It's the sugarfree gum with xylitol that's a problem for dogs. I don't know if dogs know it, like they do citrus and avocados and onions (and don't know or don't care that grapes, raisins and chocolate are bad for them). But Cleo always loved to snatch gum from the ground, but not every piece, and it wasn't that bad (though fairly disgusting) habit that killed her....
Is your pooch cuckoo for chocolate? Does your kitty like deep conditioning treatments? Sadly, not everything we love is good for us. In fact, many common household goods that we take for granted as harmless can be disastrous for our furry friends. In 2008, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, IL, handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic household substances, including insecticides, cleaning and beauty supplies and prescription medications.
To help you prevent an unhappy accident in 2009, our experts have created a list of the top 10 poisons that affected our pets last year. Here’s a sneak peek at their advice:
Top dishonors go to human medications, which accounted for approximately 50,000 calls to the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline in 2008. Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up meds accidentally dropped on the floor. “Keep all medications in a cabinet,” advises Dr. Helen Myers, veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA. That includes pain remedies like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as well as antidepressants and decongestants, which are all harmful to pets.
Our efforts to battle home invaders—like bugs and mice—resulted in nearly 39,000 cases of pets exposed to insecticides and rodent bait. Be sure to place toxic rodenticides out of reach of curious canines who might be attracted to their smell. The misuse of flea and tick products can also cause serious problems for cats. Avoid using any treatments not specifically intended for your pet.
Some of the most delicious people food—including citrus, avocado and raisins—can be poisonous to pets. Last year, the ASPCA fielded more than 13,500 calls of pets exposed to various foods. Chocolate ingestion accounted for nearly half of those cases, so be sure to keep the cocoa hidden from your resourceful cat or dog.
Household plants may keep your house green and your air clean, but some can cause serious gastrointestinal problems for companion animals who nibble on their stems and stalks. In 2008, plants accounted for more than 6,300 calls to the Animal Poison Control Center. Check out our toxic plant list before your next visit to the nursery. As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested anything toxic, please call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.
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