Poison Control for Pets
Toxic Products for Dogs and Cats
Do you know if you have any products in your home that could be potential hazards for your dog or cat if the eat them? Many of us know that chocolate, ibuprofen, antifreeze and rat poison are toxic to pets if they are ingested, but what about sugar free products with xylitol, lilies, grapes and raisins, and Gorilla Glue? These are all potential hazards to your pets. Keep them out of reach of your pets, and immediately get help if any of these items are ingested; it happens!
Common Poisons for Pets
Chocolate: Chocolate is a commonly ingested toxin for dogs and cats. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate are the most toxic, and white chocolate is the least toxic. Milk chocolate is in the middle. The smaller your pet, the darker the chocolate, and the larger the amount that is ingested the bigger the problem. Symptoms range from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures. Large amounts can cause death if not treated promptly. You can use a chocolate toxicity calculator to help you decide how concerned you should be, but we also recommend that you contact us as well.
Over the Counter Medications: Never give your pet over the counter medications without speaking with your Veterinarian first. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are NOT safe for dogs and cats. They can cause liver and kidney failure and severe gastrointestinal upset. If these products are ingested, call for help right away.
Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins are not toxic for every pet, but for some animals even the smallest amount can cause kidney failure. We can’t predict which pets will have severe reactions, so do not feed your dog or cat any raisins or grapes. We recommend treating to avoid any potential problems.
Plants: Many common household plants are not toxic or a minimally toxic. Lilies, however, are very toxic if ingested in even very small amounts.
Xylitol: Sugar free products with xylitol can cause liver failure in dogs and cats if ingested. Keep these products out of reach of your pets.
What to do if Your Pet Ingests a Toxic Substance
Contact us or take your pet to a pet hospital near you immediately if your pet has ingested a potentially toxic substance. You can also get help by using the ASPCA and the Pet Poison Helpline websites and Facebook Pages. Book mark these sites on your computer for fast and easy access if a pet poisoning emergency in your home should occur:
The telephone number for the ASPCA Poison Control Hot-Line is (888) 426-4435. There is a consultation fee for this service but the ASPCA Pet Poison Hot Line is available to you 24/7 for expert advice about poisoning and to let you know if you can handle the emergency at home or if your pet needs to come in to see us. If you have a Home Again Microchip and membership, the poison control consultation may be free of charge.
Whenever you call us or the ASPCA Pet Poison Hot Line make sure you have any pertinent information about what your pet ate. It is necessary to know things like the exact name of a medication and dose of the medication ingested, and what the active ingredients are in something that was eaten. Never throw away any packaging or bottles that a pet may have chewed as that information is needed! If you bring your pet to see us after eating something it should not have please bring the packaging, even if chewed, in with your pet.
Can I do Anything at Home to Help my Pet?
A common question we get is “Can I give my dog some Hydrogen Peroxide if he ate something he should not have?” Do not induce vomiting until you have spoken to a Veterinarian. Not all poisons a pet ingests should be made to come back up again – so call first! Also Hydrogen Peroxide does not work to make cats throw up and should never be given to cats orally.
If you are instructed to give Hydrogen Peroxide to your dog it should be given to your dog based on body weight. It makes dogs throw up as it causes bubbling in the stomach but if too much is given it can cause stomach or mouth irritation which sometimes can be severe. So first make sure if you should give Hydrogen Peroxide and how much to give to your dog. We recommend allowing your Veterinarian to induce vomiting if it is indicated.
Hopefully you will never have to call us or the ASPCA Pet Poison Hot Line but it is best to be prepared in case you do need to call! We love your pets and want to help!