Are Pills Poisoning Your Pet?

 Are Pills Poisoning Your Pet?

The pills that get dropped on the floor are the number one reason pets get poisoned, according to the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).


Turns out there are tons of ways our pets can get into big trouble, so we need to watch out for them.


Something that might be a treat for you, such as chocolate, could kill your pet.


And what is bad for you, like insecticides, household cleaners and other toxins, is also bad for your pet.


So here are the top 10 Pet Toxins, from the ASPCA:


Top 10 Pet Toxins


Both known and unknown toxins can be found hiding in our houses and yards.  In 2010, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL, fielded more than 167,000 phone calls about pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances. 


Human Medications


Human medications are once again at the top of the list of pet toxins for 2010.  Almost one-quarter of our call volume is about human medications ingested by pets.  The most common culprits include over the counter medications (ibuprofen, acetaminophen), antidepressants and ADHD medications.  Many times the pet accidentally ingested the medication when a pill was dropped on the floor.




About 20% of the calls to the APCC are about insecticides.  Insecticides are commonly used on our pets for flea control and around our houses to control crawling and flying bugs.  The most serious poisonings occurred when products not labeled for use in cats were applied to them.  Always follow label directions.




Baits used to kill mice and rats are mostly grain based.  Not only does this attract rodents, but it also attracts dogs and cats.  There are several different types of rodenticides that can cause seizures, internal bleeding or kidney failure.  Always make sure these items are placed in areas that pets cannot access.


People Food


Xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic are commonly ingested by our pets.  Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, while onions and garlic can cause anemia if enough is ingested.  Xylitol, a sugar alcohol used to sweeten sugar free gums and mints, can cause low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs.  Always keep people food out of  pets’ way.


Veterinary Medications


Many medications made for our pets are flavored for ease of giving.  Unfortunately, that means that animals may ingest the entire bottle of medication if they find it to be tasty.  Common chewable medications include arthritis and incontinence medications.  Always contact your veterinarian if your pet ingests more than a proper dose of medication.




Chocolate contains methylxanthines which act as stimulants to our pets.  The darker the chocolate the more methylxanthines it contains.  Methylxanthines can cause agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, high heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures and death.


Household Toxins


Cleaning supplies, such as bleach, acids, alkalis and other detergents, can cause corrosive injury to the mouth and stomach.  Other household items such as batteries and liquid potpourri can cause similar problems.  Always keep these toxins behind securely locked doors.




Both house plants and outdoor plants can be ingested by our pets.  Lilies can cause life- threatening kidney failure in cats, while sago palms can cause liver failure in dogs and cats.  Keep house plants and bouquets away from your pets.




Many herbicides have a salty taste and our pets will commonly ingest them.  Always follow label directions and keep pets off treated areas until they are dry.


Outdoor Toxins


Antifreeze, fertilizers and ice melts are all substances that animals can find outdoors.  Keep these items in securely locked sheds or up on shelves where pets cannot get to them.




If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.




About the ASPCA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world. The organization was founded by Henry Bergh in 1866 on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization.


Get Free Stuff from the ASPCA


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *