Chocolate, toilet bowl cleaner, and high blood pressure medication—what do these items have in common? If you guessed that they show up on the list of most common pet toxins, you are correct. Pets are notorious for sticking their furry little noses into downright dangerous places and discovering toxins. Poisonous substances abound in your home, yard, and garage and, although your pet doesn’t have thumbs, they still find a way to expose themselves to these toxins. Let’s go room by room to discover the toxins lurking in your home, and to learn how best to keep your furry pal safe.
The kitchen: Many foods are toxic to pets
In terms of pet toxins, your kitchen is one of the most hazardous rooms in your home, because all the tasty food items present your furry pal with a wide variety of potential toxins. When cooking in your kitchen, keep the following foods out of your pet’s reach:
- Xylitol, a sugar substitute
- Macadamia nuts
- Unbaked yeast dough
Also, while fatty foods and bones aren’t toxic for your pet, they still pose a health hazard. Foods that are too rich or high in fat can seriously upset their gastrointestinal tract and potentially cause a life-threatening case of pancreatitis. If your pet gets into the trash and eats chicken bones, they can suffer from a pierced gastrointestinal tract or obstruction that requires surgery. Keep your pet safe from kitchen hazards by confining them to a different room while you cook. Ensure you keep your counters clear if your four-legged friend is a professional counter surfer, and that your trash can is pet-proof .
Your bathroom: A haven for dangerous items
If your pet is your constant shadow, they may run into trouble in your bathroom. Whether they’re trying to lend a helping paw while you scrub toilets, or watching you while you take your daily vitamin supplement, they can run afoul of dangerous substances. In your bathroom, ensure you keep these items out of your pet’s reach:
- Cleaning chemicals
- Bath oils
If your pet immediately snatches up any dropped item, lock them out of the bathroom while you take medications. Many pets accidentally ingest their owner’s prescriptions when they’re dropped on the floor, and over-the-counter products, such as Tylenol, can also be deadly. Quickly sweep the floor for dropped medication, close the toilet lid, and ensure all cleaning products are securely locked away before allowing your pet in the bathroom.
Your bedroom: Don’t sleep on pet problems
We love when our pets snuggle up and sleep with us, but first ensure there are no hazards in your bedroom. If you use an essential oil diffuser or a humidifier with essential oils, your pet should stay out of your bedroom. Many essential oils, whether ingested or inhaled, are toxic to pets. While lavender oil is commonly used to help people relax and fall asleep and can also be used in pets, large amounts, or oil that is undiluted, can be hazardous for your pet. Sleeping medications and supplements of any kind should always be kept well out of your pet’s reach.
Your living room: Colorful blooms can darken your pet’s day
Do you like to brighten up your living room by bringing in the outdoors? Decorating your home with colorful blooms may inadvertently expose your pet to a toxin. Many plants are dangerous for pets, particularly lilies for your cat, so check this list of safe and unsafe plants for pets before you decorate.
Your garage: Vehicle and garden products can seriously harm pets
The most common pet toxin in home garages is antifreeze, but consider any vehicle fluids hazardous to your furry pal. Other potential toxins include rodenticides, pesticides, and lawn chemicals. Herbicides are not as appealing as fertilizers that contain bone or blood meal, but both products can be dangerous. Ideally, keep your pet out of your garage when working on your vehicle, and always clean up any chemical spills promptly. Also, keep pets off your lawn until the fertilizer or herbicide instructions say it’s safe.
Toxicity cases are common in pets, as shown by the almost one-quarter million pets the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center helped last year. We know you do your best to prevent your pet from adding to that number, but accidents happen when inquisitive noses sniff out mischief. If your furry pal is exposed to a toxin, contact a pet poison helpline first, and then call our Carriage Crossing Animal Hospital team for help.