In honor of Pet Poison Prevention Month, we wanted to remind you of certain foods and items around your home that can cause health problems for your pet. When it comes to dietary needs, our team is here to help. Don’t play a guessing game with your pet’s nutrition. Let us point you in the right direction. Step one: it’s best to avoid human foods when hospital. While some fruits and vegetables are put into pet food, other similar foods can cause real issues.

1. Acetaminophen and aspirin. Found in Tylenol and other medicine, this can cause liver damage in dogs and anemia in cats. Be careful around your cats, ingesting too much can be fatal.

2. Chocolate. This is a common one, but it’s always good to get a reminder. For the record, dark chocolate is worse than milk and white chocolate, but even cocoa can be toxic if too much is ingested. If ingested, call us immediately. In both cats and dogs, too much chocolate can cause seizures and even death. When cooking, please be sure to keep all chocolate out of range for your pet. This is especially true during holidays where we see more chocolate around the house.

3. Onions and Garlic. When you’re cooking and chopping both onion and garlic, it’s imperative to make sure they do not hit the ground. Also, if cats have the full range of the counters, it’s important to keep them away. These items do not even need to be ingested to cause issues with your pet – chewing does enough damage. Digesting these items can cause anemia and stomach issues. Next time you’re cooking with either, be sure to keep a close eye on your pets.

4. Chewing Gum, Mints, Toothpaste, and Mouthwash. All of these products contain Xylitol, a sweetener that can cause serious issues with your pets! The biggest issue you’ll need to worry about is liver failure. Keep your packs of gum and mints out of range of curious cats and excited dogs.

5. Grapes. Some fruits and veggies are okay for pets, and some are not. It can get complicated. Grapes seem innocent enough, right? Think again. Even a small amount of grape juice or a raisin could cause issues as bad as kidney failure in your dog. Be careful with this one, some fruits are okay for dogs to ingest and some are not. Grapes are the latter.

6. Laundry Detergents. As an obvious rule of thumb, it’s probably best to keep any cleaning products in your laundry area away from your pet. While laundry detergents used to be liquid and up on a shelf, we’re seeing more detergents in pod format and left under a sink or in a box in the laundry room. Ingesting these items will cause ulcers in your pet’s mouths and stomach.

If you have any questions, please be sure to contact us to discuss which foods are okay for your pet. If your pet has ingested one of these items, please contact South Shore Veterinary Hospital at 315-698-0190 immediately.

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