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10 Household Items That Are Poisonous To Pets

10 Household Items That Are Poisonous To Pets

It’s one of every pet parents worst nightmares. Your pet has gotten into something they shouldn’t have and it might be poisonous. So which household items are toxic to pets? The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) maintains a comprehensive online list but here are some items you probably have around your house.

  1. Medications: Make sure to keep medications in an out-of-reach place and locked up to avoid curious pets (especially cats) getting into cabinets. If you can, keep the pills in their original container with a child safety lock.
  2. Cleaning Products: Most chemical-based cleaners are toxic if ingested but some all-natural products can be toxic as well. Products that contain essential oils such as lavender can be toxic to our feline companions.
  3. Rodenticides: This one is self-explanatory. Rodenticides are usually poison designed to kill rodents.
  4. Insecticides: This one is also self-explanatory. Insecticides are often chemical-based and can cause harm if ingested.
  5. Antifreeze: Antifreeze is toxic to ALL animals. If you see any spilled antifreeze make sure to clean it up and dispose of it properly. Antifreeze should be kept in an out-of-reach place and locked up.
  6. Pool and Spa Chemicals: Chemicals can be toxic if you pet ingests them. Make sure pool and spa chemicals are kept away from anywhere you pets may get into.
  7. Fertilizer: Fertilizer provides nutrients for plants, but they often contain chemicals that are harmful to pets. Fertilizer poisoning often happens because of accidental ingestion when a pet cleans themself after playing outside.
  8. Lead Paint Chips: Lead is known to be toxic to humans, as well as pets. If you are doing some DIY are dealing with lead paint (we recommend hiring a professional however), make sure pets are not in the room and make sure you dispose of any lead paint chips.
  9. Some Plants: There are a lot of plants that are toxic to pets. Here is a list of common household plants that are toxic to pets. Did you know that some mushrooms are also toxic?
  10. Yeast Dough: From the AKC: “When a dog eats bread dough, the yeast in the dough continues to make the dough rise, distending his stomach and releasing toxic levels of ethanol into the dog’s bloodstream. The pressure of the rising dough can mimic and cause bloat, but the real danger is from the alcohol toxicosis.”

Common Household Items Poisonous to Pets

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned contact the Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680 and seek veterinary help immediately.

Contact Pet Poison Helpline | Pet Poison Helpline

Did any of these common household items on this list shock you? Let us know in the comments.

What To Do If You Think Your Pet Has Been Poisoned

What To Do If You Think Your Pet Has Been Poisoned

It’s probably every pet parents worst nightmare, you think your pet has gotten into something they shouldn’t have. Sometimes, this is fine but what if they got into the medicine cabinet or under the sink? What about one of your plants? It’s important to know what to do if you suspect your pet has been poisoned.

  • Make note of the toxin’s name, strength, and the amount your pet has consumed or been exposed to;
  • Get your pet to fresh air if the poisoning is primarily from fumes or gas;
  • Remove topical substances with gloves if the poisoning is primarily from contact;
  • Use paper towels or old rags to clean up liquids;
  • Do not attempt to remove the poison with water, solvents, or anything else unless instructed to by your vet;
  • Never induce vomiting unless instructed to by your vet

Pet Poison Steps

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned contact the Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680 and seek veterinary help immediately.

Contact Pet Poison Helpline | Pet Poison Helpline

Did you know some plants that are poisonous to cats aren’t poisonous to dogs? Check out our list of What Plants are Poisonous to Cats as well as What Mushrooms are Toxic to Pets.

What To Include In A Pet First Aid Kit

What To Include In A Pet First Aid Kit

No pet parent ever wants to have to use a pet first aid kit but it’s important to keep one on hand. While you can purchase pet first aid kits, you might already have some of the items on hand or want to add to yours. Here’s what we recommend having in your pet first aid kit.

Basics:

  • Gauze Pads
  • Adhesive Tape
  • Cotton Balls or Swabs
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Ice Pack
  • Alcohol Wipes
  • Styptic Powder
  • Saline Eye Solution
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Tweezers or tick key
  • Scissors with rounded tip
  • Oral syringe or turkey baster

Additional Equipment:

  • Towels or blankets
  • Vaseline
  • Leash

Always include contact details of your veterinarian and a list of medications & dosages taken by your pets.

Pet First Aid Checklist

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments what you have in your pet first aid kit.

