Are These Pet Dangers Lurking In Your Home?

A small dog and cat cuddling together with drawings of pills and other medications behind them

It’s a frightening moment, and it can happen to any pet parent. Your pet eats something toxic. Panic and fear take over as you rush to the emergency vet, praying to get there in time.

I know that moment well.

Eight years ago, my senior dachshund, Skip, decided to investigate the inside of my friend’s purse while we were busy outside. He found a new bottle of Rynidal, prescribed for my friend’s 100-pound foster. I didn’t find the empty bottle until later that night. And because I had two other pups, I wasn’t sure who ingested the drugs. Needless to say, it was an expensive emergency visit with all three of them getting their stomachs pumped.

March is recognized as Poison Prevention Awareness Month, and March 21-27 is National Pet Poison Prevention Week. Now is the time to look around your pet’s environment and remove any toxins. Here are a few of the most common items that

For dogs:

  • Chocolate, particularly bakers and dark chocolate.
  • Xylitol, the sweetener used in sugarless gums and candies, as well as some medications.
  • NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen and naproxen found in products like Advil and Aleve.
  • Over-the-counter cough, cold, and allergy medications.
  • Rodenticides (mouse poison).

For cats:

  • Lilies and all plants in the Lilium species, such as Easter, Tiger, and Asiatic lilies.
  • Household cleaners that are concentrated, such as toilet bowl or drain cleaners.
  • Flea and tick treatments that are created for use on dogs.
  • Antidepressants, such as Cymbalta and Effexor.

For a complete list of pet toxins, visit the Pet Poison Helpline at

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