Sometimes we forget our pets aren’t people and can’t safely enjoy the same things as us.
National Animal Poison Prevention Week is a reminder to pet owners that there are some everyday objects that may seem harmless to us, but are actually lethal to our pets. To keep these toxic items out of your animal’s paws, it’s important to know what they are and how to protect your pet from them.
PEOPLE Pet Vet Dr. Evan Antin, who knows firsthand what can happen when an animal accidentally ingests sometimes dangerous, has rounded up a list of items that you likely have in your home that can severely injure your furbaby, so you have the knowledge you need to keep your pet safe.
What We Eat
Grapes/Raisins: This fruit is highly toxic to dogs. While researchers haven’t pinpointed what makes grapes dangerous to canines, they know even eating a small amount of grapes or raisins can be deadly for dogs. Keep this fruit out of areas where you pet could accidentally reach it and make sure to take your dog to the vet if you think they have ingested grapes or raisins.
Onion and Garlic: These common cooking ingredients, along with scallions, leeks, chives and shallots, are toxic to cats and dogs. The Allium species of plants damages a pet’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia, organ failure and death.
Chocolate: As many dog owners know, chocolate can be lethal for dogs because of theobromine poisoning. The sweet is also dangerous for cats, but felines are less interested in chocolate due to their inability to taste sweetness. Either way, if you own a pet, keep chocolate away from your animal and make sure to never leave it out at parties and gatherings.
Marijuana: While marijuana is becoming legal for human consumption, it is not safe for pets. The ingestion of marijuana can be fatal for dogs, so it’s smart to keep your stash hidden away.
In the Home
Pest and Rat Poisons: If it can kill another creature, think twice about putting it near your pets. Your cat or dog won’t realize rat/insect bait isn’t for them and may be tempted to eat the trap, which can end up poisoning them instead. If you are planning to use pesticides, make sure they are pet-friendly or that they are used in a way that does not affect your pet.
Antifreeze: This garage staple is extremely dangerous for cats, who are attracted to the smell and taste of the blue liquid. It only takes a small amount of antifreeze to poison a cat, so make sure your feline has no was of accessing the liquid.
Old Medications: Any expired medications that you are tossing out should by thrown away in an enclosed container that your pet can’t get to. While these meds aren’t effective on you, they can be fatal to cats and dogs, especially smaller breeds. Medications like Tylenol and the contents of asthma inhalers are especially toxic to pets.
In the Yard
Plants and Flowers: There are numerous plants and flowers that are not only pretty, but pretty brutal on your pet’s system as well. Some of them include daffodils, lilies, aloe and fox glove. You can get a full list of plants and flowers that affect pets here.
Fertilizer: Ingestion of a large amount of fertilizer can lead to serious health problems for dogs and cats. Keep this product closed and out of reach when not in use.