Our pets are often curious and a little mischievous, and they love exploring your home for things to play with or tasty treats. Curious pets may even encounter products or common household items that seem enticing, but could be potentially toxic or dangerous. Items like medications, certain human foods, cleaning agents and plants can pose a threat when ingested by your furry friends, and while some products may seem dangerous, there are some that aren’t as bad as we fear. Not every ingestion is going to be cause for panic, so the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has put together their top five list of commonly feared items that you should be mindful of but shouldn’t panic over if your pet gets into them.
1. Silica gel, desiccant and oxygen absorber packets can be found in shoe boxes and handbags as well as things made of leather to keep them dry while they are packaged. Desiccants can be found in packages of jerky and pill bottles. If a pet gets into and ingests a silica gel packet, an oxygen absorber or a desiccant, mild stomach upset is all that is typically seen. If your pet is small and the packet is plastic and on the larger size, there is a small risk that it could get stuck in their stomach or intestines and cause a blockage, however this is not very common.
2. Most birth control pills have a low concentration of hormones, so if your pet were to ingest even a whole packet of pills, it will just lead to stomach upset such as mild vomiting, and possibly diarrhea. Often, you should be more worried about the plastic packaging than the actual pills. If enough pills are ingested by your pet, changes to their bone marrow can be seen. However, it would take hundreds of pills in a medium-sized dog to be a problem.
3. As strange as it may sound, cats and dogs love to eat ant and cockroach baits. These baits usually contain peanut butter and/or sugar to attract insects, but this means they are tasty for pets as well. Luckily there is such a small amount of bait in these products, that stomach upset is typically the only problem seen. Just like with birth control pills, oftentimes, the plastic packaging is the bigger concern because it can potentially cause a blockage if your pet swallows the bait station whole.
4. Glow jewelry can seem highly toxic because pets tend to show dramatic signs when they bite into these types of products. Typically, they will drool, retch, gag, shake their head and even vomit after biting into glow jewelry. This is because the material inside the glow jewelry is very bitter. The good news is, these ingestions are not serious and the most you can expect is reaction to the taste.
5. Toilet tank tablets tend to be a common concern for pets who love to drink out of the toilet bowl. As long as the product has been diluted in the toilet water, you should only see mild stomach upset. However, if your pet chews directly on the tablet, chemical burns can be seen in the mouth and you should consult your veterinarian.
While these products don’t cause too much cause for concern, any incident should be looked at on a case by case basis. If your pet has ingested something foreign, you should contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for further guidance and assistance.
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