5 On Your Side

Keep pills, cleaners out of reach to help pet-proof home

Posted June 20

Almost everyone childproofs their home, but what about preparing it for your pet?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says pet poisonings are happening more often – there were more than 180,000 cases in 2016.

Topping the list of things Consumer Reports says homeowners should be aware of is prescription medications.

They can cause rapid heart rates, diarrhea and even seizures if ingested by a pet.

Over-the-counter pain relievers containing acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can cause liver and kidney failure.

"Just like you would with small children in the house, use common sense with your pets, too," Consumer Reports' health editor Julia Calderone said.

There is a good chance your pet will eat off the kitchen floor. Onion, garlic, grapes, raisins, avocados and yeast dough can all be toxic to pets.

Household cleaners can also be dangerous, so wait until they evaporate before exposing pets. Also be sure to store them securely.

"Miscellaneous things like batteries or even sugarless gum or candies that contain xylitol are toxic for pets, so make sure that you keep them out of reach," Calderone said.

Pets should also be kept away from insecticides and plants. A small lick of pollen from many types of lilies can cause kidney failure in a cat.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any toxic items, call your veterinarian.

The ASPCA is also a great resource for detailed lists of poisonous items, and they have a 24-hour hotline (call 1-888-42604435) if you think your pet may have ingested something questionable. They charge a $65 consultation fee.

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