Top Ten Pet Toxins for 2015

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) runs a pet poison hotline.  Every year during National Poison Prevention week (March 16-22) it releases a list of the top ten toxins reported to its poison control center.  Most of these are common items around the home that we do not think of when considering the safety of our dogs.  Here is the list for 2015.

Prescription human medications were the number one toxin in the home. They accounted for twenty percent of cases. A majority of these were cardiac and high blood pressure medications.

Over the counter human medications came in at number three for the year.  They accounted for fifteen percent of the calls last year.  Many of them were acetaminophen, ibuprofen and dietary supplements like weight loss products.  These are not safe for pets but may smell and taste good so the pet may chew right through the bottle to reach them.

Veterinary medications were number six on the list.  Because many of them are flavored, the dog may chew through the bottle to reach them as well.

One way to keep your pet from getting poisoned is to keep your medications put up and take them behind closed doors from your pet.  If you drop a pill, the dog may scoop it up faster than you and get poisoned.

Insecticide exposure was the number two cause of pet related poisonings.  Now, this survey lumps dogs and cats together, and many of these calls were because dog products were used on cats.  Never use dog insecticides on cats.  It will kill them.  However, you should also be aware of insecticides used to kill roaches and ants and other such substances, and keep them out of your dog’s reach.

Rat and mice rodentcides were at number eight this year.  If you use rat or mice poison, make sure your dog cannot reach it.  Place it in cabinets behind closed doors, or behind the stove or other large appliance the dog cannot get behind.

Household products jumped to number four.  These cover a lot of ground, from bleach to furniture polish to even artificial fire logs.  Make sure you keep everything put up where the dog cannot reach it and be mindful of the dog and where he is when you use these products.

The number five toxin was people food.  Not all foods we eat are good for our dogs.  Things such as grapes, raisins, onions and more can make your dog sick or even kill him.  Feed your dog his food, and keep your food to yourself (more for you).

Number seven on the list is chocolate.  It is very toxic to dogs and can kill them.  The quantity of chocolate eaten and its purity effect the danger to your dog, as well as your dog’s size and the amount eaten versus the dog’s weight.

Poisonous plants came in at number nine.  Many popular plants are poisonous and can kill your dog.  Lilies, for example, can cause liver failure.  Do your research before bringing or planting a new plant and make sure it is safe for your dog to be around it.

Plant care products came in at number ten. Many fertilizers are made from things like fish meal or poultry manure that may smell good to a dog.  Make sure your fertilizers are locked up where your dog can’t reach them and keep him away from them after using the fertilizers on your plants.

It is up to your to keep your dog safe.  Be sure to keep all toxic or potentially toxic materials out of reach of your dog.