World's Largest NO-KILL
Animal Rescue
and Adoption Organization


Members get our updates on rescue alerts, league events, special offers and more.

sign up!


Facebook Instagram YouTube Twitter

Like us on Facebook  
| Share share | email | print | A A

Common Pet Toxicities

There are many drugs/foods that can potentially be toxic to our family pets.  It is important never to give your animal any over the counter or prescription medications that are not prescribed for your pet.  Sometimes accidents happen.  Sometimes pets ingest toxic foods, plants, and medications.  If this does happen, try not to panic, but try to remember how much of what toxic substance your pet has eaten.  It is never wrong to contact the pet poison control hotline for further advice.  Listed below are some common things you never want your pet to be exposed to.

1. Rodenticides (rat poison):  There are many different kinds of rodenticides.  These agents can cause an array of clinical signs including bleeding disorders and neurologic abnormalities.

2. Ethylene glycol (antifreeze):  This chemical can cause severe and sometimes irreversible kidney failure.

3. Grapes and raisins:  Although they are tasty to us, never give them as a treat to your pet.  Acute kidney failure is likely.

4. Chocolate:  Never let your pet ingest chocolate, as it can cause heart disturbances and seizure activity.  Be careful on Easter and Valentine's Day holidays when there are often chocolates lying around the house.

5. Onions:  These may cause stomach and intestinal upset as well as destruction of the cells that make up the blood.

6. Xylitol:  This ingredient found in many candies and gum may cause irreversible liver damage.

7. Household cleaning products:  When used in excess with little ventilation, many of these products may lead to respiratory distress and gastrointestinal problems.

8. Lillies, rhododendrons, and azaleas:  These flower varieties are just some of the common household plants that can be toxic to our pets.  Sometimes even just biting the leaves can be fatal to our fuzzy companions. 

9. Tylenol: This over-the-counter medication is very toxic to our pets (especially felines). It can cause blood disorders and even death.

10. Heavy metals, including zinc (found in Desitin and other creams), lead (found in many paints) and mercury (found in fish and in thermometers):  If any of these items are ingested by your pet, do not hesitate to contact your local veterinarian and seek immediate care.


Browse our extensive expert advice by selecting categories below:

Show Advice by Topic

Advice Type: