Each year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) works to provide important and sometimes lifesaving information along with handy safety guides to pet parents nationwide. Last year alone, APCC helped over 232,000 animals! March is Pet Poison Prevention Month, and to help raise awareness of common hazards and toxins to pets, APCC has put together a list of the top 10 most commonly reported pet toxins!
Over the counter (OTC) medications were once again the most common group of toxicants pets ingested this year, making up 19.7% of APCC calls. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, joint rubs and herbal supplements all fall within this category. These items are commonly found in homes and are often stored in purses and backpacks.
Human prescription medications remained number two this year with accounting for 17.2% of cases. Cardiac, ADHD, thyroid, and antidepressant medications make up a significant amount of these cases. Always make sure your prescription medications are safely locked away, out of paws’ reach.
Food is number three, making up 12.1% of cases. Xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and protein bars make up most of these cases.
Chocolate remains at number four with 10.7% of APCC cases concerning this sweet treat. That works out to over 67 cases a day! Dogs especially love chocolate and can eat enough to get themselves into trouble.
Veterinary products remained at 9.3% of cases. Chewable medications are tasty, and dogs will eat the entire container. Make sure to treat these products like prescription medications and keep them away from your pets.
Household items also remain at number six, making up 7.7% of APCC cases. Home improvement projects can expose pets to many potential toxins such as paint, adhesives or spackle.
Rodenticide exposure cases increased in number in 2019, to 6.8% of APCC caseload. Depending on the type, mouse and rat baits can cause bleeding, kidney failure, seizures or even death.
Plants moved up to eighth place, making up 6.1% cases. Most of our severe cases involved cats and lily exposures.
Insecticide exposure cases dropped this year, only accounting for 5.1% of cases. Safer product alternatives and better handling of these types of products will help keep pets safe around these types of toxins.
Garden products remained in the same spot in 2019, making up 2.4% of cases. Many pets find fertilizers (especially organic products) irresistible. Make sure your pets aren’t ‘helping’ when you are out working on the lawn or in the garden with herbicides and soil enhancements.
With any potential dangers and toxins, it is important to keep these things out of paws’ reach. While accidents can always happen, the less accessible any of the items are, the less likely your pet is to get into them.
If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call us or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24 hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.