Posted by: CS&A Insurance | February 13, 2013

Pet Safety: Poisons


Protect your buddies from household hazards

If you are a typical pet owner, your pet is a part of your family. However, just as you would with a baby, you must be vigilant in protecting your pet from poisonous items that can be found around the house.

Poisonous Plants

Those sweet-smelling flowers or green plants may brighten up your home, but unfortunately dogs and cats are attracted to them too. Popular flora that is  dangerous to your pet includes:

  • Lilies
  • Tulips/Narcissus bulbs
  • Azaleas/Rhododendrons
  • Oleander
  • Amaryllis
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Daisies
  • Baby’s breath
  • Pothos – Of the Araceae family; is an extremely popular houseplant

All of the above can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination and in some cases even coma or death. This list is not exhaustive; for a more comprehensive record, visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) at

People Food

As much as your pet begs for a taste of what’s on your plate, it is generally not wise to feed it food or drinks meant for humans. Foods especially harmful to pets include:

  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Onions, garlic and chives
  • Coffee
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Undercooked meat
  • Raw bones (they can splinter)
  • Products sweetened with xylitol (like sugar-free gum)


Everyone has dropped a pill on the floor from time to time. However, if you have pets, you need to pick it up immediately; if you cannot find it, get out the vacuum. Never leave opened medication out on the counter. Also, if you are dispensing medication to your animal, make sure to read the instructions carefully. The ASPCA has received calls regarding poisonings by well-meaning pet owners.


Even though we can try to be as cautious as possible in our own homes, we also need to protect our loving little pals from outside dangers as well. Before you board your pet it is extremely important that it’s vaccinations are up-to-date and current with the facilities guidelines. A reputable boarding facility will need to have a letter from your veterinarian that your pet is healthy and is current on vaccinations.

If Your Pet is Poisoned…

Call the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Be ready with a description of your animal, symptoms, information about the poisoning and, if applicable, have the product’s label or container handy. The ASPCA also recommends having a pet first aid kit, containing hydrogen peroxide (3 percent, to induce vomiting), a bulb syringe or turkey baster (to administer the hydrogen peroxide), saline eye solution, artificial tear gel, forceps, a muzzle (to prevent getting bitten if your animal is in shock), a mild dishwashing liquid (to bathe your pet after skin contamination) and a can of your pet’s favorite food. You can purchase such kits in pet stores or online.

Did you know…?

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center handles more than 165,000 cases of animal poisonings every year; many of these calls involve human medications or the incorrect administration of veterinary medicines by pet owners.

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