Your pets are like part of the family, and their health and wellness are one of your top priorities. As pet owners ourselves, the veterinary and supportive staff at East Valley Animal Hospital understand. That’s why we wanted to share a new study performed by the ASPCA that identified the most common pet toxins found in your household.
The information in the study was based on the number of calls received by the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) toxicologists. Unfortunately, at East Valley Animal Hospital, each year we see a large number of cases where pets have ingested something that is toxic, and they don’t always survive.
The APCC’s number is (888) 426-4435.
10 Most Common Pet Toxins in Your Household
It’s our hope that after reading this article you will mindfully keep these substances out of reach from your pets at all times to reduce their risk of ingestion.
1. OTC Medications
Over-the-counter medication such as vitamins (particularly vitamin D overdose), pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, herbal supplements, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory medications, and cold and flu medications were among the top OTC meds and supplements ingested by companion animals last year.
2. Human Prescription Medications
Medications prescribed to people such as antidepressants; heart medications; stimulant medications for ADD and ADHD; and others, made up a significant portion of pet-poisoning cases.
3. Human Food
It can be tempting to feed Fido and Fluffy from the table. But even if this practice is banned in your house, certain harmful foods may still be accessible to your pets. Harmful foods like grapes, raisins, and foods containing xylitol were among the list of foods most ingested by dogs. And foods like onions and garlic were among the list of foods most ingested by cats.
Though we humans love the taste, pets can’t digest chocolate. Depending on the size of your pet, even a small amount of chocolate can be poisonous. We see a large number of emergency visits due to ingested chocolate around holidays like Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.
5. Veterinary Products
Unfortunately, products made for your pet’s health can be harmful if they are inappropriately administered or if they are ingested by accident. Be sure to check with your veterinarian about proper dosage and administration. And keep products out of reach from your pets.
6. Household Items
Household items like glue, paint, and cleaning products remain a high risk for pets primarily because of their accessibility. Consider where you store harmful household items and choose a location far from your pets’ reach.
Mouse and rat poisons continue to be a risk for pets because of the open exposure. Your pets may find rodenticide bait just as tasty as its intended prey and ingest the poison if it is within their reach.
Again, exposure is the issue. In the above study, ant baits were among the most harmful, along with bug sprays and yard products. If you’ve just sprayed your yard with insecticides, don’t let your canine or feline out for several hours. Instead, take them on a walk or to the dog park.
Believe it or not, a lot of common indoor and outdoor plants are poisonous for your pets. Aloe Vera, Azalea, Hydrangea, Baby’s Breath, Carnations, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil, Lilies, Poinsettia, Sago Palm, Tomato Plant, Tulips, and certain types of Ivy should be avoided or placed out of access to your pets.
10. Garden Products
If you’re gardening while Fido or Fluffy are roaming the yard, be careful not to leave yard products like herbicides, fertilizer, and certain composts accessible to them.
What if My Pet Ingests One of These Substances?
We listed the APCC hotline above, but if you live in Gilbert, Mesa, or Chandler, AZ and suspect your pet has ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact us immediately at East Valley Animal Hospital.
The sooner your pet receives professional care, the better their chances of recovery. And proper identification of the item ingested is extremely valuable. If possible, bring the container, package or label of the item ingested so that we can accurately assess your pet’s situation.
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay (4/12/2019)