Did you know that this week is National Animal Poison Prevention Week? March 18-24 is set aside to remind us of the dangers that various foods and items pose to our pets. 2012 marks the 50th annual observation of this week, and to commemorate this effort to preserve the lives of our beloved pets, we’re listing 50 different items that may be in your house and posing hazards to your pets:
In the Kitchen
- Chocolate – Lethal doses vary with pet size. Dark chocolate contains more theobromine, the toxic element in chocolate, so it poses more of a threat.
- Coffee Grounds – Coffee grounds also contain theobromine
- Grapes/Raisins -truth: Arie once stole a few frozen grapes from me, sending me into a panic. Thanks to her huge size, she was a-okay
- Yeast – No yeast rolls for Fido or fluffy during holidays!
- Alcohol – No beer for your dog. Ever. Not even in college. Got it?
- Xylitol – Common in breath mints, gum, etc.
- Apples (seeds)
- String/Yarn/Etc – We’ve all seen the picturesque photos of a kitten playing with yarn, but the rough barbs on a cat’s tongue can make it difficult for them to cough up swallowed string or yarn. Monitor play with these items.
- Feathers are also a dangerous choke hazard for kitties, so keep an eye on them as they play.
- Cooked bones are not good for your dogs. Raw bones are fine.
- Scented liquids – Your plug-in or oil diffuser may smell nice, but be sure it’s in a place where you pet can’t get to it or knock it over.
- Electrical cords
- Batteries – (remotes, etc)
- Breakable decor items – A swinging tail can break these in a moment, leaving shards behind to cut paws.
- Aerosols – spray items are especially dangerous for birds
- Your purse – Your purse contains all kinds of “goodies” that your pet can get into, swallow, etc.
In the Garden/House Plant Pots
- Stones – Some dogs love to eat them!
- Peace Lilies
- Tiger Lily
- Baby’s Breath
- English Ivy
Last year, the top three pet poisons were:
1. Prescription Medications
3. Over-the-Counter Drugs
- Sponges – Dogs like to chew them, and all of the germs and chemicals they retain.
- Hair clips – Choking, etc.
- Prescription medication
- Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen
- Soap – can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Toothpaste – same dangers as soap
- Sunblock – same dangers as soap
- Household cleaners
- Standing Water – small pets can drown in a full bath tub
In the Garage
- Paints, paint thinners
- Anti-freeze, brake fluid, etc.
- Cars – Kitties can get up in the car engine for a snooze because the engine is warm
- Ice melting products
- Lawn mowers (blades, engine, etc)
- A very large door – While this may be odd, your garage door is a huge portal to the outside world for an unleashed pet to places that may not be pet-proof like your home. Watch pets closely while in the garage.
- Glues – strong glues like Gorilla Glue expand in your pets stomach and often require surgery.
For more information on items that may be poison your pet, please review the following sources: ASPCA list of toxic and non-toxic plants, Oregon Veterinary Medical Association list of toxic items, The Humane Society of the United States list of hazardous items, Catster, Paw-Rescue “Dog Tips: Household Hazards“, and Animal Planet.
Have you had a close call with your pet? Have an item you want to add to the list? Put your story or item addition in a comment!