ASPCA Lists Top 10 Poisoning Hazards

The organization's Animal Poison Control Center releases the top hazardous items reported to its hotline in 2006.

Posted: March 17, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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(Stock photo)
Protect your cat from 10 common poisoning hazards. (Stock photo)
The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) received more than 116,000 calls to its poison control hotline in 2006, the animal welfare organization announced this week. Cat and dog owners reported incidents involving many common household items, the group explained. As National Poison Prevention Week approaches on March 18-24, the ASPCA reminds cat and dog owners to keep the following items out of their pets’ reach.

  • Human Medications. This is the No. 1 hazard on the ASPCA’s list, and includes common human drugs such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements.

  • Insecticides. In 2006, the APCC received more than 27,000 calls involving products used to kill fleas, ticks and other insects. The group recommends consulting your veterinarian before using any type of flea or tick control product.

  • Veterinary Medications. The APCC received calls concerning animal-related products such as heartworm preventatives, dewormers, antibiotics, vaccines and nutritional supplements. The group reminds pet owners to follow label directions for use of these items.
  • Plants. Pet owners are urged to keep potentially harmful plants out of their animals’ reach. Such plants include lilies, azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, kalanchoes and schefflera.
  • Rodenticides. When using rat and mouse poisons, make sure the bait is placed only in areas inaccessible to your pets, the APCC says.
  • Household Cleaners. Cleaning agents such as bleaches, detergents and disinfectants can be harmful to pets. The APCC recommends storing these items in a secure location.
  • Chocolate. This sweet is no treat for pets. The methylxanthines found in this food can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and other symptoms in cats and dogs.
  • Chemical Hazards. In 2006, the APCC saw a significant jump in the number of calls concerning volatile petroleum-based products, alcohols, acids and gases. The group encourages pet owners to securely store items such as antifreeze, paint thinner, drain cleaner and pool chemicals.
  • Physical Hazards. These items might not be toxic but can potentially harm your pet if ingested. Such items include common objects such as bones, adhesive tape, office supplies and paper products. 

  • Home Improvement Products. Paints, solvents, glues and other home improvement products can harm your pet if ingested. The fumes from such items can also irritate your pet’s eyes and respiratory tract.

For more information about the APCC’s Top 10 Hazards of 2006, click here.

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Reader Comments

debby    oxord, NC

11/14/2007 5:33:40 AM

very informative story

Heather    N Fond du Lac, WI

3/17/2007 10:29:38 AM

Its always great to get helpful hints on how to keep are loved ones safe. They aer so nosy they don't know or care if its good or bad for them. Thanks

Kathy    Centreville, VA

3/17/2007 4:01:48 AM

Excellent article. I volunteer with Siamese Rescue and I'm going to add this to our library of reference material.

Cotton    leominster, MA

3/17/2007 3:53:49 AM

This list is very useful! I think all kitty owners should be required to print it and place it on their fridge!

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