taking him off of life support and sending his soul to pup heaven. I held his lil' paw as he was finally at peace.
As all puppies and dogs do, he ate a mushroom while playing outside with his brother Hobbs. This mushroom happened to have a lethal toxicity and within hours it was rapidly destroying his liver and immune system to the point of no return.
I encourage all of you out there to be mindful of mushrooms in your yards, parks or anywhere outside your dogs play. What looks innocent, can be deadly to your lil' family members.
Thank you Dr. Deckelbaum and Dr. West and the incredibly caring nurses and staff at The Animal Medical Center At Cooper City.
We'll always love you Brutus.. and you'll always be my lil' main man and rough housing Brute.
#RIPBrutus #WICHSYOMT"





Johnson's story is heartbreaking, but sadly, it's not uncommon.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, their Animal Poison Control Center handled over 167,000 cases in 2014. About 13% of those cases involved human foods or plants.

It's important to be aware of the food and plants around your home that may have lethal consequences for your furry friends.

Here are 10 to watch out for:

1. Chocolate

Let's start with Dog Care 101. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, two ingredients that can cause vomiting, seizures, and death in dogs. As Halloween approaches, make sure to keep your candy out of paws' reach.

2. Sago Palms

Photo by Tatters/Flickr.

This popular plant kept indoors and out is highly dangerous to pets. The entire plant is poisonous, but just one seed can result in liver failure.

3. Raw Bread Dough

A dog's or cat's stomach is the perfect warm environment for yeast to multiply, which can cause the stomach to expand and restrict blood flow. All that yeast also produces alcohol, so your pet may suffer from alcohol poisoning.

4. Hops

Photo by iStock.

Speaking of alcohol, home brewers take note: These fragrant plants can cause a dog's temperature to climb to dangerous levels. And they're not great for cats either.

5. Macadamia Nuts

As few as six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Within 12 hours of eating the nuts, your dog may experience muscle weakness, vomiting, and a rapid increase in body temperature. When combined with chocolate (as is often the case) the symptoms only intensify.

6. Chrysanthemums

Photo by iStock.

These autumnal favorites are everywhere this time of year, but these popular flowers can cause dermatitis, vomiting, and incoordination in dogs and cats.

7. Garlic and Onions

This goes for everything in the garlic and onion family: leeks, chives, scallions, the works. Eating these veggies affects the red blood cells, which can cause anemia, organ failure, or death in dogs and cats. And be advised, toxicity can occur whether the products are fresh or concentrated in soup mixes and spices.

8. Amaryllis

Photo by iStock.

These beautiful plants are very common around Easter, but they're dangerous when ingested, causing tremors, hypersalivation (which is exactly what it sounds like), and intense abdominal pain.

9. Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause rapid kidney failure in your four-legged friend. For this food in particular, all animals are not affected the same way, and veterinarians still don't know what it is about grapes that makes dogs and cats sick. Either way, keep Mother Nature's fruit snacks away from your pet.

10. Anything moldy or rotten

Some mold contains life-threatening toxins that can harm your pet. Avoid giving your dog rotting food, and help them steer clear of road kill or rotting fruits and nuts from trees while you're outside. A good rule to remember here: If you wouldn't eat it, don't let them eat it.

Worried your pet ingested something poisonous? Call your vet.

When your dog ingests something poisonous, minutes count. Do not wait for symptoms to appear because in some cases, it may be too late.

Photo by Austin Community College/Flickr.

Pets become members of the family for good reason: They're loving, affectionate, playful, and bring out the best in us.

Mistakes can happen, but armed with knowledge, you're in the best position to keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come.

Photo by iStock.


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