The Top 10 Pet Toxins of 2021

March 22, 2022


At the end of each year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) creates a list of the top toxins most commonly reported that year. In 2021 alone, APCC helped over 401,000 animals, providing lifesaving information and easy-to-use safety guides to their pet parents. This week is National Poison Prevention Week which makes this the perfect time to share our top 10 pet toxins of 2021. Keep your pets safe, happy and healthy by watching out for these hazards!

1. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications ranks as the number one top toxin for the fourth year in a row. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, cold and flu medicine, & vitamins and supplements and joint rubs all fall within this category. These items are often found in homes and in all sorts of hiding places like backpacks and purses.

2. Human prescription medications including, and most commonly seen, antidepressant, anticonvulsant and cardiac medications. Always make sure your prescription medications–and OTC medications–are in closed cabinets that your pet cannot reach.

3. Human Food, especially grapes, raisins, xylitol, onions, garlic and protein and snack bars can be fatal to pets. Be vigilant about any human food that may be lying around for hungry pets to get to.

4. Chocolate, though delicious to humans can cause a lot of trouble for dogs. Be sure to keep your sweets out of paw’s reach.

5. Bouquets and plants jumped from number eight to number five between 2019 and 2020, with 9,000 more calls than in 2019. Both indoor and outdoor plants can cause a threat to our four-legged friends, so make sure to check out our list of toxic and non-toxic plants before bringing a new plant into your home or garden.

6. Household toxicants, like cleaning, beauty and home repair products are all hazardous to pets. Keep these items in cabinets and drawers your pet cannot reach.

7. Veterinary products moved up this year from number eight to number seven. Chewable medications, like calming chews, are super tasty to pets, which means once they try it, they may try to get into the entire container. Make sure these products stay out of paw’s reach!

8. Rodenticide is very common in the winter months when rodents, like mice and rats, come looking for warmth. The ingredients that make rodenticide so appealing to rodents, has the same effect on cats and dogs. If your pet ingests rodenticide, it can cause bleeding, kidney failure, seizures or even death.

9. Insecticide like ant baits, bug sprays and other yard products can be enticing to pets just as much as bugs. Try using pet-safe product alternatives!

10. Garden products remain at number 10 for the fourth year in a row. Fertilizers, especially those made from organic products, are delicious to dogs, however, are toxic. Make sure your pets steer clear of the garden or freshly fertilized lawn!

Accidents are called accidents for a reason but keeping the above products out of paw’s reach can decrease the amount of accidents we see in a year and keep your pets safe at home.

If you suspect your pet may have ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.