Pet Poison Prevention Week

National Poison Prevention Week is here!  It’s a great time to provide you with an easy guide and links to all of the great articles and information available on the subject.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center responded to more than 180,000 calls in 2016 about pets exposed to potentially poisonous substances.  More than 90% of pet poisonings occur in our homes from common household products, foods, and plants.  I bet some of these products may have surprised you!

Pet Toxins Animal Poison Prevention Week

Common Household Hazards for Pets. Many products, foods, and plants can be harmful to our pets.

Here are some additional tips and links to help keep your pet happy and healthy:

Keep medications out of reach.

Never give your pet any medications unless specifically instructed by your veterinarian, give them human medications, or change the dosage amount.  Be mindful of species-specific insecticides (such as spot-on flea and tick preventatives). Never apply dog-specific products on cats, or vice-versa.

Always keep medications safely out of reach and never administer a medication to a pet without first consulting your veterinarian. nearly 50% of all pet poisonings involve human drugs. Pets metabolize medications very differently from people. Even seemingly benign over-the-counter or herbal medications may cause serious poisoning in pets. If your pet has ingested a human over-the-counter or prescription medication, please call us immediately.

Nearly 50% of all pet poisonings involve human drugs.  Pets metabolize medications very differently than people. Even seemingly harmless over-the-counter medications may cause serious poisoning in pets. If your pet has ingested a human medication, please call us immediately.


Some foods are more harmful than you think!


Chocolate may be one of our favorite indulgences, but sharing the sweet treat with our pets is a big no-no.  According to the ASPCA, chocolate ingestion is the top call their Pet Poison Control Center receives. To learn more about the dangers of chocolate, read our blog post, “The Short and Sweet Summary of Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs.”

Pet Toxins Chocolate Animal Poison Prevention Week

Who knew such a sweet treat can be so harmful to pets? Even small amounts can be fatal! Read our Chocolate Toxicity blog post to learn more.


Xylitol is a word you may never have heard of, but it’s a common ingredient in many gums, mints, baked goods, and even human dental care products.  And while you may think it’s not a big deal if your pet sneaks a little piece of gum or a mint, the consequences could be fatal.  For a real life example of the dangerous effects of xylitol, read the case study on our blog: “The Counter-Surfing Canine: A Cautionary Tale.”

Xylitol sugar substitute toxic to dogs

For an in-depth list of other people food that is not good for pets, check out this article by the ASPCA.

Download the ASPCA Poison Control Center App!

The best defense against pet poisoning is educating yourself and being aware of potential toxins before your pet gets into them.  The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has a great mobile app that outlines toxic foods, plants, and household products organized by species. It even has a “chocolate wheel” and “rodentislide”, which quickly helps you determine the level of severity for your pet if these substances are consumed.  For more information and links to download the app, click here.

Pet Toxins Animal Poison Prevention Week ASPCA Poison Control Center App

Download the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center App to have quick access to harmful pet products right at your fingertips. Image source: ASPCA APCC

When in doubt, contact us or call the Poison Control Center hotline.

If you suspect your pet has ingested or come in contact with a harmful product, food, or plant, call us immediately.  If we are closed, we recommend calling the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center’s hotline at 866-426-4435.  (This contact info is also available on their mobile app as discussed above). Please be aware, a $65 consultation fee may apply to the phone call.

When calling us or the hotline, be prepared with the following information:

  • Species, breed, age, sex, weight
  • Symptoms and signs of your pet’s poisoning
  • Name, strength, and amount ingested (have the product container or packaging available for reference)
  • The time elapsed since the time of the exposure











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