Aug 31, 2010

Our Homes and the Poisons We Leave Our Pets Exposed To (By Mistake).

after partyImage by Bright Tal via Flickr
Our homes are like candy stores for pooches and kitties, who have an appetite for mischief. Puppies are curious; dogs are knee-high detectives, always noticing odds and ends we leave for the taking. Cats are interested in the smallest of things. Sometimes, those items are products we use every day around the house. There’s no need to purge your medicine cabinet and laundry room of products like acetaminophen or fabric softener. But you should be sure to keep these items well out of reach, and always keep an eye on the floor. Just one single acetaminophen pill (Tylenol) can kill a cat quite easily because of their body's reaction to the drug.

You probably wouldn’t guess this, but one of the worst times of year for dog poisonings are Valentine’s Day and other Holidays. We leave chocolates out to feed our friends and guests, and forget that the dog can reach the bowl by climbing up on the chair, or maybe you left them on the coffee table. Remember, dogs like to eat chocolate, but it acts like a poison in them because it is toxic to them and they can overdose on it. So if they are throwing up when you come home and it looks like blood, it is probably chocolate.

If your dog or cat ingests a toxic substance, call your veterinarian or Poison Control Center and keep a special eye out for these open containers:

Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol and Excedrin

Antidiarrhea products like Lomotil and Imodium


Batteries, all kinds, typically found in remote controls, watches, hearing

aids, toys of all sorts


Breath strips

Citrus-based cleansers

Diet pills

Fabric softener sheets

Flea and tick products containing organophosphates

Glues, especially strong-hold or expanding glue products

Homemade molding dough (such as Play Doh) or clay

Household cleansers: ammonia, dishwashing and laundry detergent, drain

cleaner, and furniture polish

Ibuprofen/NSAIDS such as Aleve, Advil, Nuprin, Motrin, or Vick’s NyQuil

Lead items (old paint, drapery weights, wine-bottle cork foils)

Marijuana, cocaine, and recreational drugs




Pennies (U.S.) minted after 1982 (due to high zinc content)

Phenol-based cleaners like Lysol or Pine-Sol

Potpourri, especially liquid potpourri

Prenatal and other human vitamins, especially high-iron formulations

Prescription medications such as antidepressants, birth control pills,

painkillers, and other opiates

Rat and mouse bait-traps and rodent-control products

Rubbing alcohol

Tobacco and nicotine products such as snuff, nicotine gum, cigarette butts,

cigars, transdermal patches, and more .

These are only some of the things that can hurt our babies, but the whole idea is to "Pet Proof" your home. Make sure cabinets to these areas such as cleaning supplies close well, because when our pets get bored, who knows what our furry friends can get into. Don't let it be something you regret!
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