Protect your Pet from Household Hazards

When your pet ingests a toxin, time can be of the essence. Immediately contacting the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline (1-888-426-4435) will give you and your veterinarian potentially life-saving information regarding the treatment of your loved one.

black lab wearing scarlet vmc bandana in knight courtyard

To protect your pet, we recommend that you follow these simple guidelines:

  • Always follow instructions on the label of prescription medications.
  • Never give your pet any of your prescription or over-the-counter medications unless explicitly instructed to do so by a veterinarian.
  • Keep common household cleaning products safely stored away from pet access.
  • Prevent access to the garbage by keeping a tight lid on all cans or store out of reach of your pets.
  • Only have your home treated with chemicals that are nontoxic to pets.
  • Seek emergency care if your pet has ingested a toxin. At the Veterinary Medical Center, we have veterinarians on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Common pet toxins and household hazards:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications (Advil, Aleve)
  • Antidepressants
  • Hormone replacement products
  • Overdose of prescription medications
  • Dog flea products (pyrethrin) on cats
  • Azalea
  • Lilies
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Tulip bulbs
  • Oleander
  • Marijuana
  • Holly
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Chocolate (dark chocolate more harmful than milk chocolate)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Garlic, onions, and chives
  • Bread dough
  • Sugar-free products containing xylitol
  • Rich foods (especially at holiday time)
  • Discarded bones (especially chicken and turkey)
  • Rat/mouse poison
  • Antifreeze (ethylene glycol)
  • Rock salt (find the pet-friendly brands)
  • Car engines (outdoor cats may climb up to stay warm)
  • Pennies (zinc)
  • Household cleaning products
  • Electrical cords and wires (including holiday lights)
  • Alcohol
  • Lighted candles
  • Frostbite (ice balls between toes, paw pads)
  • Sub-zero temperatures
  • Ribbons, bows and giftwrap
  • Ornaments, tinsel
  • Christmas trees (cats like to climb; trees can fall over!