Common household items pose poison risk to pets | News, Sports, Jobs

Jamie Lampros, Special to the Standard Examiner

Casper poses for a photo in their backyard.

Preventing poisonings isn’t just for humans. Our four-legged furry friends are also at risk, so if your dog or cat stole your chocolate candy bar, you should probably call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center or take them to your veterinarian.

According to the ASPCA, more than 370,500 animals were saved from poisoning exposures in 2020. This year, the organization has compiled a list of 10 of the most dangerous toxins that could poison, or even kill, your beloved fur baby.

  • Over-the-counter medications rank as the top toxin for the third year in a row and account for 17% of all calls to the ASPCA Poison Control Center. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, vitamins, joint rubs and cold and flu medications should be kept out of reach. If you keep them in a purse or backpack, make sure they are sealed and placed out of reach.
  • Human prescription medications such as antidepressants, cardiac medications and anticonvulsants are among the most dangerous to your pets. Again, make sure they are in closed cabinets where pets cannot reach.
  • Human foods – Grapes, raisins, xylitol, onions, garlic, protein and snack bars are among the top toxic foods for your pets and account for 13% of 2020s total cases.
  • Chocolate – Dogs particularly seem to love chocolate, but both dogs and cats can get into serious trouble if they consume enough. The APCC receives around 76 calls per day regarding chocolate ingestion by pets.
  • Bouquets and plants – In 2019, the APCC received more than 9,000 calls regarding potential poisonings from plants. A list of toxic plants can be found on the ASPCA website.
  • Household toxins – Cleaning supplies, beauty and home repair products are hazardous to pets. Spackle, paint and adhesives should all be used when pets are put away in a different part of the home.
  • Rodenticide – The ingredients used to make rodenticide is not only appealing to rats and mice, they’re also tempting to our pets and have the same effects on dogs and cats. If ingested, the ingredients can cause bleeding, kidney failure, seizures or even death.
  • Veterinary products – Chewable medications like calming chews should be given under supervision and kept out of reach as pets may like the taste so much, they want to consume more than the recommended amount.
  • Insecticide – Ant baits and bug sprays are flat-out dangerous. Try using pet-safe product alternatives.
  • Garden products – Fertilizers, especially made from organic products are very toxic. After a fresh fertilization is spread, keep your pet inside.

Other toxic substances to avoid include anti-freeze, alcohol, coffee, caffeine, citrus, coconut and coconut oil, avocados, raw or undercooked meat, eggs and bones, yeast dough, artificial sweeteners, mosquito repellent, cigarettes and marijuana.

The number for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is 888-426-4435.

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