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We all want the best for our pets. Even the savviest pet-owners may be unaware of pet poisons lurking in plain sight.
The ASPCA Poison Control Center received 199,000 reports of possible pet poisoning cases in 2017. This number was a ten percent increase from the number of cases in 2016. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) listed the 10 most common pet toxins based on the reports it received.
Many pet owners know that chocolate, mouse and rat poison are toxic if ingested by pets.
With March being Poison Prevention Awareness Month, we thought it fitting to point out some less known household items that could turn dangerous if they ended up in our furry friends’ paws.
Dryer sheets, otherwise known as fabric softener sheets, are placed in the dryer to eliminate static cling and minimize wrinkles in clothing. They do this by depositing chemicals on our clothing.
These chemicals could be toxic if a pet were to chew on or eat a dryer sheet. Even a used dryer sheet contains enough chemicals to be harmful if ingested.
Sugar-free gum or sugar-free candy
Sugar-free gum and sugar-free candy or breath mints contain a sweetener called Xylitol.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol and is currently widely used as a sugar substitute. It is not dangerous to humans because it does not stimulate the pancreas to release insulin in a human.
However, according to Dr. Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT, Associate Director of Veterinary Services at the Pet Poison Helpline, when a dog eats something containing xylitol, it causes the rapid release of insulin.
This release of insulin leads to a rapid drop in blood sugar levels, otherwise known as hypoglycemia. If untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to death.
Pet owners should read labels carefully since numerous products now contain xylitol. Some of these are:
Curious dogs tend to chew on whatever they can find. Unfortunately, if this curiosity leads to the remote control or a child’s toy, your dog may end up chewing on or puncturing a battery.
Once punctured, the compounds from the battery can cause severe injuries to your dog’s mouth, tissues, and digestive tract.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications have been the two most common causes of pet poisoning cases.
According to a Consumer Reports article, the drugs most frequently seen in pet poisoning cases are those most commonly prescribed for humans:
Other common causes of poisoning include over-the-counter pain medications including:
While apple slices are a healthy snack for dogs, make sure to remove the core and all apple seeds.
Apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide which, over time, can build up in a dog’s system and become toxic.
Grapes and raisins
Even a small number of grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
While onions and onion powder add a dash of flavor to many human recipes, make sure none of these table scraps end up in your dog’s dish.
In dogs, onions lead to a breakdown in red blood cells, ultimately causing anemia.
Tea and coffee
Tea and coffee, like chocolate, are toxic to pets because they contain caffeine.
Lily plants can cause kidney failure in cats.
Signs of pet poisoning
Signs of poisoning differ depending on the toxin and the amount ingested.
Some common symptoms include:
If you think your pet may have ingested something poisonous, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.