Home Hazards and Poisons

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Everyone knows chocolate is bad for dogs, but most people don’t know that grapes and raisins can be worse. Pets metabolize medications differently than people do, and therefore it is not safe to give many common human medications to pets. Advil and Tylenol can actually cause serious harm to your pet. Smoke is especially harmful to pets because they are often in an enclosed area with the smoke such as in a car or in a house with closed windows. Asthmatic cats and brachycephalic dogs (dogs with short noses like pugs and Boston terriers) are especially prone to respiratory difficulty and cigarette smoke can exacerbate respiratory conditions. Birds are very sensitive to cooking with Teflon pans and aerosol sprays. If in doubt about any potential toxins in your house, call your veterinarian or animal poison control.

Medications (can be lethal)

  • Pain killers
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tylenol
  • Cold medicines
  • Anti-cancer drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Vitamins
  • Diet Pills

Common Household Hazards

  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Mothballs
  • Post-1982 pennies (high concentration of zinc)
  • Needles and strings
  • Insecticides
  • Lead Paint
  • Polyurethane adhesives and expandable glues
  • Antifreeze
  • Liquid potpourri
  • Ice melting products
  • Animal toxins—toads, insects, spiders, snakes and scorpions
  • Blue-green algae in ponds
  • Citronella candles
  • Cocoa mulch
  • Compost piles Fertilizers
  • Flea products
  • Outdoor plants and plant bulbs
  • Swimming-pool treatment supplies
  • Fly baits containing methomyl
  • Slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde
  • Fertilizers
  • Rat and mouse bait

Holiday Hazards

  • Christmas tree water
  • Electrical cords
  • Ribbons or tinsel
  • Batteries
  • Glass ornaments

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate (all forms) –especially dark chocolate
  • Coffee (all forms)
  • Fatty foods
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Salt – based on amount consumed
  • Yeast dough
  • Garlic
  • Sugarless gum and any other products sweetened with xylitol

For more information on toxins visit the ASPCA Poison Control Website.

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