Poisonous Pantry: Avoid Exposing Your Pet to Household Toxins

Lazy cat lying under the dish drainer in the kitchen
When pet owners think of poisonous substances, they often think of poisons that lurk “out there” and not in the home (e.g., antifreeze that someone else left out).  However, there are many household toxins – some of which may be right under your pet’s nose.

Harmful Household Toxins

Household cleaners are commonly found under the kitchen sink or by the bathroom counter. Similarly, some of the most noxious chemicals are kept on the floor or in an easily accessible space, like under the counter or on a low shelf. A resourceful pet can easily get into these storage areas (sometimes just by accident when a cabinet is left ajar). That’s why it’s a good idea to keep these products behind childproof-type locks.

Most household cleaners are full of chemicals that can cause harm. Some of these include:

  • Toilet cleaners
  • Drain openers
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Fabric softener
  • Degreasers and other solvents
  • Paint thinner and lacquer
  • Enzyme-based cleaners

Since we rely on these products in our daily lives, you may want to consider purchasing a lockable or latchable utility cabinet for storage. Some owners also use biodegradable or pet-safe cleaning products as an extra precaution.

Regardless of what you choose, make sure your dog, cat, or other small companion isn’t around when using a household cleaner.

Misplaced Medications

It’s easy to drop a small pill on the floor, and if you can’t find it, you can be sure the family dog will. Prescription and over-the-counter meds present big problems if ingested by a pet. Pets don’t metabolize these medications as a human would, which can result in an emergency situation, including kidney or liver failure.

Although it may seem convenient to keep a bottle of pills on the kitchen table or by the bed, consider a safer storage solution in a room with good lighting to reduce those scrambles for dropped pills.

Poisons Intended for Pests

Sadly, many pets (and wildlife) are poisoned each year due to the assumption that rodenticide or insecticide will ONLY harm the pest in question.

If you’re dealing with mice, cockroaches, or other critters, plan to board your pet while a professional addresses the problem. Better yet, use products that are humane (for mice) or natural, pet-safe deterrents.

How to Handle an Emergency

If you think your pet has ingested something suspicious, don’t wait for symptoms to emerge. Call us immediately.

Remember, your pet doesn’t have to ingest these chemicals to become ill. Toxic substances can also be absorbed through the skin.

While there are many dangerous chemicals out there (and in your home), you can protect your fur friend by doing your research and keeping all cleaners and products carefully stowed away. Our team is always here to help, so please contact us with additional questions.