Top Five Toxins Found in Your Home and Other Substances Dangerous to Pets
As parents, we don't leave items around the house that are unsafe for kids, right? Well that same rule of thumb should apply to your pets. Many common items that are sometimes overlooked in homes have proven to be a problem if ingested by your pet.
Take a look at this list of the top five household dangers to pets and be sure to keep these items well out of paws’ reach.
If your pet ingests enough chocolate to show any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate veterinary assistance.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning:
- Stomach upset
- Elevated heart rate
#4 Over-the-counter Pain RelieversMost of us keep medicine in a cabinet but you'd be surprised how many pets get themselves into pills and other stuff meant for humans such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
Pets metabolize and eliminate these drugs differently than humans so even small amounts, if swallowed, can cause significant medical problems in dogs.
Ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen and aspirin can all cause life-threatening symptoms in pets.
- Ibuprofen & Naproxen = stomach ulcers & kidney failure
- Acetaminophen = liver damage & damage to red blood cells
- Aspirin = liver damage, stomach ulcers & fever
#3 Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergent containers can be easily tipped over or chewed through by your dog(s). Pets who lick laundry detergent off of themselves or the floor can develop an upset stomach and/or upper airway irritation and pets who inhale detergent into their lungs can develop aspiration pneumonia.
Laundry detergent pods have been in the news recently for causing poisonings in children attracted to their bright, candy-like packaging. Like with kids, laundry pods can seem like potential food items or toys to pets.
One of the reasons detergent pods are proving so harmful is that the detergent in them is more concentrated than in bottled forms.
Since the pods are meant to dissolve in water, saliva can lead to a release of the contents even if the pet hasn’t actually bitten through the packaging. Dry pods do not pop easily just by squeezing, but once a pod is wet by water or saliva, the contents can readily ooze out.
Secure all laundry detergent in a place where your dog or cat cannot find or reach them and keep in mind your cat can jump!
Note: fabric softeners are also dangerous to pets because they contain cationic detergents that have the potential to cause symptoms like drooling, vomiting, oral and esophageal ulcers and fever. Oral ulcers can develop if a pet chews on a new, unused dryer sheet. Used sheets contain minimal amounts of detergent.
#2 Sugar Free GumSugar free gum containing Xylitol can cause a lowering of or a sharp drop in a pet's blood sugar resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures; in some cases, even liver damage. Be sure to keep sugar free gum away from a dog’s ever curious nose because dogs, even cats, can easily open a pack of gum with their teeth.
Xylitol is also in some human breath fresheners, so do not try to cure a dog's bad breath by giving him/her a human mint or breath freshener. Breath strips that contain menthol can be irritating to the tissues of the pet's mouth and gastrointestinal tract.
Xylitol can also be found in a number of other foods and medications so always check labels before offering your dog part of what you are eating.