Common household items that can poison your pet

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National Poison Prevention Week safety tips to keep your pet out of harm's way

Pet owners who are preparing to tackle the annual chore of spring cleaning may want to consider brushing up on their knowledge of common pet poisons. Chances are, you’ve got at least one pet poison in your home.

Many common food items or household products can sicken or even kill animals. Pet poisons can be found in each area of the home, according to Dr. Katy Burr, on-staff veterinarian at pet insurance provider Trupanion. Because pets react to substances in food and medicines differently, certain items should be kept out of paw’s reach.

Poisonous household items

Here are a few household items to store away from your curious pet’s sniffer.

  • In the garage. Household cleaners, rodent poison or traps, fertilizer, slug bait, antifreeze, deicing salts, and garden chemicals. These items can harm a pet by irritating the skin or eyes, as well as damaging and blocking the gastrointestinal system, Burr says.
  • In the kitchen. Chocolate, Xylitol (found in sugar-free gum and some peanut butter), grapes, raisins, alcohol, yeast dough, caffeine, onions, garlic, and mushrooms can all pose a danger. Store these items where pets can’t get into them.
  • In the medicine cabinet. Acetaminophens (Tylenol), pseudoephedrines (Sudafed), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and albuterol found in inhalers can all be dangerous to pets, especially if you’re throwing out expired medication.
  • In the yard. Tulips, Daffodils, Foxglove, and Azaleas are all plants that can cause symptoms such as vomiting, drooling, and even kidney damage when ingested by pets. The nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, and herbicides in plant growth supplements can also cause severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, diarrhea, and intestinal blockage.

Safe storage and disposal

Trupanion says it has paid out more than $3.1 million in toxicity claims to date. However, many incidences may have been preventable if homeowners had taken a few simple precautions.

Remember that if something smells good, your pet is likely to eat it. Products that may be enticing to pets should be stored away from pets and/or in sealed containers.

Cleaning out your medicine cabinet? Before tossing out medicine bottles, consider flushing unused medicines down the sink or toilet first; a determined pooch can chew through the childproof cap on a medicine bottle.

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