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Food/Drugs

Can my pets actually chew through containers of aspirin?

Unfortunately, yes. While most human medications are contained in child-proof bottles, these containers are not pet-proof. Pets can easily chew and break open packaging, so medications should always be stored in a secure cabinet above the countertop.

Can I give my pet aspirin?

We strongly advise owners to never give their pets any medication without first consulting with their regular veterinarian. Many drugs, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like aspirin, can cause serious or potentially life-threatening problems, depending on the dose involved.

If you feel that your pet needs pain relief for any reason, we highly recommend that you get in touch with your veterinarian—if you have not already. Your vet can direct you regarding the best dose to use or, if necessary, can prescribe a different pain reliever.

Can I give my pet Ibuprofen?

In a word, NO! Ibuprofen can definitely be toxic to dogs and other pets—even in small amounts. Depending on the dose ingested, significant gastrointestinal damage or even kidney damage could result.

In fact, many drugs that are beneficial to humans can be harmful or even deadly for pets. We strongly urge you to never give your pet any medication without first speaking with his or her regular veterinarian.

Can I feed my dog a human breath mint?

It's not a good idea to feed your dog any sort of breath freshener that hasn't been formulated specifically for pets. Some breath-freshening products contain the sweetener xylitol, which has the potential to cause a sharp drop in a dog's blood sugar. This can result in depression, loss of coordination and seizures, and in some cases, liver damage. We also don't advise giving your dog breath freshening strips. Certain breath strips contain menthol, which can be irritating to the tissues of the mouth and the gastrointestinal tract.

Why is chocolate bad for dogs?

Chocolate can contain high amounts of fat and caffeine-like stimulants known as methylxanthines. If ingested in significant amounts, chocolate can potentially produce clinical effects in dogs ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death in severe cases.

Is milk bad for cats?

Unless they are spoiled or moldy, milk, cheese and other dairy foods are not considered to be poisonous to pets. However, cats do not possess significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. Feeding milk and milk-based products to cats can actually cause them to vomit or have diarrhea, which in severe cases could lead to inflammation of the pancreas. For this reason, it's always a good idea to check with your veterinarian before offering any "people food" to your pets.

What are the most common food hazards I should be aware of?

Experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center urge you to avoid feeding the following foods to your pet:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Avocado
- Chocolate (all forms)
- Coffee (all forms)
- Fatty foods
- Macadamia nuts
- Moldy or spoiled foods
- Onions, onion powder
- Raisins and grapes
- Salt
- Yeast dough
- Garlic
- Products sweetened with xylitol

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