When you choose to take on a pet, you also commit to many responsibilities. One of these is to do everything possible to keep your pet happy and healthy, and this means shielding your animal from harm. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a great deal of furry parenting experience, you may not necessarily realize the dangers that are lurking both in your home and neighborhood that could pose a threat to the health of your pet.
In fact, it surprises many new owners quite how many different things could prove toxic if your pet lets her nose get the better of her. As part of our efforts for Poison Prevention Awareness Month, we have put together this short guide to 10 of the most toxic foods and substances for your pet.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, chocolate is at the top of our list. It may be a tasty treat for us, but even just a few squares of it is enough to make a cat or dog seriously ill. This is because chocolate contains theobromine, an ingredient that is highly toxic to animals. Typical symptoms of mild theobromine poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea, but in large doses it can cause abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and even death.
2. Human medication
No-one should take medication that isn’t prescribed for them, and that includes your pets. Human medication is extremely dangerous for your pet, and even in small doses can be life-threatening. Make sure you keep all medications in locked drawers and cupboards, well away from small hands and paws! Don’t store your pet’s medication in the same place as your own either – mix-ups are all too commonly seen in veterinary offices.
A very common substance found in most garages, antifreeze may be vital to keep your car going in winter, but it could be fatal for your furbaby as it contains ethylene glycol. Its sweet smell tends to lure in cats and dogs but consuming just 3oz is enough to poison a medium-sized dog. If your pet suffers from antifreeze poisoning, it will affect her kidneys, liver and brain.
While we may enjoy a caffeine fix, if you decide to share with your furry friend you could be putting her life in jeopardy. Like chocolate, caffeinated drinks also contain theobromine, which can raise your pet’s heart rate and blood pressure and cause her to experience seizures. In severe poisoning cases, death is a very real possibility.
5. Insecticides, pesticides and mouse/rat poison
Most of us will experience some sort of pest problem at some point during our lifetime, and may rely on insecticides, pesticides and/or vermin poison to eradicate the infestation. Unfortunately, these all contain chemicals and toxins that can have a disastrous effect on the health of your furbaby, so ensure that they are well out of reach.
6. Household cleaning products
Many common household cleaners contain chemicals that are toxic to pets. Cats tend to naturally avoid them, but dogs are far more curious and prepared to take a risk. Even products that market themselves as ‘natural’ may still contain ingredients that can cause a severe reaction. Keep all of your cleaning products in a locked storage container.
7. Pits and seeds
Sweet fruits are very tempting to share with your pet and are generally a very healthy option. However, fruits such as cherries, peaches and apples contain pits and seeds which are highly toxic to pets. This is because they contain a chemical that turns to cyanide when it comes into contact with the digestive juices, and as we all know, cyanide is highly poisonous.
A bunch of flowers or a potted plant can make a lovely visual addition for your home or garden, but many types are poisonous for cats and dogs. Some of the most common include azaleas, rhododendrons and tulip and daffodil bulbs are toxic to dogs, while many lilies are toxic to cats and some canines. Vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and liver failure are just some of the problems associated with plant poisoning.
If you love your land, you may invest in fertilizers to help grow plants or crops. While some are fairly safe, other contain blood meal, bones meal and feather meal which may taste good to your furbaby but could cause severe pancreatitis.
10. Milk and dairy products
Most people think that milk is good for cats, but the truth is that dairy products can cause digestive problems in both canines and felines, especially if they don’t have them very often. Dairy intolerances are also very common and could cause your pet to suffer from extreme itching.
If you are asking yourself is there a vet near me who can help with possible pet poisoning, and you are located in or near Atlanta, GA, Inman Park Animal Hospital would be delighted to ensure your beloved furbaby gets the treatment she needs. If you believe your pet may have consumed something toxic, don’t delay, contact Inman Park Animal Hospital right away.