We all have items around the house that are essential for daily living but can be toxic to our pets. Here is a list of 7 products that you should secure.
1. Laundry Pods
In the past few years, people have turned from powdered detergent to laundry pods. They are convenient since they don’t weigh much and are pre-measured. But they can be deadly to dogs and cats. The detergent is concentrated, and if your pet licks the liquid, it can result in difficulty breathing, coughing, gagging, and vomiting.
2. Household Cleaners
We know to keep bleach, ammonia, drain openers, carpet shampoo, and chlorine away from children, but it holds true for pets as well. When using any cleaning product, take note of where your pet is, and exercise caution until the surface is dry, and the vapors have dissipated. Concentrated solutions can cause chemical burns if they come into contact with your pet’s skin or cause respiratory tract problems if inhaled. There are several non-chemical products on the market, so you may want to opt for different cleaners.
All types of batteries—alkaline (AA, AAA, C, D, 9v) and round lithium buttons—can cause problems for your pet if ingested. They contain acids that damage the mouth, esophagus, and digestive tract, and cause body tissues and organs to die within 30 minutes of contact.
4. Essential Oils
These oils have become very popular and have many positive uses for humans but aren’t necessarily safe for your pets if used improperly. They can be irritating to your pet’s skin, causing rashes and burns. They absorb into their system quickly and are metabolized by the liver, sometimes causing liver failure. Our pets’ sense of smell is more sensitive, so they may be attracted to the scent. Just one drop of oil, or one sniff from a diffuser can cause respiratory distress and lung damage.
The nicotine in cigarettes, nicotine patches, chewing tobacco, and e-cigarette cartridges are dangerous for your pet. It’s not just about your dog or cat eating it; inhaling too much nicotine is also a problem. Your pet will show signs of nicotine poisoning quickly, usually within 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the animal. They may drool, have an abnormal heart rate, collapse, or vomit.
6. Mouthwash and Toothpaste
If you look at the label of your mouthwash, you may find it contains xylitol, which is a sugar substitute. It is safe for human consumption, but even a small amount of xylitol is toxic for animals. It will decrease blood sugar levels, induce seizures, cause liver failure, and can result in death. Toothpaste has sodium fluoride, which again, is safe for humans. Dental care is important for your pets, but human toothpaste should not be used on their teeth. The reason? They don’t spit it out but swallow it. Over time, it can build up to toxic amounts, so use toothpaste that is intended for dogs and cats.
7. Small Items
You may leave jewelry, buttons, nails, screws, children’s toys, bottle caps, and similar items on countertops, or on the floor if you drop them. Dogs and cats are naturally curious and pick up random objects. If swallowed, any small item could damage the digestive track and cause internal bleeding. Sometimes it will pass on its own without anyone knowing it was swallowed. Other times, surgery may be necessary to remove the object.
Being aware of these 7 dangers will help keep your pet safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please call Dr. Newman at 208-233-2844.