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March: National Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month By: Britteny M. Hill, MS, LVT

We never stop to realize the things in our home that can cause harm to our pets. It may sound easy to try to keep hazardous items away from our animals. But with dropped pills, accidental spills, or even having a floral centerpiece on top of the coffee table, these items can scream disaster if consumed by pets.

Believe it or not, there are cooking spices, medications, plants, household products, and even food types that can cause serious illness when consumed by dogs and cats. As a pet owner, it is very important for you to understand what you can and shouldn’t offer to your pets, and what your animal need to stay clear from. Below is a list of items that can cause toxicity reaction in animals, even from the slightest lick by their tongues:


  1. Alcohol
  2. Grapes
  3. Raisins
  4. Chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the more toxic!)
  5. Coffee beans
  6. Garlic
  7. Onions
  8. Macadamia nuts
  9. Avocado
  10. Human Toothpaste
  11. Candy/Gum/Baked Goods
  12. Cherries
  13. Raw Meat
  14. High Fatty Meat (Ham, Beef, etc.)

Human Medications/Cosmetics

  1. Tylenol
  2. Ibuprofen
  3. Naproxen
  4. Adderall
  5. Pepto Bismol (in large amounts)
  6. Cigarettes/Cigars/Nicotine contained items
  7. Body Wash/Soaps
  8. Topical creams/ointments

Household Products

  1. Rat Bait (Rodenticides)
  2. Anti-freeze
  3. Bleach
  4. Adhesives (i.e., Super Glue)
  5. Surface cleaning solutions
  6. Carpet cleaners
  7. Fertilizer

Common Poisonous Plants

  1. Marijuana
  2. Lilies
  3. Tulip/Tulip Bulb
  4. Azalea
  5. Amaryllis
  6. Castor Bean
  7. Autumn Crocus
  8. Daffodils
  9. Sago Palm
  10. Oleander
  11. Cyclamen
  12. Kalanchoe

For more poisonous plants, visit https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/17-plants-poisonous-pets

Common Essential Oils

  1. Wintergreen
  2. Oil of sweet birch
  3. Citrus oil (dlimonene)
  4. Pine oils
  5. Ylang Ylang oil
  6. Peppermint oil
  7. Cinnamon oil
  8. Pennyroyal oil
  9. Clove oil
  10. Eucalyptus oil
  11. Tea tree oil

For more essential oil information, visit https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/17-plants-poisonous-pets

Additional Poisonous Encounters:

  1. Snake Bite (by a poisonous snake)
  2. Sprayed by a skunk
  3. Licked a Toad’s skin

For additional information on poisonous/toxic items, there are 2 resources that are popular in the Veterinary Field we encourage owners to view and share:

  1. ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center


  1. Pet Poison Helpline


We recommend pet parents to familiarize themselves with poisoning signs, in order to act fast! Poisoned pets may show mild to severe signs of toxicity, depending on the amount that ingested. The smaller the animal, the less toxin it takes to cause serious illness, even death. If your pet consumed a poisonous substance, it is vital to identify what was consumed, when it was consumed, and how much was ingested. Some signs of a toxic reaction may include, but not limited to:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea (that also may contain blood)
  • Hypersalivation (aka drooling)
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Pale Gum Color
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Tremors or Shaking
  • Seizures
  • Falling over/collapsing
  • Unable to stand/walk appropriately (seems “wobbly”)

For more information on toxicity, or if you fear that your pet has consumed a poisonous item, call our office at 859-997-8086 to speak to a medical staff member. If you fear that your pet is having a toxicity reaction after our normal business hours, we also encourage you to call one of the following:

  • Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 ($65 consultation fee) or
  • ASPCA at (888) 426-4435 ($75 consultation fee)
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