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What are the most common household toxins for pets?

submitted by VCA Neshaminy Animal Hospital, www.vcahospitals.com/neshaminy 

As a pet owner, you want to keep your furry friend safe and healthy, but your pet’s curious nature sometimes can get them into trouble. Animals investigate the world with their mouths and they can ingest poisonous substances accidentally. 

Pets and over-the-counter medications

Even medications that do not require a prescription can be extremely dangerous to your pet. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can cause acute kidney failure and should never be given to pets. Tylenol and aspirin should also be avoided.  Do not try to treat your pet’s medical problems without consulting your veterinarian and never give them a medication that is not approved for veterinary use.

Human prescription medications and pets

ADHD medications, antidepressants, and heart medications are most often accidentally ingested by pets, although your pet can suffer significant side effects from any human medication they eat.

Keep all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, safely stored inside a medicine cabinet or cupboard or up high where your pet can’t reach them.

What foods are toxic to pets?

Many foods that are safe for people can be deadly to pets. Keep the following toxic foods away from your beloved companion: Chocolate; Xylitol (often found in sugar-free gum); Macadamia nuts; Grapes and raisins; Onions; Garlic; Alcohol; Caffeinated drinks; Raw yeast dough; Raw or undercooked meat.

Plants toxic to pets

Plants found in flower beds, vegetable gardens, and indoor planters and arrangements can be toxic to pets. Cats, who particularly like to munch on greenery, are sensitive to many plant types, but dogs also can be at risk.

The most common toxic plants include: Autumn crocus; Azalea; Cyclamen; Daffodils; Dieffenbachia; Hyacinth; Kalanchoe; Lily of the valley; Lilies; Oleander; Sago palm, and Tulips.

Garden products and pets

Many products used on lawns, gardens, and flowerbeds can cause toxicity in pets.

Fertilizers made from bone or blood meal are tempting to pets and can cause pancreatitis, or can clump in the intestines or stomach, causing a blockage.

Other fertilizers and herbicides applied to lawns also may contain toxic chemicals.

Rodenticides and Insecticides

Products designed to kill rodents and insects are particularly dangerous to pets, who may be tempted to eat the tasty bricks, granules, bait, or pellets. Rodenticides and insecticides kill rodents and insects by causing internal bleeding, high calcium levels, brain swelling, or toxic gas production. Never put rat or insect bait out where your pet can find it.

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