Find out what you can do to prevent accidental poisoning in your pet.
- Be aware of the plants you have in your home and yard. The ingestion of azalea, oleander, castor bean, sago palm, Easter lily or yew plant material by an animal can be fatal.
- Never allow your pets to have access to the areas in which cleaning agents are being used or stored. Cleaning agents have a variety of properties; some may only cause mild stomach upset, but others can cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth and stomach.
- Store all cleaners, pesticides, and medications in a secured area above the counter.
- When using rat, mouse, snail or slug baits, or ant or roach traps, place the products in areas inaccessible to animals. Most baits contain ingredients that can attract your pets.
- Never give your companion animals medication unless you are directed to do so by a veterinarian. Many medications that are safe for humans can be deadly for animals. For example, one extra strength (500mg) acetaminophen tablet could be fatal to a cat.
- Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of your pets’ reach, preferably in closed cabinets above the counter. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills are all examples of human medications that can be lethal to animals, even in small doses. For example, one 200mg ibuprofen tablet could cause stomach ulcers in a small dog.
- Never leave chocolate unattended.
- Many common household items can be lethal to animals. Mothballs, potpourri oils, coffee grounds, homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets, dishwashing detergent, batteries, cigarettes, alcoholic drinks and hand and foot warmers are potentially toxic.
- Automotive products such as gasoline, oil and antifreeze should be stored in areas that are inaccessible to your pets. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a cat; less than one tablespoon can be lethal to a 20 pound dog.
- Before buying a flea product, consult your veterinarian, especially when treating sick, debilitated or pregnant pets.
- Read all of the information on the label before using a product on your pet or in your home. Always follow the directions.
- If a product is for use only on dogs, it should never be used on cats; if a product is for use only on cats, it should never be used on dogs.
- Make sure your companion animals do not enter areas in which insecticidal foggers or house sprays have been applied for the period of time indicated on the label.
Make sure your pets do not go on lawns or in gardens treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides until they have dried completely. Always store such products in areas that are inaccessible to your companion animals.
If you are uncertain about the proper usage of any product, contact the manufacturer and/or your veterinarian for instructions.
ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center
1717 Philo Road
Urbana, IL 61801
The ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center is the first and the only animal-oriented poison information center in North America. Since 1978, the center has provided advice to veterinarians and pet owners about poison exposures. Consultations are provided by licensed veterinarians trained in toxicology, Board-Certified Veterinary Toxicologists or by Certified Veterinary Technicians.
The Center is operational 24 hours a day, and is staffed by veterinary health professionals who are familiar with different species’ responses to toxins and effective treatment protocols. In 1998, the Center impacted one million animals. The Center maintains an extensive collection of informational resources specific to animals including a database of over 450,000 cases. This specialized information helps the veterinary staff to make specific and accurate recommendations regarding animal exposures to almost anything imaginable.