pet toxinsAs responsible pet owners, we do our best to keep our pets healthy and safe by providing them with a warm and loving home, wellness care, parasite protection, and all of the other intricacies of modern pet care. In our efforts to protect our pets from the dangers lurking outside the door, however, many of us overlook the potential for pet poisoning right inside our homes.

Take a moment to learn about the indoor pet toxins your furry friend is most likely to encounter, and how to protect him or her from accidental poisoning.

Indoor Pet Toxins 101

Many common items found in most homes, including chemicals, plants, and certain foods, can pose a serious threat to our pets. Take a good look around your home and remove or secure any of the following indoor pet toxins:

  • Medications – Any prescription or over-the-counter medication is a potential pet toxin, including acetaminophen, anti-inflammatories, asthma inhalers, ADHD medications, sleep aids, antidepressants, birth control pills, and more.
  • People food – Chocolate, Xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gum, candies, baked goods, and peanut butter), alcohol, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, coffee grounds, and fatty meat should be kept away from pets.
  • Household chemicals and pest control – Household cleaners, rodent baits, and personal care products can easily poison a pet if they are ingested or inhaled.
  • Houseplants – Some common houseplants, such as lilies (extremely toxic to cats), philodendrons, ivy, sago palm, and holly, can be dangerous to a pet if consumed in even the smallest amounts.
  • Nicotine and Marijuana – Cigarettes and e-cigarette fluid can have devastating consequences for a pet if ingested. Marijuana, while usually not deadly, may sicken a pet and require treatment.

Backpacks, purses, and tote bags often contain items that could be toxic to your pet, like medications, leftover lunches, and Xylitol-based chewing gum. Be sure to hang or store all bags well out of your pet’s reach.

When to Worry

Symptoms of a pet poisoning may include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Pale gums
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Rapid pulse
  • Coughing up blood
  • Collapse/loss of consciousness
  • Seizure

What to Do in a Pet Poisoning Emergency

Even with all of the safeguards, an accidental pet poisoning can happen to any of us. Having a plan in place in the event that your pet ingests a poisonous substance can make all the difference in an emergency situation:

  • Remove your pet from the area immediately. If possible, collect any evidence of the substance your pet has come into contact with, including wrappers, containers, and leftovers. You may need this information when speaking to your veterinarian or to poison control.
  • Keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Pet Poison Helpline, and our number in your phone or other easy-to-access location. If you call one of the hotlines, be sure to have a credit or debit card at the ready (you will probably be charged a consult fee) and a pen and paper handy to write down any instructions you receive.

Please give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about indoor pet toxins. Your friends at New Haven are here for you and your pet!