Most Common Household Hazards For Your Pets

| March 20, 2012 | 0 Comments
Skull and crossbones

Every year the 3rd full week of March is designated National Poison Prevention Week. While most of the publicity is directed at how to make your homes safer for kids, it’s important to remember our pets. Here is a guide to help you identify the most dangerous hazard in each room of your house.

Kitchen: Foods

Coffee grounds, chocolate, yeast dough, macadamia nuts, fatty foods, avocado, grapes and raisins, tea, alcohol, salt, garlic and onions are some of the most common toxic foods in your kitchen. Sugarfree gums and candies containing xylitol are very toxic and can kill a pet within a short period of time if ingested.  Keep these foods away from the edge of counters and tables and keep bags of garbage tied up and out of your pet’s reach.

Bathroom: Medications

Many of the medications that you take are toxic to pets. The following products should always be kept in containers with tight lids and off of low cabinets or shelves:  NSAIDS (naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin), acetaminophen, prescription drugs, diet pills, antidepressants.

Basement: Rodenticides

Products engineered to kill pests and rodents are often palatable and highly toxic to cats and dogs. If a small amount is ingested, your pet could begin to bleed out internally and eventually bleed to death. It is important to keep these products off of the ground and in rooms where pets are strictly forbidden.

Garage: AntiFreeze

Until recently, antifreeze was made with a sweetening agent that made it attractive to pets. Now, Maryland law requires that a bittering agent be added to the product to eliminate accidental deaths by ingestion. Antifreeze can result in death within a short period of time if not treated by a veterinarian. Keep these products off of low shelves and immediately clean up any spills.

Sunroom: Plants

Some of the plants that are most toxic to pets include lilies (highly toxic to cats), sago palms which causese seizures and liver damage,  hibiscus and castor bean resulting in gastrointestinal upset, rhododendrons and azaleas which may cause heart problems, coma and death and shamrocks that can cause kidney failure. There are other plants that are also toxic so when in doubt, limit access of your pets to all houseplants.

Closet: Mothballs

Mothballs containing naphthalene can cause irritation to the digestive tract, liver and kidney damage, swelling of the brain, seizures and possibly coma. Those not containing naphthalene can still make cats and dogs very sick. Call your vet immediately if you suspect that your pet may have ingested a mothball.

If you suspect your pet has ingested anything toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. Be prepared to provide your pet’s breed, age, weight, symptom and package label information. Keep the product container with you so that the appropriate treatment can be given.

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Category: OPINION

About the Author - Marianne Bailey

I am a companion animal veterinarian at South Arundel Veterinary Hospital in Edgewater, MD. I grew up in Calvert County and knew since I was young that I wanted to be a veterinarian. I majored in Animal Sciences at Auburn University and was accepted to the class of 2010 at Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine. I love my patients and have the best job in the world!

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