The Importance Of Keeping Your Pets Hydrated

The Importance Of Keeping Your Pets Hydrated

We all know the importance of drinking water daily. But did you know it’s just as important for your pets to stay hydrated as you?

Here’s some of our favorite ways to help keep your pet hydrated!

  • Add more water bowls: Want to change it up? Try out a fountain with your pet or add ice discs to keep the water cool.
  • Freeze wet dog food to create a pupsicle: Stock up on wet food that comes in a pouch this season. Cut a small hole into the pouch, add a bit of water (ideal for pâté food), and insert a popsicle stick. Let freeze until solid.
  • Add water to your pets food: A simple trick to get more water into your pets diet, add a few teaspoons or tablespoons of water to their food.
  • Fresh fruit as a treat: Blueberries, apple slices, seedless watermelon, and cantaloupe are all hydrating and healthy treats for your dog.Pet Hydration Ideas

Have you tried any of these ways to keep your pet hydrated? Let us know your favorite methods in the comments!

Heartworm In Dogs: The Facts and What To Do About It

Heartworm In Dogs: The Facts and What To Do About It

What is heartworm?

Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a worm that lives in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of pets that have been infected by mosquitos. These worms get their name from where the adults live in the body: the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of an infected animal. Dogs are most susceptible to infection but cats and ferrets can also become infected.

Can it be treated?

Yes! But treatment costs 10-15x more than preventatives and treatment can take months. It is not always 100% successful. Treatment usually involves Melarsomine dihydrochloride which is an FDA-approved drug used to kill adult heartworms in dogs. The medication is injected deep into the back muscles. This treatment is often only used for Class 1, 2, and 3 cases of heartworm. Class 4 of heartworm is risky and often fatal as the blood is being blocked by a mass of worms. Surgery is the only option for class 4 cases. There is no FDA-approved drug to treat heartworm in cats and ferrets.

Is my pet at risk?

Heartworm is found in all 50 states. Even if your pet is indoors, a stray infected mosquito that finds its way into your house can infect your pet.

Is heartworm deadly?

Potentially. Heartworm can cause: severe lung disease, heart failure, and damage of other organs especially if left untreated. There are 4 classes of heartworm with class 1, 2, and 3 being treatable with medication. Class 4 requires surgery that may not be successful.

Can I do anything to prevent heartworm?

Yes! Pets should be on year-round preventatives and get regular testing for early detection. Preventative care costs less than treatment and only takes a few minutes. If you have cats and ferrets, keep them indoors to help reduce their risk of being infected. For dogs, make sure to mosquito-proof your yard as much as possible. This includes removing any standing water, regular yard maintenance, and using fans when outside.

 

Heartworm Disease in Pets

Want to learn more about heartworm? See the FDA’s page on heartworm that goes into more depth.

Getting a Dog – Complete Checklist for New Dog Owners

 

Bringing a new dog into the family is a very exciting time. Becoming a pet parent is rewarding, but also full of responsibility. The best way to prepare for your new dog is to have a checklist to lay the groundwork for your new addition.

 

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Dog  Checklist

Four Important Considerations:

1. Time: It is very important to think about how much time you’ll honestly be able to give your new pet.

  • At the very least dogs need to be fed 2-3 times a day and walked at least once a day.
  • Dogs with more energy may need even more time for proper exercise and stimulation.
  • Healthy pets should get at least an hour or day of direct attention, even if it’s just cuddling.
  • Don’t forget to add in time for grooming, hygiene, and appointments.

2. Costs: You want to make sure that you can always care for your vet. The best way is to create a budget for a new dog before you bring them home.

  • Does your new pet need to be spayed or neutered?
  • Is there an adoption fee that needs to be paid?
  • Monthly expenses such as food, pet sitting or new supplies
  • Routine veterinary care
  • Microchipping
  • Grooming equipment and supplies
  • Will you want to sign them up for training classes?
  • Beds and toys
  • Spare supplies

3. Age & Size: These are also two important factors in getting a new dog.

  • Puppies take far more time and training
  • Is your home accommodating to a large dog or would it be better suited for a small dog?
  • Do you have another pet to consider when deciding on what type of dog to get?
  • Can a large pet travel with you comfortably?

4. Lifestyle and relationship: Another big consideration is how your lifestyles will blend and the relationship you want to to have with your new canine companion. 

