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Protect Your Pet from These Common Toxins

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center in Illinois received over 180,000 calls about pets being exposed to poisonous substances. The most common, and at the top of the list since 2008, are prescription medications meant for humans.

As you do your spring cleaning this year, be sure to watch for these items, which the APCC recently listed as the most common poisons and the most dangerous for our pets.

  • Prescription Human Medications – The most common were heart medicine, antidepressants and pain medications.
  • Insecticides/Rodenticides – Insecticides are especially dangerous to cats, when sprayed around your yard and home. In addition, baits set for mice, often end up catching a resourceful cat or dog!
  • Over-the-Counter Human Medication – This includes common pain relievers and herbal products which are often tasty to pets.
  • Veterinary Products/Medications – These are typically flavored to make them more attractive to pets, but this makes them more dangerous if left out.
  • Household Products – These range from fire logs to cleaning products. Sometimes they are poisonous, other times they cause a blockage when eaten.
  • People Food – A common toxin found in “people food” is Xylitol, which is used as a sugar substitute. It can cause seizures and liver failure in dogs. The most common people food that pets ingest is chocolate. If enough is eaten, it causes vomiting, diarrhea, high heart rate and seizures.
  • Plants – Plants are more of a problem for cats than dogs. It’s wise to check out the complete list of toxic plants ( if you have a cat, and check the list for whatever you bring into your home.
  • Lawn and Garden Products – The smell of fertilizer is very attractive to pets, and so it results in numerous calls to the APCC.

If you ever wonder if your pet has gotten into something they shouldn’t, put your fears to rest and call the APCC right away at 1-888-426-4435.  

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