Be Aware

Many animals are being poisoned accidentally by their owners giving them human medications. Some of the most common poisons were attributed to Ibuprofen like Advil, Tramadol, Xanax, Ambien, Aleve, Naprosyn, and Tylenol. These products cannot be given to dogs and cats. They are toxic and can be lethal.  Many other human medications are toxic to our pets. Examples are beta-blocker heart medicines, cold medications, cough syrup, anti-depressants and caffeine pills, etc. Always check with your veterinarian before giving any of your medicines to your pet. Chocolate leads the list of reported animal poisonings. In fact, last year there were over 7,500 chocolate poisonings reported to the ASPCA Poison Control Center. That’s 21 calls per day. Xylitol was second, with over 8 cases per day. However, xylitol is on the rapid increase. Although many people are aware that this is a very toxic substance, they are not aware it is in so many products that are in the house or that humans consume. Xylitol is increasingly being used by  manufacturers  because it is so cheap and it is over 5 times sweeter than sugar. It can be found in a wide variety of products, ranging from gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, mints, candies, throat lozenges, vitamins, nasal sprays and even some fabrics, (don’t know why). There is even a granular form of xylitol that is used in baking, instead of sugar. It is found in many “diet foods” and “sugar free” pastries. It is extremely toxic to dogs. For example, the amount of xylitol in gum ranges from 1mg per piece to over 1000mg per piece. Ingestion of only 35 mg per pound of body weight can be toxic to a dog. That means a 10 lb. dog that eats only 1/2 of a piece of gum that has 1000mg per piece, is poisoned. Consumers must read labels and keep these types of products away from their pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center recently listed the top ten categories of toxic substances to animals as the following:

  1. Human prescription medications
  2. Insecticides
  3. Over the counter human medications
  4. Human food
  5. Household items
  6. Improperly used veterinary medications
  7. Rodenticides
  8. Plants
  9. Lawn and Garden products
  10. Automotive products

Please note: the direct line of the Animal Poison Control Center is 888-426-4435.