  • Are you active and want to bring your dog on hikes and camping trips?
  • Will your work and social life affect your ability to spend time and care for your pet?
  • Do you want a pet that will travel with you?
  • Do you have children that need a reliable and safe dog?
  • Is your new dog going to be your best friend or more of an independent roommate?

 

Shopping Checklist:

  • Age appropriate food
  • Water and food bowls
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • ID tags (make sure your phone number is on it)
  • Dog carrier or crate
  • Doggy shampoo and brush
  • Super absorbent paper towels
  • Various types of toys
  • Blanket
  • Dog toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Plastic baggies for waste

 

Getting a new dog awesome. Once you have considered all the important factors and gotten their supplies, the only thing left to do is have fun with your new family member!

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Dog  Checklist

Is Easter Egg Dye Bad For My Dog?

 

Easter will be here in just a few short weeks. The stores are full of pastel candy, bunnies and Easter eggs. And if you’re dyeing eggs this year, you may be wondering if the dye is bad for your dog.  The simple answer is no, common Easter Egg dye is not bad for your dog. In fact, most dyes used for Easter eggs are non toxic.

That means, if your dog gets a hold of a rogue Easter egg one day, he should be just fine, as long as it has been cooked.  Raw eggs may contain salmonella and even though there aren’t many documented health scares connected to raw eggs, it’s always a good idea to play it safe.

 

Safe Dyes To Look For:

Dyeing kits such as PAAS are commonly found at the store and are non toxic.  However, if you are still feeling uneasy about using a store bought kit, you can use regular food coloring instead. It is safe to ingest and will color the eggs. However, some feel that food coloring or all-natural dyes don’t have the same “pop” of color that the traditional kits have. But pastels are in for Easter, so if you’re not comfortable with the kit, definitely go for the food coloring. 

 

Easter Egg Dye Watch Out For:

Ukrainian Egg Dyes or Pysanky Kits are for elaborately decorated and non-edible eggs.  These eggs are dyed raw and painted with wax and powdered dyes. So, if you do decide to decorate your eggs in this style, make sure to keep them away from your pets.

 

Easter is a time to celebrate with the family. It’s not a time to worry if your dog gets into the Easter egg basket  (as long as there’s no chocolate in there).  Eating an egg with dye on it should be no problem. As long as there are no special dietary factors that come into play that is. Now, it may change the color of their poop or even give them some gas.  But overall they will be just fine.

Cold Weather Precautions for Pets

 

With winter weather upon us, we need to ensure we are taking care to ensure our pets are properly protected against the cold weather and elements. Many things are simply overlooked by pet owners however there are something’s that are not understood by us humans. Yes…..pets do get cold. They feel the cold and they do suffer from cold environments.

admin-ajaxPlease, take a moment to read some tips for cold weather precautions and how to keep your pet safe and warm this winter season:

  • Caution with the Salt. Many snow laden cities utilize salt in order to melt frozen snow. Please note that this is very irritating to your pet’s paws. So when taking Fido for a walk, please make sure you don’t parade him thru salted areas. If he does get some on his paws, wipe them up when you return home.
  • Keep your pet hydrated. They will still require a lot of water during the winter months. They burn a large amount of energy in an effort to keep warm. Access to water all year is a must. If your pet is outside for a few hours, leave the water but remember to not put the water in a metal bowl as it will cause your pet’s tongue to stick and freeze to that surface.
  • Pets love to be indoors, despite what some humans think. Fido is not at his happiest when he is locked outside, especially when it is freezing out. Yes, dogs love walks and parks and playing but if you’re with them! Don’t leave your pup outside in the cold. Wind-chill can threaten your dog’s life and he can suffer frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Antifreeze is a NO NO! Please pay close attention to any that may be lurking on the ground. It tastes sweet and will lure your pet towards it. Clean it up! It is toxic to ALL animals.
  • Provide your dog with a warm place to sleep. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, some well-intentioned pet owners forget that a tile or linoleum floor or heck, even a carpeted floor is simply not enough sometimes. The floors are extremely cold and are especially troublesome for a senior pet.

These are just a few cold weather precautions to keep your pet safe as the temperature drops. So as you are getting your house, your car and your family ready for the cold weather, stop and think about your pets! And remember, cold weather usually means New Years and fireworks are right around the corner. Here are some Fireworks Safety Tips to keep in mind.

