If you’ve ever been a pet parent you know animals love to explore and taste just about everything in their path. Unfortunately, there are things at home that our furry friends shouldn’t eat. In fact, according to the ASPCA in 2018, the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) received an average of 1,200 calls daily and assisted 266,554 animals.
“The best way to avoid an emergency situation is to be aware of things that can be toxic to pets and keep them out of paws reach at all times,” says Laura Stern, DVM, DABVT director, client programs ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. “Get down on the floor in your home and look around to see what would be enticing to your pet.”
Here are some common household items to keep out of reach of your fur babies.
Over-the-counter pharmaceuticals topped the list of toxic items ingested by pets in 2018 followed by prescription drugs. Items such as Ibuprofen, naproxen, cold medications, ADHD and heart medications, herbal supplements and anti-depressants are within these categories accounting for about 37 percent of APCC calls. While the containers may be childproof, they are not pet proof, dogs especially can chew into them.
“Keep all drugs, prescription or not behind a closed door,” says Stern.
There are many toxic plants, but sago palm and lilies are two very common plants that can cause symptoms. Even a small amount can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, liver failure and possibly death. Cats tend to be very sensitive to lilies and any part of the plant can be highly toxic to them. Its pollen, or even the water from the cut flower can cause severe kidney damage. Check the ASPCA website for a full list of problematic plants.
Alliums such as chives, garlic, onion and shallots can cause gastrointestinal issues and may even lead to red blood cell damage, anemia and secondary injury to the kidneys. While cats are most at risk, dogs may also experience symptoms if they eat a large enough amount.
Chocolate contains methylxanthines, which, when consumed by your furry friend, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, excessive thirst and urination and even death. The darker the chocolate the higher the level of Methylxanthines — white chocolate has the lowest amount while baking chocolate and cocoa powder have higher levels.
Grapes and raisins, though healthy for humans, can cause stomach upset, an increase in thirst, increased or decreased urination, depression and may lead to kidney failure in pets.
Xylitol, a popular sugar substitute, is found in products such as chewing gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause lethargy, loss of coordination, low blood sugar and seizures and may lead to liver failure in dogs within a few days of ingestion.
Keep nuts such as macadamia, almonds, pecans and walnuts in tightly sealed containers as they contain high amounts of fats and oils which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and possibly pancreatitis in pets.
Rat poison can be very tasty to all animals and consuming it can be deadly to your pets. Be mindful when you have these products around because rats will move those toxic blocks, and they can end up in areas that are accessible to your pooch and feline.