PETS: Animals will eat almost anything

Welcome back to Buckley Veterinary Hospital’s monthly pet care column. This month, we are highlighting your furry family member’s potential risk to ingestible hazards. Known and unknown toxins can be found hiding in our houses, yards and neighborhoods.

We have combined tips from several animal health organizations to shed some light on latent and perhaps more obvious hazards that your pets may encounter.

If your pet does encounter and ingest a toxin, we also want to deliver the resources to prevent illness, helping to provide a healthier and happier life for your best friend.

In 2011, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Ill., fielded more than 165,900 phone calls about pets exposed to poisonous substances. Below is their list categorizing the top 10 toxin types from those inquiries.

Prescription Human Medications

Almost 25,000 calls last year were about human prescription medications. Pets, especially dogs, are notorious for ingesting any dropped pill. Cardiac and ADHD medications make up a large percentage of these calls. Always make sure to keep these medications in a safe place away from your pets.

1 – Prescription human medication.

2 – Insecticides.

3 – Over-the-counter human medication.

4 – People Food.

5 – Household Products.

6 – Veterinary Medications.

7 – Rodenticides

8 – Plants

9 – Lawn and Garden Products

10 – Automotive Products

With more people keeping their animals inside (especially cats), the number of animals exposed to automotive products (antifreeze, brake fluid, etc.) has dropped. This is great news since many of these products, if ingested, can be life- threatening.

If you have any reason to suspect your furry family member has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian, an after-hours emergency veterinary service in our area or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-888-426-4435.

Thank you to our readers – we welcome you back next month. As always, send questions, comments, or suggestions for future columns to us at


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