Cleaning solutions

Pet Poison Prevention Tips

March 21-27th is National Poison Prevention Week, and we’re here to provide you with pet poison prevention tips to keep your pets safe and healthy. There are many common pet poisons that you may not realize are lurking in our homes and around our yards, and awareness is the key to poison prevention.

***If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact our emergency location in Dundee immediately at (847) 428-6114 or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.***

Five of the most common pet poisons in the home include plants, human medications, rat/mouse baits or traps, human foods & drinks, and household cleaners.



Poisonous Houseplants

That beautiful Easter lily in your spring flower bouquet or pot? That’s just one of the many springtime plants that can be toxic to our pets, especially cats. To check and see if any of your houseplants or flowers might be dangerous for your pets, check this resource list of toxic plants (both indoor and outdoor) courtesy of the ASPCA.

Human Medications

It goes without saying that human medications are for humans, but pets are notorious for getting into things they shouldn’t. That bottle of ibuprofen left out on the counter has a childproof top, but not a pet-proof one. Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs can be potentially fatal for pets, including these 10 most common drugs:

  1. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®)- pain reliever
  2. Adderall®- to treat ADHD
  3. Alprazolam (Xanax®)- to treat anxiety/sleep aid
  4. Clonazepam (Klonopin®)- anti-anxiety/anticonvulsant/sleep aid
  5. Duloxetine (Cymbalta®)- anti-anxiety/antidepressant
  6. Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®)- pain reliever
  7. Naproxen (Aleve®, Naprosyn®)- pain reliever
  8. Tramadol (Ultram®)- pain reliever
  9. Venlafaxine (Effexor®)- antidepressant
  10. Zolpidem (Ambien®)- sleep aid

cleaning materials

Household Cleaners/Chemicals

Ingredients in household cleaning products including alcohol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and chemical compounds that contain the word “phenol,” are what make these cleaners so effective- and also toxic. Make sure to keep your cleaning products stored safely away and, when cleaning, don’t walk away from buckets of cleaner.

In addition, make sure to restrict areas that have been recently cleaned until they are dry. For other tips, check out the Humane Society’s article on how to keep your pets safe around household cleaners & chemicals here.

Human Foods & Drinks

We all know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but did you know that items like avocados and grapes can also be harmful to our pets?  Avoid giving your pet anything that contains the following:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avocado
  • Caffeine
  • Grapes & raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions, garlic, & chives
  • Rich & fatty foods
  • Salt
  • Sugar-free items containing Xylitol
  • Yeast dough

rat poison

Mouse & Rat Poisons

Many of the ingredients used in traps/baits to kill mice and rats are dangerous for pets.  Ingesting these products can cause a variety of life-threatening issues for your pets: problems with blood clotting, kidney failure, toxic gas, and brain swelling. Signs and symptoms of each of these issues can be found here.

Snap traps may be a better option for your pest problem, but also remember there is the potential for injury to curious pet paws, noses, and tails.

Other Poisonous Household Items

In addition, products in your garage and shed can be harmful, and even fatal, to pets.  Keep pets away from and restrict access to antifreeze, gas, oil, weed killer/insecticide, lawn and garden products, and garden plants/flowers.  In addition, don’t forget to secure your trash both inside and outside the house to keep them from rummaging through things they shouldn’t!

Knowing about the dangers of pet poisons and toxins is just one of the many ways we can keep our pets happy, healthy, and living longer lives.  Not only is it part of being a responsible pet parent, but it’s also the least we can do in exchange for the lifetime of love and companionship they provide!

Additional Source: “Top Ten Pet Poison Prevention Tips”, ASPCA