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Caring for your pet’s health is an important part of being a good pet owner. Animals are curious creatures, so being aware of possible poisonous elements in your home is critical to their safety. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, in recent years almost 90% of calls involved dogs – probably a testament to the fact that dogs will eat just about anything. Of those calls, nearly half were for dogs that ingested human medications. The majority involved anti-depressants and over-the-counter drugs that contain acetaminophen or NSAIDs, which can cause serious harm to dogs when ingested.

Other common household toxins that can poison dogs include:

  • Human food – this includes animals that ate chocolate, Xylitol (a sweetener in sugarless gums and candies), raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, garlic, onions, yeast-based dough and table salt.
  • Insecticides – this includes sprays, granules, insect bait stations and more. Particularly deadly are organophosphates (often found in rose-care products).
  • Rodenticides – this includes mouse and rat poisons. It is important to note that dead rodents that were poisoned by rodenticides are deadly to pets or wildlife that might potentially eat them.
  • Dietary supplements and vitamins – this includes over the counter dietary supplements and vitamins. While some items in this category can be safe (such as vitamins C, K and E), others can be highly toxic.

If you think your pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Pet Poison Helpline also has an iPhone application listing an extensive database of over 200 poisons dangerous to cats and dogs. “Pet Poison Help” is available on iTunes.


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