Cold Weather Safety Tips

Tell us – what are you doing this year to keep your pet safe from the cold?

How to Prevent Hairballs in Cats

 

If you’ve owned a cat for any amount of time then you’ve probably had the awful experience of hairballs. There is no denying that they are pretty gross, a little troubling and also, totally natural for cats.

What causes them?

hairballsCats have tongues that are full of tiny hook-like growths, that’s why they feel rough when they like you. This tiny hooks are not much unlike soft fingernails because they are both made of keratin. When grooming, these hooks catch loose and dead fur which is then swallowed. Most of it passes through the digestive system without a problem.

However, some of the hair will build up in their stomachs. When too much fur has accumulated, your cat will often start to wretch and gag, eventually vomiting up the hairball. Since it has to pass through the esophagus, it usually doesn’t actually look like a “ball.”

They may also act lethargic, have a decreased appetite as well as constipation or diarrhea. Usually, once they pass the hairball they are fine. But if you feel that something is wrong, do not hesitate to contact your vet.

Five ways you can help your cat at home:

  1. Grooming is a key to eliminating the dead hair that builds up in their coats. When you remove it, they can’t swallow it. If they seem to have a lot of hairballs, try adding a dab of Alberto VO5 Conditioning Hairdressing to you the brush to help the coat.
  2. Adding oily fish to their diet also helps. A can of sardines or a tuna canned in oil about once a month can aid in lubricating their digestive system.
  3. Mix in a tablespoon or two of canned pumpkin to their food every day. Just make sure to get pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
  4. Another add-in on their food is oil. Mix in a tablespoon about once a week of olive oil or corn oil to keep the hairballs moving through.
  5. Get hairball formulated cat food. This brand of food can help fight against shedding and aid digestion. This type of food is oil-based and is high in fiber, helping hairballs not form in the first place.

Depending on your cat’s coat and age, you may see more or less frequent hairballs. But if you ever think that they are having too many or strange-looking hairballs, make sure to contact your vet about your concerns.

5 Questions to Ask Your Vet at Your Next Visit

 

When you’re getting ready for your yearly physical, you probably have a few questions prepared for your doctor. And it’s smart to have them prepared ahead of time. Because if you’re like me, by time you’re in the back room, chances are you’ll forget to ask at least one thing you were concerned about.

The same should go for your pet at their regular wellness checks as well. There are just as many, if not more distractions at the vet. Sometimes that leaves you floundering for words and just hoping to get out unscathed.

Having a few good questions jotted down for easy reference will go a long way in making you get the most out of your pet’s vet visit.

1. Is my pet overweight?

Being on top of your pet’s weight is important. According to the Association for Pet Obesity and Prevention, more than half of the dogs and cats are overweight in the U.S. Even though we are almost conditioned to think “a fat pet is a happy pet,” that’s not true. Obesity sets them up for a whole slew of complications such as, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and more.

2. What is the best food for my pet?

This question almost goes hand in hand with the weight question, but it is still beneficial for average weight pets as well. Not all pet food is created equal and some foods have fatty fillers and sub-par ingredients. Tell your vet what food you regularly feed your pet. Also, as they age dietary needs can change. Ask them what they feel is an appropriate diet for them considering their age and weight.

3. Do you have any recommendations for flea/tick meds?

Flea and ticks are not just a problem for the spring and summer. They can actually be a threat all year round. More than just a nuisance, they can transmit deadly diseases too. Depending on the time of year and your pet’s health in general, your vet may have a better way of protecting your pet.

4.Does my pet need a dental cleaning?

Often forgotten, but still very important is dental health. Recent surveys state that an estimated 80% of adult dogs and 70% of adult cats suffer from a least some degree of periodontal disease. If dental hygiene is ignored too long, it can result serious health issues with the liver, kidney, heart. Your vet should have some easy and painless ways to help.

5. Is this normal?

This is the general behavior or health question to ask your vet. It’s whatever may concern you about your pet. Like do they have a quirky behavior, a weird eating/sleeping habit? Or you may be worried about lumps or bumps on their skin. Reserve this question to fit what concerns you about your pet specifically.


A little bit of planning goes a long way in making sure you get all the answers you need. Doctors and vet visits are stressful enough as it is, no need to add stress to it by being unprepared.

Do you have any additional questions you like to ask your vet? Let us know in the comments!