There are many substances you can commonly find in your household that are toxic to your pets. These can be broken down into a few separate categories such as foods, plants, and chemicals. Some of the common foods that are toxic to dogs and cats are chocolate, macadamia nuts, grapes/raisins, onions, garlic, and xylitol (found as an artificial sweetener in many common foods such as sugar-free gum and some peanut butters). Common plants that are toxic to dogs and cats are milkweed, lilies, dieffenbachia, and some species of mushrooms. Common chemicals that are toxic to dogs and cats are antifreeze (ethylene glycol), mouse/rat poison, mothballs, ibuprofen, Tylenol (Acetaminophen), and Tobacco. These substances can cause a variety of different symptoms ranging from minor vomiting and diarrhea to major symptoms such as seizures and death. A good resource to refer to when you are unsure if something is safe or unsafe for your pet is www.petpoisonhelpline.com. It will give you information such as what species is affected by the toxin, how toxic it is, and what symptoms to look for. This website also offers a phone number to call and speak with a trained professional (for a fee) who can guide you through the steps to take if your pet should get into a toxic substance.

If you’ve ever had a pet get into something they shouldn’t, you know that It can be an extremely scary situation. The best way to avoid this from happening is to educate yourself, the best you can, about what the toxic substances are and either keep them out of your pet’s reach or avoid having them around altogether.

Beware of some of the home remedies out there as well. Some of these not only claim to do great things such as prevent fleas or treat dry skin (which is typically not the case), but they can be toxic to your pets as well. For instance, there are some claims that garlic can treat fleas, however garlic can cause anemia and does not kill fleas at all. Coconut oil is a common substance with claims that it treats dry skin and can kill fleas. These are also false statements and coconut oil can cause things such as pancreatitis because of its high fat content. Essential Oils are popular right now and people see the positive effects that they have on humans. Naturally, they want to use them for their pets to improve their lives. This, however, is not a good idea because certain essential oils, such as tea tree oil is toxic in large doses. Also, the strong smell of essential oils can be extremely overwhelming to pets, especially cats.

So before sharing that snack with furry friend, leaving that bottle of antifreeze out in the garage, or getting some new plants for your home, you may want to think twice or do your research first.

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