Household products can appear to be harmless to us, but to our pets they can be dangerous if not lethal. Take a look at some of the common things we have around our homes, with this awareness we can ensure a safer place for furry housemates.
Household Cleaning Products
Products that contain bleach can burn your pet’s skin and/or mouth upon contact. Many household cleaners can be poisonous when ingested. Make sure that all cleaning containers are closed tightly when not in use and stored securely. Keep toilet lids closed to prevent pets from drinking the water. Though many cats and dogs prefer to drink from the toilet because it’s cool and fresh, toilet bowels contain bacteria that can potentially cause your pet to become ill. In addition, toilet cleaner is extremely toxic and there is often a residue left in the bowel. Finally depending on the traces of what is in the toilet, drinking from it can give your pet a case of horrible smelling breath.
Prescription Drugs and Over-the Counter Medications
Accidental ingestion of drugs is the most common cause of animal poisoning. Never give your pet any medication s that is meant for human consumption without consulting with your veterinarian. What is safe for people may be completely toxic to pets, example: Just two extra-strength acetaminophen in a 24 hour period has the potential of being lethal to a small pet.
Food & Drink
Some of the things that we eat and drink have the potential of harming our pets, these include: coffee grounds, chocolate, tea, alcohol, hops, salt, onions, onion powder, grapes, raisins, avocado, garlic, and macadamia nuts. Some candies, gums, and breath fresheners contain a product called xylitol that can be fatal when ingested by dogs or cats.
Ingestion of tobacco products can cause a number of effects with in minutes. Excitement, salivation, vomiting, muscle weakness, and coma or death. Make sure to keep all tobacco products including ash trays out of reach of children and pets.
Some plants are highly toxic to pets when ingested these include but are not limited to: foxglove, lily (particularly in cats), yew, sago palm, rhododendron, azalea, rhubarb leaves, oleander, castor bean, and kalanchoe. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested any of these plants. For a complete list of poisonous plants visit www.oregonvma.org/petowners/plants.asp
Use only products that are designed for your pet. Not all products are the same and some products that are made for dogs contain ingredients that can be lethal to cats.
Fertilizers, Insecticides, Pesticides, Baits and Traps
When treating areas with fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides keep pets away from that area for 3 – 4 days. Pets that paw make contact with such products run a risk of being poisoned if they should ingest it by licking their feet.
Do not leave antifreeze unattended of allow it to spill on the garage floor or in the street. As little as one-half teaspoon when ingested by a cat can be lethal and for a medium – size dog it only takes a quarter of a cup. Be safe by using non-toxic antifreeze with a bitter agent to discourage pet consumption.