It may be surprising, but many everyday household items can be toxic to our furry family members. The two most common pet toxins are human medications and human food. It’s critical to keep prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines safely stored, and that includes those carried in backpacks or purses. While we may not offer our pets bites from our plates, they are very capable of finding potentially harmful foods on their own, both inside and out of the house. So vigilance is a must.
It’s under-the-radar items like these that can be overlooked when we think about poison, so here is a list of what to ensure is outside their reach.
Chives, chocolate, currants, xylitol (a sugar substitute often in gum, candy, baked goods, peanut butter, supplements, and vitamins), garlic, grapes, leeks, onions, raisins, scallions, shallots, yeast
Azaleas, lilies (cats), oleander, sago palm, tulips
Rodenticides, ethylene glycol (found in many antifreeze products)
What are the symptoms?
There is a wide range of symptoms that pets may display in response to ingesting toxins and the symptoms vary by substance. You may see vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, lack of coordination, or fever, or other signs of distress. In general, if you are concerned your pet may have been exposed to a toxin, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Time is of the essence.
What can I do?
– Check your household for the items and substances as mentioned above.
– Store your veterinarian’s phone number in your cell phone contacts.
– Look up the location of your nearest 24-hour emergency clinic, and save their phone number and address in your contacts.
You can contact the San Francisco SPCA Veterinary Hospitals at 415-554-3030. We currently provide emergency services 7 days/week at both of our locations:
8am – 12am at Pacific Heights Campus, 2343 Fillmore Street
8am – 5pm at Mission Campus, 201 Alabama Street (closed major holidays)
You can also call the California Poison Control Center at 888-222-1222.