More Than 400,000 Animals Assisted by ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in 2023

The 24/7 hotline releases annual list of top pet toxins ahead of National Poison Prevention Week
March 5, 2024

NEW YORK – Today, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) announced its annual list of top toxins for pets ahead of National Poison Prevention Week (March 17 – 23). In 2023, the APCC team of 163 veterinary professionals – including 22 board-certified veterinary toxicologists– helped more than 400,000 animals from across all 50 states.

“Veterinary experts at the ASPCA Poison Control Center see a steady increase in call volume each year, which reflects an increased recognition of items that pose a potential risk to pets,” said Dr. Tina Wismer, Senior Director of Toxicology, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. “The APCC has been a trusted resource for pet owners and veterinarians across the country to assist in emergencies involving toxic ingestions and exposures for more than 45 years, and we continue to position ourselves as the leader in veterinary toxicology to save more animal lives.”

Each year, board-certified veterinary toxicologists examine data from the previous year to identify trends and raise awareness around the top toxins that pets are exposed to. For the 10th year in a row, human medications lead the top toxin list with human over the counter (OTC) medications making up nearly 17% of the APCC’s total call volume for the year. Food products follow closely behind with protein bars and drinks, grapes and raisins, and items with xylitol such as chewing gum contributing to the high number of calls. Recreational drugs including marijuana-based drugs, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and cocaine made the top toxins list for the first time in 2022 knocking out gardening products and remained steady in the tenth spot for a second year. The cases involving recreational drugs most commonly seen at the APCC involve pets ingesting marijuana-laced baked goods which are more dangerous than ingesting plant material and can result in symptoms such as stomach upset, urinary incontinence, and ataxia. Additionally, the team saw a 74% increase in call volume related to hallucinogenic mushrooms when compared to the year prior. The items on the top toxin list made up more than 96% of the APCC’s total call volume in 2023. To view the full list of the top ten toxins, please download this infographic.

Since its inception over 45 years ago, the APCC, a 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year hotline, has served as a critical and trusted resource for pet owners and veterinarians nationwide in keeping animals safe and healthy. The APCC has developed a sophisticated veterinary database system called AnTox that helps identify and characterize toxic effects of substances in animals and helps APCC veterinary professionals in their lifesaving work. In addition to assisting pet owners facing medical emergencies at home, the APCC works closely with veterinary clinics to provide their deep expertise to save more animal lives.

For more information about the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, please visit If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible.