Potential Household Toxins for Pets

Exposure to poison and toxic substances is one of the most common reasons pets visit the emergency room at DoveLewis. 

“Several common household items are poisonous to pets – some are even fatal,” said Dr. Ladan Mohammad-Zadeh, a DoveLewis Critical Care Specialist. “Many of our companion animals have a tendency to get into places they shouldn’t – garbage cans, cupboards, purses, etc. It’s important to know what items are harmful and keep them safely secure and out of reach of our pets.”

Toxic items for pets include:

FOOD AND DRINK

  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Coffee, tea, and caffeinated drinks
  • Dough (Yeast)
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
  • Onions and garlic
  • Avocados
  • Excessive salt intake
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Fatty foods

FLOWERS

  • Certain types of lilies 
  • Azaleas
  • Rhododendrons
  • Tulip bulbs 
  • English ivy
  • Hydrangea
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Shamrock
  • Fungi (such as certain varieties of mushrooms) 

To look up if a plant is toxic to your pet, view the list of toxic and non-toxic plants here.

DECORATIVE ITEMS

  • Ornamental plants (lilies, sago palms, tulips, and more)
  • Fragrance products and liquid potpourri
  • Mothballs 

NARCOTICS

  • Marijuana

HUMAN MEDICATIONS

  • Sleep aids
  • Antidepressants
  • Cold medicines
  • Acetaminophen
  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Vitamins
  • Prescription drugs
  • Veterinary prescriptions, if ingested incorrectly

HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

  • Soap
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothpaste
  • Paint
  • Adhesives (wood glue, etc.)
  • Cleaning products
  • Fertilizer
  • Antifreeze
  • Snail poison
  • Rat poison
  • Other pesticides and rodenticides

ASPCA Animal Poison Control shares valuable lists of potential toxins for pets to help protect your pets from these poisonous substances.

Additional tips for poison prevention:

  • Store cleaning agents, pesticides, automotive products, and other dangerous chemicals in areas that are inaccessible to your pets. After using cleaning products, keep pets away from the area until it is dry.
  • Keep garbage cans behind closed doors. Many animals get sick from sneaking into the waste bin.
  • Never give your pet medication, especially human medication, unless directed to do so by a veterinarian. Human medications can be deadly for animals.
  • Dispose of old medications in trash or container that animals cannot access.
  • Read all labels prior to using any products in your home. Always follow the directions for safety.
  • Do not use cat products for dogs and vice versa. For instance, using dog flea medications on a cat can cause serious illness.
  • Do not allow pets on lawns or gardens treated with fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides until the products have dried completely. Always store these products away from pet areas.
  • Small items that fall on the floor can be easily swallowed by a curious pet. This can include coins, buttons, small children’s toys, medicine, jewelry, nails, and screws. Check the areas around you to pick up any items before your pet's curiosity gets the better of them.

If you are unsure about the use of the product, read the warning labels, ask the manufacturer or your veterinarian. Signs of poison exposure vary but include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive drooling, breathing issues, seizures, and loss of muscle control. 

If you believe that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 or DoveLewis at (503) 228-7281.

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DoveLewis

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