Prescription Drugs that can be fatal to petsNew, interesting, delicious-smelling substances can easily entice your dog or cat to sniff and taste. Unfortunately, that’s why danger lurks in your otherwise happy, healthy home.

Did you realize that the home is the number one place for a pet to be poisoned? Almost every single week, we see pets that have been exposed to food, medicines, and other toxic items.

So you don’t become part of that statistic, take a few moments to discover your best approach to keep your dog or cat out of trouble and out of the emergency room:

#1. Don’t Do Drugs. Whether Alexandra chews through a medicine bottle or Algernon finds a loose pill, medications can be lethal for your pet. Keep all medicines and supplements – human and animal – totally out of reach of your pet. Make sure that the medicine cabinet door isn’t left open. If you drop a pill or capsule, look until you find it. Also beware of medicines that you apply topically. We see animals who are suffering from cream absorbed from their owner’s hand.

#2. Stash the Sugarless Gum. Xylotol is an artificial sweetener that makes gum taste good to you – and to Bruno. But xylitol can be lethal for your dog, as it lowers the blood sugar to dangerous levels. Only three pieces can prove lethal for a small dog. Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and seizures.

#3. Chuck the Chocolate. Dark chocolate may be the latest health craze for humans, but for your dog, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which can build up in your dog’s system – and prove fatal. Just one ounce of dark baking chocolate can make a 50 pound dog very, very sick.

#4. Rat out the Rat Poison. If you’re using an “anticoagulant rodenticide” to get rid of pests in your home or in your yard, you may want to reconsider. It will cause internal bleeding for your pet if ingested. Your dog or cat can also be poisoned if he eats or chews on a mouse or rat that has died from this poison.

#5 Toss these Treats. In addition to chocolate, dogs shouldn’t be fed grapes, raisins, moldy food, onions, garlic, raw dough, or macadamia nuts.

#6 Purge these Plants. Aloe, many types of ivy, philodendron, caladium, poinsettia, Dieffenbachia, and jade top the list of poisonous plants all have different ways that they are dangerous to pets.

#7 Hide these Household Items. Every home has batteries, antifreeze, cleaning solutions and detergents, pods for the dishwasher or washing machine, and fertilizers. They may taste or smell tempting to your pet. Batteries and detergent pods look like they just might be a toy. Keep these items up and away from any possibility that Juliette and Romeo will have access to them.

You remain your pet’s best advocate. Taking time for a few practical precautions can make the difference between life and death for your furry babies. If you ever have questions about an item accidentally ingested by your pet, don’t hesitate to call.