Pet Blog

Many common household items can be harmful to pets

Posted March 24, 2015

Keeping pets healthy is a full-time job.

In March, many veterinarians take extra time to remind pet owners of the harmful poisons that are often found in common household items or right outside their front doors.

Xylitol, which is found in sugarless gums, candies and mints, is a common culprit for making pets sick.

Flowers, chocolate, fertilizers and pest control products can also be to blame.

Even common plants, like azaleas, lilies, oleanders, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths can be harmful for pets.

Symptoms of poisoning can range from an upset stomach and neurological signs such as seizures, paralysis, twitching and head tremors, to liver and kidney failure.

Other common things that pets ingest are human medications, such as anti-inflammatory medications, antidepressants and other prescribed medications.

For horse owners, removing Red Maple Leaves can prevent a hazard. Their color in the fall makes pastures look beautiful, while in the summer months, they provide shade. If the leaves are ingested, it can cause acute hemolytic anemia.

Reptiles can be harmed if they are allowed to roam throughout the house. They are in danger of escaping or being crushed due to their smaller sizes and flexible bodies. However, poisons can also be a threat like any other small animal. Some toxic foods include alcohol, salt, coffee, tea, sodas and other caffeinated beverages. Vitamins and supplements are also hazardous to their health.

“Even the most responsible pet owners can have a mishap when it comes to poisoning because so many household items can be toxic to your pets,” Dr. David Linzey, of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association, said in a statement. “If you keep items out of the reach of your pets the best that you can, recognize the signs and symptoms of poisoning and react quickly, then you are doing your part in keeping your pet safe.”

It is important to have telephone numbers of local veterinary hospitals and poison control centers in the case of accidental ingestion. A local phone number to the pet poison helpline is 855-764-7661.


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