March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month which helps to raise awareness and prevent illness and injuries for pets. Understanding what potential harmful poisons exist in your home and yard is the first step to keeping your pet safe. Some may be obvious, but others may be new to you. You might have some of these toxins in your cupboards, garage, garden, even your purse or backpack that are poisonous to your pet.
Top 10 Most Common Toxins for Dogs
- Mouse/Rat poison
- Vitamins and minerals (Vitamin D, Iron supplements, etc.)
- NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
- Cardiac Medications (beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, etc.)
- Cold and allergy medications
- Xylitol (common in toothpaste and chewing gum – read your labels!)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Caffeine pills
Top 10 Most Common Toxins for Cats
- Topical insecticides
- Household cleaners
- Insoluble Oxalate Plants (ex: Philodendron)
- Human and Veterinary NSAIDs
- Cold and Flu Medications
- Glow sticks
- ADD/ADHD medications/amphetamines
- Mouse/rat poison
The ASPCA has a complete list on their website including household cleaning products and health and beauty items; you can read more HERE.
“Pets are curious and can’t resist smelling, tasting, and sometimes swallowing foods, plants and other items in our homes that interest them,” said Ahna Brutlad, DVM, MS, and assistant director at Pet Poison Hotline. “Poison-proofing your home is important. Taking simple steps such as making sure your houseplants are non-toxic and storing medications in secure areas will significantly reduce chances that your dog or cat will come in contact with a toxic substance.”
Tips to keep your pet safe and help you avoid a trip to the veterinary emergency hospital
- Be aware that giving dogs table food as a treat is potentially poisonous! Watch out for grapes, raisins, nuts, garlic, unbaked yeast bread dough, fatty foods, and chocolate. Keep garbage and compost bins behind closed doors, as they may contain cigarette butts, coffee grounds, bones, and alcoholic beverages, all of which are toxic to pets.
- Be careful with batteries. Dogs love to chew on batteries and battery-containing devices such as remote controls and cell phones. If ingested, these can cause chemical burns.
- Keep medications in secure cabinets. Do not leave them on countertops or tables or store them in plastic baggies, which are easily chewed through.
- Never medicate your pet with human products without first contacting your veterinarian. Some common medications such as Tylenol and Advil are extremely poisonous to pets.
- Keep glues out of reach. Some glues, such as Gorilla Glue, expand greatly once ingested and require surgical removal. Just one ounce of glue may expand to the size of a basketball.
- Antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, fertilizers, bone meal/blood meal, etc. are all hazardous to pets and should be kept out of reach.
If you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, call your veterinarian immediately. The sooner a pet poisoning is diagnosed, the easier, less expensive, and safer it is to treat.
Sienna at 6 Veterinary Hospital
8790 Hwy 6 #100
Missouri City, Texas 77459
Animal Poison Control
Written by Amy Curbello – Veterinary Technician at Sienna at 6 Veterinary Hospital