If you have a pet, it’s important to prevent them from getting sick from common household items. Let’s look at some of the most common household items that are poisonous to pets.
- Certain foods, plants, and medicines can make your pets sick.
- Be careful about outdoor plants as well.
- Always keep intended poisons (e.g., rat poison, herbicides) in a safe, inaccessible place.
Foods that are poisonous to pets
Some of your favorite foods can make your pets extremely sick. In some cases, they can be deadly. Here are some of the most common foods that you should always keep away from your pets.
- Raw or undercooked meat
It’s especially important to remember that dogs and cats can get sick from raw or undercooked meat. It might seem counterintuitive, since wild cats and dogs hunt for meat every day.
However, raw meat—whether eaten by a pet or wild animal—can contain harmful pathogens like E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Fortunately, it’s not a necessity for your pet to hunt for raw meat.
If you intend to feed a pet a raw diet, choose a professional blend. If you want to give a pet a meat treat, provide small portions and cook the meat all the way through (yes, even steaks—they can’t tell the difference between well done and medium rare, unless they get sick from undercooked meat).
Plants that are poisonous to pets
The right plants can make your home beautiful. However, certain plants are indeed poisonous to pets. Take caution if you have or intend to have any of the following common plants, especially if you have cats:
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a complete list of plants that are poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses.
Medications that are poisonous to pets
According to the ASPCA, nearly 20% of the calls they received in 2018 concerned a pet eating an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medicine. Here are some of the most common culprits:
- Ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin, Advil)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Birth control
It’s easy to drop a pill and lose sight of it, or simply forget to put such medicines away. Always be sure to keep any kinds of medicines for humans away from pets, preferably in a lockable container. Cats and dogs are curious and are willing to climb and jump to get where they want, so simply putting medicines up high isn’t always enough.
Finally, NEVER, EVER, EVER give your pets people medicine for any reason. Always contact a vet if your pet seems sick, but don’t play doctor. It’ll likely do more harm than good.
Conclusion: Pets need protection
Your pets rely on you to be smart for them. Taking care about what they eat, the plants they have access to, and storing medications properly can give your pets a longer, happier life in your home.
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