Are you constantly wrenching items from your dog’s jaws, or pulling things from your cat’s curious paws? If your furry pal is too inquisitive for their own good, they have a higher chance of toxic substance exposure. Your home, garage, and yard are full of potentially dangerous items that can be toxic for your four-legged friend, but with appropriate knowledge and proper precautions, you can keep your pet safe from harm. Before locking up every item in your home, learn about the most common pet toxins. Here are the top 10 pet toxins as reported by the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center.  

#1: Over-the-counter medications

Rather than seeking immediate veterinary care, pet owners sometimes try to treat their pet at home with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, most commonly for problems such as diarrhea, pain, and allergies. Many human medications are dangerous for pets, especially when given at human doses, however. Some human products can be used safely, but you should always consult your Mill Creek Animal Hospital veterinarian before giving your pet any non-prescription medications.

#2: Human prescription medications

Similar to OTC medications, pet owners may give their pets their own medications to alleviate pain and other illnesses and cause poisoning. Prescription medication toxicity can also occur when your pet finds and chews pills dropped on the floor, or an unattended pill bottle. To prevent potential poisoning, ensure your prescriptions are placed well out of reach and all pills are accounted for.

#3: Food

Whether a pet receives a forbidden treat from a visiting family member or friend, or they sneak into the trash, food toxicities are common in pets. Foods hazardous to your pet’s health include:

  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions, leeks, garlic, and chives
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Xylitol

When in doubt about a food’s toxicity, refrain from sharing with your pet. Instead, stick with pet-safe treats, fresh veggies, or lean, unseasoned meats.

#4: Chocolate

Although chocolate is a food, it is such a common concern for pet owners that it has earned its own toxin category. Valentine’s Day, which is one of the most hazardous holidays for pets when it comes to chocolate toxicity cases, may have passed, but your furry pal can sneak into your chocolate stash any time. Keep in mind that the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous for your pet. White chocolate rarely causes toxicity issues, while baking chocolate can kill a pet.

#5: Veterinary products

While your pet’s medications are designed to improve their health, an overdose can be deadly. Since medicating a pet is typically a challenge, chewable medications have been flavored to appeal to your furry pal, but if they sniff out their flavored heartworm preventive and eat the entire box, they can suffer from poisoning. Ensure you store your pet’s prescriptions well out of reach to avoid a potential catastrophe.

#6: Household items

Household items comprise a wide and varied toxin category, but some of the most common pet hazards include cleaning chemicals and home improvement products. Bleach, toilet bowl cleaner, glass cleaner, and other cleaning products are full of dangerous chemicals. Harmful home improvement products include paint, spackle, and adhesives.

#7: Rodenticides

Rodenticides come in several varieties that work in different ways and may cause bleeding, seizures, kidney failure, and death in your pet. Knowing the type of rodenticide your pet contacted is critical so they receive the appropriate treatment. 

#8: Plants

Numerous plants can be toxic to your pet, whether they’re exposed to the leaves, roots, or pollen. In some cases, the entire plant is toxic to pets, as with lily exposure and cats. Before bringing home a beautiful bloom or lush plant, check the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants.

#9: Insecticides

Ant, wasp, and bee killers are the most common insecticides that harm pets, but safer product alternatives and better handling practices have reduced their toxicity potential.

#10: Garden products

Fertilizers, herbicides, and other soil enhancements can be toxic to your pet when they’re digging in your yard. Pets are especially drawn to fertilizers that use bone or blood meal, so choose your yard products with caution.

Unsure if your furry pal got their paws on a toxic substance? Contact an animal poison control helpline immediately, or call our Mill Creek Animal Hospital team for help.