(Original Post Date: 4/8/14)
Dogs and cats are not always particular when it comes to eating things that they shouldn't. Sometimes, they do not develop any adverse reactions, but many common household objects, medicines, plants, and even foods can be toxic to pets. The best way to protect pets from toxins is to minimize exposure to them. Pets should be confined when they cannot be watched, or at least any cabinet door, plant, or garbage can should be inaccessible in order to minimize the chance for an ingestion of a potential toxin.
If a pet has ingested something that is or may be poisonous, it is very important to contact a veterinarian or a poison control hotline (ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 1-888-426-4435, Pet Poison Helpline: 800-213-6680, or, for pet owners whose pet has an active Home Again microchip membership: 888-HomeAgain). The more information that a pet owner can provide, the better a veterinarian can advise and treat their pet.
Sometimes, inducing vomiting can limit the amount of a toxin that is absorbed, however, it is VERY important to seek veterinary advice before actively causing vomiting in a pet, as there are some instances where inducing vomiting can actually cause more harm. The sooner a pet is treated for ingestion of a toxic substance, the better the chance for a successful outcome.
Following articles will address the most common types of toxins that can harm pets, as reported to pet poison control hotlines.