Signs of a Pet Emergency

Signs of a Pet Emergency

Common Household Items that are Hazardous to Pets

It’s easy to forget that hazards lurk inside our homes, too. Without realizing it, we encounter lots of household objects on a daily basis that may be completely safe for us but are unsafe for our pets. A large portion of the pets we see at Lake Oswego Pet Emergency have ingested something they shouldn’t have, and the following items are the most common causes of these problems and poisonings. You can avoid poison emergencies altogether by keeping these away from your pets.

Common household objects toxic to dogs:

  • Any and all kinds of chocolate. Darker chocolates are the most poisonous.
  • Human medications, including pain relievers like Advil, Aleve, Motrin and Tylenol, antidepressants like Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor and Lexapro and sleep aids like Klonopin, Ambien and Lunesta.
  • Any product containing nicotine, such as tobacco products, nicotine patches and gum, e-cigarettes and e-juice. E-juice is the most concentrated, and because of that, it is more toxic than tobacco products.
  • Recreational drugs, including marijuana.
  • Asthma inhalers, including albuterol.
  • Foods like grapes, raisins, garlic and onions.
  • Raw and cooked bones.
  • Xylitol, a sweetener that can be found in chewing gum, candy, breath mints, mouthwash, toothpaste and specialty nut butters. Check the label before you give your dog any peanut butter!
  • Many types of lilies, including the peace lily, calla lily, amaryllis, lily of the valley and giant dracaena.
  • Car chemicals like antifreeze.
  • Poisons like rat poison, slug bait and insecticides. Even “pet-safe” insecticides and slug baits are usually still poisonous to pets.
  • Alcohol.
  • Rubber bands, yarn, string and dental floss, as they can get lodged in the throat, stomach or intestines.

Common household objects toxic to cats:

  • Any and all kinds of chocolate. Darker chocolates are the most poisonous.
  • Human medication, including pain relievers like Advil, Aleve, Motrin and Tylenol, antidepressants like Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor and Lexapro and sleep aids like Klonopin, Ambien and Lunesta.
  • Any product containing nicotine, such as tobacco products, nicotine patches and gum, e-cigarettes and e-juice. E-juice is the most concentrated, and because of that, it is more toxic than tobacco products.
  • Recreational drugs, including marijuana.
  • Asthma inhalers, including albuterol.
  • Foods like garlic and onions and potentially grapes and raisins.
  • Raw or cooked bones.
  • Peace, Peruvian and calla lilies usually cause minor mouth and esophagus irritation, while tiger, day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese show lilies can cause fatal health issues.
  • Car chemicals like antifreeze.
  • Poisons like rat poison, slug bait and insecticides. Even “pet-safe” insecticides and slug baits are usually still poisonous to pets.
  • Alcohol.
  • Rubber bands, yarn, string and dental floss, as they can get lodged in the throat, stomach or intestines.

Holiday-specific household hazards:

  • Decorations like hanging lights, ornaments, electrical cords, tinsel, Christmas tree water, candles, wrapping and ribbons.
  • Sweet treats, including chocolates, candy and fruit cake.
  • Poinsettias.

For more information regarding objects that are hazardous to pets, visit the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center website. They have extensive information on common poisons and are a great resource for preventing and handling emergency situations.

If your pet potentially ingested something toxic, please call Lake Oswego Pet Emergency at 503-850-6296 and/or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline at 888-426-4435 right away. If you are advised to bring your pet to a veterinarian, please make sure to bring with you any and all available packaging from the toxin, which may include boxes, wrappers, pill bottles or plant remnants. This helps us understand your pet’s risk and allows us to create a targeted treatment plan. Within classes of toxins (rat poisons, for example), different types have different active ingredients, which each pose different risks and may have very different treatment protocols.