​Do you know which pet toxins and poisons are in your home?

A Growing Epidemic​

Each year, thousands of dogs and cats needlessly suffer -- and many die -- from accidental ingestion of household poisons, including popular houseplants, medications, common foods and pesticides. Household hazards lay in wait.  Do you know where to look for them?

Budding Poisons

They may be pretty, but some plants are poisonous - even deadly. As little as a single leaf from any lily variety can be lethal to cats.

​some toxic plants to avoid
​Amaryllis​Lily varieties 
Christmas tree pine needles​​Mulch with cocoa beans
​Easter cacti​Sago Palm

Toxic Meds

Acetaminophen is found in more than 200 prescription and nonprescription formulations such as Tylenol, Hydrocodone (Vicodin) and Lorcet, and reduces our pains and fevers. But it only takes one pill to kill a cat and ingesting it can cause kidney failure and liver damage in dogs.

Dogs are most commonly poisoned by ibuprofen, enticed by the pill's sweet coating. Common brands of ibuprofen include Advil, Midol and Motrin, although it also is available in many generic formulations.

The Wrath of Grapes

The Animal Poison Control Center advises that as few as seven grapes can be toxic to dogs. Currently, the exact toxic component remains unclear, but symptoms can last several days to weeks –- if your pet responds to treatment.

​some toxic foods to avoid ​
​avocadosgrapesraw salmon
​chocolatenutmeg​sweetener Xylitol (found in ​sugar-free candy and gum) ​

Ease Off the Antifreeze

Common sense may tell you that antifreeze is deadly, but are you aware how often pets are exposed to it? Look no further than your garage or driveway, on the street or in parking lots. Cat litter or sand absorbs the sweet-smelling fluid and will prevent pets from licking it. A pet-safe antifreeze is also available in stores.

Caution With Cleaners

We're not advising you to stop cleaning your house, but be careful where you store potentially hazardous cleaning products. Pets can gain access to bottles found in lower cabinets or the trash can. In particular, bathroom cleaners containing bleach or Lysol can cause very serious chemical burns on the tongue and upper esophagus if licked and consumed.

Deadly Flea Products

Some flea products are more harmful than the fleas themselves. Many over-the counter treatments contain the toxins pyrethrin and permethrin, an insecticide commonly used to kill fleas on dogs. Before buying a topical flea product, ask your veterinarian which ones are safe for your pet.

Toxic-Free Tips

A few simple measures can prevent accidental poisoning:
  • Use covered trash bins inside the house to prevent access to disposed medications, empty cleaning bottles, dental floss and food.
  • Keep pets out of the garage or shed, away from oil and antifreeze from cars.
  • Don't store cleaners under sinks.
  • At Christmastime, cover the tree water so pets can't drink out of the stand. Pine needles are poisonous.

For more information and an in-depth list of poisons and toxins, please visit www.petinsurance.com/healthzone.

Source: VPI Pet Insurance