Four Common Pet Household Toxins

household toxins

At Guthrie Pet Hospital, we receive calls daily about pets ingesting something in their environment.  There are many household toxins that are toxic to pets.  It’s important to be aware of the most common toxins so that you can keep your pet from harm’s way.

Four common household toxins:

  1. Human medication:  ibuprofen, Tylenol, aspirin, and cold medication.  One regular strength ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers in a ten-pound dog and higher doses, causing kidney failure. Never give your animal medication unless directed by a veterinarian.
  2. Poison:  Insecticides and rodent bait.  You should always follow the label instructions on flea and tick products. Never use a flea and tick product labeled “for use in dogs only” on cats or other pets. Most rodent baits are sweet smelling and contain flavors that can be attractive to your pet.
  3. House plants:  Most house plants are mildly toxic, causing vomiting and diarrhea if eaten.  The ingestion of azalea, oleander, mistletoe, sago palm or Easter lily by any animal could be fatal.
  4. Chocolate:  Any amount of chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Several factors affect the severity of the toxicity: the type of chocolate, the quantity of chocolate eaten, the size of the dog, and how sensitive they are to the toxins in chocolate.  For example, one pound of dark baker’s chocolate can kill a 50-pound dog. There are several chocolate toxicity meters that help you calculate online.

If your pet does ingest any toxin contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435) immediately.  Induction of vomiting is commonly advised with many types of household toxins. Don’t induce vomiting without permission from your veterinarian or poison hotline. You can use household hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting.  Use approximately one teaspoon per five pounds of the animal’s weight, to a maximum of four tablespoons.  If the animal has not vomited after 15 minutes, repeat the dose of hydrogen peroxide.

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