Top 10 Pet Poisons

The ASPCA fields over 150,000 calls a year from people who’s pets have ingested something potentially toxic.  Many substances in our homes and yards that are perfectly safe for us can be dangerous to our furry and feathered friends.  Here is a list of the 10 most common poisons to be aware of:

1 -Human prescription drugs.
Dogs are notorious for tasting anything that drops on the floor – because it just might be a tasty tidbit!  Make sure your pets are not in the room when you take prescription medications and always keep them well out of reach.  The most common medications ingested by dogs were Cardiac and ADHD medications.

2 – Insecticides – including Flea and Tick spot on treatments.
We may think we are doing our pets a favor by applying flea and tick pesticides, but over-treating can be life  threatening.  Always read labels and dose carefully and never put dog products on a cat.  Better yet – Go Natural! Read about natural pest control here.  Also be careful of pesticide use inside the house or around the yard and garden.  Dogs and cats lick their paws and ingest whatever they walked through – so keep them away from any treated areas until the pesticides have been washed away.

3 – Over the counter medications.
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are highly toxic to pets.  Even a small dose of ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers in dogs and kidney damage in cats.


4 – People Treats.
Chocolate is the most common people food poison for pets – see last week’s post on Dogs & Chocolate.  Xylitol, a sugar substitute commonly found in gum, is the second most common people food poison.  Xylitol can cause seizures and liver failure in dogs.  Alcohol is never appropriate for pets – even if your dog “seems” to like beer – it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity and even death.

5 – Household Products.
Your pet’s nose is much closer to the ground and they are smaller than we are, so they inhale household cleaners at a much higher concentration than we do.   Bleaches, detergents and disinfectants can cause gastrointestinal distress and irritation to the skin, eyes or respiratory tract.  Keep your pet out of the room while you clean and rinse well.  Think of having a pet as similar to having a toddler – don’t leave anything in reach you would not want them to ingest – like firelogs, matches, paint, tobacco products, etc.

6 – Pet Medications.
Flavored chewable prescription and over-the-counter pet medications make it easier to get our pets to comply.  However, making medication tasty can also pose a risk to their health when they manage to abscond with a whole bottle!  Keep pet medications safely out of reach and IN a cabinet – not on the counter.

7 – Rodent bait.
If your feline friend is not a mouser, you may be tempted to take matters in your own hands.  If you choose to use  rat or mouse bate and poisons take extra precautions to be sure that your pets cannot reach it – even if they try really hard.  Dogs, especially, can be as attracted to the bait as the rodent. 

8 – Plants.
This is one category that cats lead dogs in the number of exposures. Lilies can cause kidney failure and death in cats.  Other common toxic plants include azaleas, rhododendrons, tulips and daffodils.  Please see the ASPCA list of toxic/non-toxic plants for more information.

9 – Lawn and Garden Products.
Fertilizers – even organic varieties, can be quite toxic to pets.  Many are made of dried blood, poultry manure and bone meal – which smell appealing to pets.  Use caution and keep pets out of the yard until fertilizers are well  watered in.

10 – Automotive products.
Anti-freeze, brake fluid and other automotive products can be fatal if ingested.  Clean up any spills promptly and keep pets safely confined when you work on your vehicle.

The best remedy for household poison is prevention.  If you suspect your pet has been exposed to something toxic, call your veterinarian right away or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435. Experts at the APCC are available to answer questions and provide guidance 24 hours a day for a $60 consultation fee.

3 comments to Top 10 Pet Poisons

  • Roy Centeno

    Stomach ulcer is one nasty disease, it could also lead to bleeding if not properly cared for. Stomach ulcer recovery time is quite long compared to other bleeding issues becuase of stomach acids. `”.”*

    Warmest regards“>

  • Devon Boris

    Stomach acid reflux disease is a condition that arises when the enzymes and acids of the stomach become hyperactivity, leave the stomach and make their way into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a round muscular valve that is located in the lower portion of the esophagus, upper portion of the stomach. The main purpose of this valve is to allow food and drink access from the esophagus to the stomach while protecting the esophagus. The valve does this by opening to allow food and drink to pass through to the stomach then closing immediately after so that the acids which grow active when food hits the stomach. ‘

    Most current write-up from our new internet page

  • Kay

    Hello, I am a 2010 Ford Explorer. The family that owns me are prttey busy with the four children they have, ages 9, 7, 5, and 1. The Mom (Jennifer) is a full time student with what seems to be a prttey heavy work load this fall as she seems to rush everywhere she takes me. The Dad (Mark) doesn’t drive me as much since he is in the Army and I have more room for the kids and Jennifer usually has all four in tow when she heads out to go places. Jennifer does baby me since she keeps me as clean as possible being in Alaska I guess that is a tough job since I get taken to the car wash about every week in the summer months and in the winter about every two weeks as she tends to not drive me as much in the winter here. I do not blame her I do not like the cold months here either. I would rather sit in my toasty garage and have my tires nice and warm from the heated floor than be going out and about in the harsh winter weather. My owners love to travel in me as they have driven me all over the United States and Canada. When we move back to warmer weather I will be very happy as I know she will take me places more often and have better weather to travel around in to see new places.

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