Enjoying the company of her catWhen you think of pet dangers, what comes to mind? Cars, wildlife, exposure? While these are good answers, did you know that many pet emergencies are a result of pet toxins found within the home?

Since most of our fur friends spend the majority of their time indoors, it’s no wonder that accidental pet poisonings occur at home. Simple things that may seem innocuous can turn deadly around a curious pet.

Since animals are particularly stealthy when it comes to nosing around, now is a perfect time to do a thorough sweep of your home for harmful pet toxins.

8 Pet Toxins That Put Your Pet at Risk

  1. Household cleaners – Although we rarely think to keep our pet out of the room while cleaning, many agents contain dangerous chemicals. If a pet happens to walk across a wet floor or steal a drink from the toilet after using these products, it could lead to a major emergency. Instead, opt for pet-safe cleaners and keep your pet in a separate area while cleaning.
  2. Insecticides and permethrin – Exposure to pest control products can be particularly easy since they are often used as a spray inside the home or on the lawn. Permethrin (a chemical used in canine flea and tick control products) can become deadly if exposed to cats, causing severe drooling, tremors, and life-threatening seizures. Please consult us before applying any parasite control product.
  3. Mouse/rat poisons – Poisons and baits used to exterminate unwanted rodents don’t discriminate against animals who happen to come across them. Anticoagulants like brodifacoum can be lethal, producing symptoms such as difficulty breathing, vomiting and coughing blood, collapse, and death. Avoid using these products, even those that don’t contain the older generation’s list of ingredients, as many of these are also toxic. If they must be used, please consider boarding your pet until it’s safe to return home.
  4. Medications – Each year, hundreds of pet poisonings occur due to the accidental ingestion of acetaminophen, birth control pills, blood pressure meds, and other common human medications. To be on the safe side, keep all drugs (prescription and over-the-counter) in a cabinet or a drawer.
  5. Plants – This is another common (yet often unnoticed) pet toxin. For example, lilies are one of the most deadly substances for felines, and they are frequently used to decorate especially around the holidays. Others poisonous plants include castor bean, azalea, oleander, Sago palm, and yew. We encourage you to reference the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants for more information.
  6. Human foods – Chocolate, Xylitol, grapes, and raisins are among the most prevalent pet toxins in your home. Chocolate toxicity continues to be the leading cause of pet poisoning. To protect your pet, securely cover all garbage bins and compost and store leftovers or candies/chocolate in a pet-proof area.
  7. Antifreeze/coolant – Many owners are mindful of antifreeze spills but fail to get rid of leaky containers or drips that can accumulate in the garage or on the driveway. Therefore, spend some time removing any car fluids or spills that could endanger your pet.
  8. Lawn and garden chemicals – There are many common pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical sprays that are a threat to your fur friend. To minimize the risk of these pet toxins, store them on a high shelf or in a cupboard, and keep your pet away from recently treated lawns or gardens.

While the list of potential pet toxins is long, the best way to ensure your companion’s safety is with pet-proofing, proper storage, and supervision. Also remember to treat any possible poisoning as an emergency situation and contact us immediately.