You can do a lot in your home and garden to help insure the safety of
your beloved pet. Many people think they can simply apply the same
guidelines used in child proofing their home; but unfortunately this is
not enough. Thousands of pets die each year after ingesting common
household poisons including pesticides, plants and even foods.
Poisoning can also occur by absorption through the skin, inhalation and
ocular (splashed in the eyes).
Take a good look
around and poison-proof your environment, and take a few minutes to
familiarize yourself with the items that can be hazardous to your pet.
your best efforts, your pet may still fall victim to poisoning. Be
prepared! Keep the following phone numbers where you can find them in
Ojai Pet Hospital (805) 646-5555
Pet Emergency Clinic (after hours care) (805) 642-8562
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 4ANI-HELP*
or (900) 680-0000*
*there is a charge for this call
you bring your pet to us or call the office with a question about a pet
ingestion, if the product has an ingredient label, be sure to have that
Do not attempt
any therapy on your pet without first contacting either our office,
emergency clinic or the ASPCA for guidance. If you suspect your pet has
been poisoned, it is important not to panic. Rapid response is
important, but panicking can interfere with the process of helping your
There are some common plants that can pose a poison danger to your pets. They include:
• Caster Bean
• Japanese Yew
• Easter Lily
• Sago Palm
• Lily of the Valley
In the vegetable garden, plants to be careful of include:
• Tomatoes, leaves & stems
• Potatoes, leaves & stems
• Rhubarb, leaves
Some commonly used garden chemicals can pose a poison danger to your
pets. Fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides are all hazardous. Keep
pets away from lawns and garden areas treated with these products until
they have dried completely.
READ LABELS CAREFULLY
Products labeled as safe for humans may still pose a threat to animals.
Even coffee grounds sprinkled under acid-loving plants can be toxic.
Rat/mouse bait, snail bait and ant/roach baits all contain ingredients
that your pet may find attractive. Snail bait is sweetened to entice
snails and slugs, and may do the same for your cat or dog. Always keep
chemicals safely stored away from pets. Use caution with their
applications and confine them to areas inaccessible to your pets.
gasoline and oil are all extremely dangerous to your pet. Antifreeze is
another example of a toxic substance that actually tastes good to our
pets. As little as 1 teaspoon of the ethylene glycol from antifreeze
can be fatal to a cat and less than 1 tablespoon can be fatal to a 20
pound dog! These products can also present a problem if absorbed
through the skin or splashed into the eyes.
As always READ LABELS CAREFULLY. These products can be quite dangerous
when used incorrectly. Please consult with Ojai Pet Hospital before
using any flea or tick product on a sick, debilitated or pregnant
animal. Be aware that cat and dog flea products are NOT necessarily
interchangeable. Please consult with us before using any flea or tick
product labeled for dogs or cats on any other pet; ie: rabbits, birds,
horses, etc. Always use caution with insecticidal sprays and foggers
around your pets.
Here are some common household hazards to your pets:
• All Cleaning Products
• Potpourri Oils
• Coffee Grounds
• Liquid Fabric Softener
• Fabric Softener Sheets (even used ones)
• Dishwashing Detergent
• Homemade Play Dough
because we may think of something as undesirable or trash, doesn’t mean
our pets feel the same way. Cleaning agents have a variety of
properties. Some may only upset the stomach while others can cause
severe burns to the tongue, mouth and stomach.
not classified as poison, ingestion of many common objects can result
in severe intestinal problems that could kill your pet unless caught in
time. Below is a partial list:
• Dental Floss
• Sewing Needles
• Spoiled Food from Trash Cans
This is one of the least understood categories. It is hard to think of
something we may eat everyday as being toxic to our pets, but there are
some foods that should be avoided. It is not true that animals
“instinctively” know what foods are dangerous or poisonous. Below is a
• Onions (or onion powder)
• Chocolate (any form)
• Alcoholic Beverages
• Coffee (beans, grounds, espresso)
• Tea (caffeine)
• Yeast Dough
• Macadamia Nuts
• Cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chew
• Any moldy food
• Avocado -birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle, goats
Metals, especially Lead and Zinc can be toxic to pets, and owners need
to know common sources that they may not be aware of.
LEAD poisoning – As with people, ingestion of lead paint is a major
concern. Some older homes may still have lead paint. However, lead
poisoning is not confined to paint. Lead can be found in batteries,
linoleum, solder, plumbing supplies, lubricating materials, tar paper,
lead window weights, lead pipes (especially in connection with soft
water units), fishing sinkers and drapery weights.
ZINC poisoning – This happens most often when pets swallow pennies.
Since 1983, pennies have been made with 96% zinc and only 2.5% copper.
Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, anti-depressants,
blood pressure medications, stimulant laxatives, antacids, oral
contraceptives, antihistamines, vitamins and diet pills are all
examples of human medicines that can be fatal to animals. Never give
your animal medications not prescribed for them by a veterinarian,
including over the counter medications. Just one 200mg ibuprofen tablet
could cause stomach ulcers in a small dog; six tablets could cause
kidney failure. One extra-strength 500 mg acetaminophen (Tylenol) can
be fatal to a cat.
containing cortisone and antihistamine creams containing benzocaine can
be potentially fatal whether ingested or absorbed through the animals
As with children, medications should be stored
safely away from pets, preferably in a locked cabinet. Remember to use
caution if you normally carry medications in your purse, pocket or
briefcase. Many times we receive phone calls from clients whose pets
have eaten their medications after finding them in these places. Be
cautious when disposing of old medications as your trash cans may not