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Top Toxins That Poison Our Pets

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 2:00pm
Dog laying next to open pill bottle

Happy National Poison Prevention Week! In 2013, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, Illinois, handled nearly 180,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances, many of which are everyday household items

Thousands of pet parents called our 24-hour poison control hotline last year. Read on to learn more about common household items that resulted in frequent calls to APCC, and find out why they’re so dangerous to our furry friends.

1. Prescription Human Medications

We handled 24,673 cases regarding human prescription medications—the top offender for the sixth year in a row—in 2013. The top three types of medications that animals were exposed to include: heart medications, antidepressants and pain medications. Many instances of exposure occurred when pet parents dropped their medication when preparing to take it, and before they knew it, Fido had gobbled the pill off the floor.

2. Insecticides

Insecticides are used in the yard, home and on our animals, and nearly 16% of all calls to our poison hotline in 2013 were related to insecticides. Always read the label before using any insecticide on your pet, in your home or in your yard.

3. Over-the-Counter Human Medications

Over-the-counter human products, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and herbal supplements, accounted for nearly 15% of calls to APCC in 2013. Many of these products are tasty to pets, and some can be life threatening if ingested.

4. Household Products

Our poison hotline fielded nearly 17,000 calls about general household products in 2013. Household toxins range from fire logs to cleaning products.

5. People Food

Human foods are often appealing to pets, especially dogs. In 2013, people foods clocked in as the fifth most common pet poison. Pets can get themselves into serious trouble by ingesting onions, garlic, grapes, raisins and the sugar substitute xylitol, among other common food items.

Check out our full list of the top 10 pet toxins of 2013. Remember: if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.

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