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What Is Toxic For My Pets?

It’s not something we like to think about, but there are a number of items in and around our homes that are poisonous to pets. With any potential dangers or toxins, it is important to keep them out of paws’ reach. While accidents can happen, the less accessible these items are, the less likely your pet is to get into them!

March is National Poison Prevention Awareness Month which makes this the perfect time to share some of the top 10 pet toxins, some signs of poisoning and what to do in the case of suspected poisoning. Keep your pets safe, happy and healthy by watching out for these hazards!

1. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications ranks as the number one top toxin for the fifth year in a row. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, cold and flu medicine, and vitamins and supplements and joint rubs all fall within this category. These items are often found in homes and in all sorts of hiding places like backpacks and purses.

2. Human Food, especially grapes, raisins, xylitol, onions, garlic and protein and snack bars can be fatal to pets. Be vigilant about any human food that may be lying around for hungry pets to get to.

3. Human prescription medications including, and most commonly seen, antidepressant, anticonvulsant and cardiac medications. Always make sure your prescription medications–and OTC medications–are in closed cabinets that your pet cannot reach.

4. Chocolate, though delicious to humans can cause a lot of trouble for dogs. Be sure to keep your sweets out of paw’s reach.

5. Bouquets and plants, both indoor and outdoor, can cause a threat to our four-legged friends, so make sure to check out this list of toxic and non-toxic plants before bringing a new plant into your home or garden.

6. Household toxicants, like cleaning, beauty and home repair products are all hazardous to pets. Keep these items in cabinets and drawers your pet cannot reach.

7. Veterinary products like chewable medications, including calming chews, are super tasty to pets, which means once they try it, they may try to get into the entire container. Make sure these products stay out of paw’s reach!

8. Rodenticide is very common in the winter months when rodents, like mice and rats, come looking for warmth. The ingredients that make rodenticide so appealing to rodents, has the same effect on cats and dogs. If your pet ingests rodenticide, it can cause bleeding, kidney failure, seizures or even death.

9. Insecticide like ant baits, bug sprays and other yard products can be enticing to pets just as much as bugs. Try using pet-safe product alternatives!

10. Recreational drugs. Ingestion of marijuana products can cause lethargy, depression, sedation, incoordination or wobbliness and urinary accidents and in more serious cases can cause a decrease in body temperature, changes to the heartrate and blood pressure and prolonged sedation can lead to aspiration pneumonia. Keep all THC products, including edibles, well out of pets reach! 

Accidents are called accidents for a reason but keeping the above products out of paw’s reach can decrease the number of accidents we see in a year and keep your pets safe at home.


Common signs of poisoning include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Excessive drooling

  • Lack of coordination

  • Weakness/lethargy

  • Collapse

  • Excessive thirst/urination

  • Unusual behavior


If you think your pet has ingested something toxic:

  • Call our team of veterinarians OR

  • Go to your nearest emergency veterinary hospital OR

  • Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 (fee applies) or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 (fee applies).

It’s important to seek out help immediately – poisons can work fast!

  • Try to determine what your pet has ingested and how much

  • Bring the container/item with you or take a picture of the ingredient list

  • Keep track of signs of illness (vomiting, shaking, etc.) so you can share them with your veterinarian

  • Be honest with your veterinarian about what your pet may have consumed


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