Pet Poison Prevention

While it doesn’t take much effort to keep your pet safe and secure at home, a small lapse in caution can lead to big trouble. Your home contains all kinds of things, including toxins. You know all about the various liquids and solids that can be dangerous if ingested, and naturally, these are very dangerous for your pet as well. Additionally, there are other, less-obvious toxins that could be present both inside and outside your house, and knowing what they are can prevent a potential pet emergency.

What Toxins Do I Have to Worry About?

Your pet doesn’t understand what’s safe to eat and what isn’t, so it’s up to you to keep toxins well out of their reach. Common pet toxins include:

  • Any type of home, bathroom, and floor cleaner
  • Dishwasher pods
  • Human medications, including pain relievers, anticoagulants, and psychotropic drugs
  • Antifreeze
  • Weed killer
  • Pesticides
  • Fertilizer
  • Foods including onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives, cashews, walnuts, chocolate, grapes, raisins, currants, alcohol, beer, wine, and coffee
  • Xylitol, a sugar substitute often found in sugar-free gum and candy
  • Plants including virtually any type of lily, amaryllis, azalea, sago palm, oleander, crocus, tulip, and daffodil
  • Various types of backyard mushroom including the Fly Agaric (a red-capped toadstool), the Jeweled Death Cap (similar to the red-capped toadstool but with a more yellowish/tan cap), the Death Cap, the Elf’s Saddle, and Autumn Galerina
Cat sniffing a cupcake: Poison Prevention in Chicago

Signs of Poisoning

If your pet has ingested something poisonous, knowing the signs of poisoning can save their life. The most common signs include:

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, and inappetence
  • Pale gums, weakness/lethargy, vomiting or coughing up blood
  • Decreased urination or no urination at all
  • Excessive thirst
  • Bad breath
  • Jaundice
  • Collapse
  • Black, tarry stool
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Acting dull/disoriented

Has Your Pet Ingested a Toxin?

If you suspect toxicity in your pet, act quickly. You can contact our hospital at (312) 428-2571 or you can bring your pet in for treatment right away—no appointment is necessary.

For late-night or early morning emergencies, you can contact MedVet Chicago, a 24-hour emergency center, at (773) 281-7110.

You can also contact the Pet Poison Helpline if you have any questions related to toxicity in pets. They are staffed with poison control experts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can be reached at (855) 764-7661.