Pet Wellness Guides > National Poison Prevention Week - Pet Insurance Review

National Poison Prevention Week

Posted: 03/21/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Health problems , Pet care , Top Tips

Our fur babies are precious members of the family and we want to ensure they live long and healthy lives. Sadly, many dogs and cats around the country lose their lives to common household chemicals, which can be toxic to pets. This National Poison Prevention Week, we thought it was important to remind pet parents of the potential dangers lurking around the home and how to keep their pets safe.

Common Animal Toxins 

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has identified the following as the most common toxins responsible for poisoning pets:

OTC Medications

Over-the-counter medications are the number 1 cause for pet poisonings each year. Pets have been known to become very ill from ingesting things like vitamins, herbal supplements and common cold and flu medications. In fact, according to the APCC, 42,000 cases from OTC medication poisoning were reported in 2019 alone.

National Poison Prevention Week

Human Prescription Medications

The second biggest cause of pet poisonings is human prescription medications, with over 39,000 cases reported in 2019. Prescriptions include medicines for children’s ADHD, antidepressants and heart medications. Many people leave their pills out in the open on the kitchen counter or bedside table for easy access. But what is easy access for you is also easy access for your pet.

Human Foods

Just because it’s safe for you to eat does NOT mean it’s safe for your pet. In fact, the number 3 cause of pet poisonings is common foods found in many kitchens. Dangerous foods include Xylitol sweetener (found in many candies and sugarless gum), grapes, raisins, onions and protein bars.


While chocolate is a human food, it is so dangerous to pets that it deserves its own section. Chocolate is actually the number 4 cause of pet poisoning, with over 60 calls into the APCC in 2019. During the holidays, when chocolate candies are often eaten, be sure to keep all of it out of reach of your pets. 

National Poison Prevention Week

Pet Medications

Many pet medications are flavored with chicken, beef and tuna to make them more palatable to our fur babies. While that can be a good thing, it can also be dangerous if your pet is tempted to break into the bottle and drink the whole thing. 

Household Items

There are so many common household items that can be deadly to our fur babies. Be sure to keep things like paints, glues, and cleaning products out of reach. Do not store in cabinets under your sink unless you are going to have a special latch to keep pets and small children out.

National Poison Prevention Week


Rat poison is actually made to taste very good to attract the rats to eat it. Unfortunately pets, especially dogs, find rat poison delicious as well. 


Each year thousands of pets become deathly ill by ingesting common ant baits, bug sprays and roach traps.


There are many common indoor plants and outdoor plants that are dangerous to pets. Just because they’re pretty, don’t assume they can’t also be deadly to your fur babies.

Tips for Poison Proofing Your Home

Let’s take a tour around the house and discuss some of the ways you can poison-proof each room.

Living Room

Be certain you only have pet-friendly plants. Keep all chewing gum and cigarettes away from pets. This means don’t leave your purse or bag laying on the sofa. 


As you saw, many common foods that are safe and even healthy for humans are potentially deadly to your pet. Be sure to keep chocolate, grapes, raisins and other harmful foods off of counters. Also, pets, especially dogs, get into trouble when they can easily get into the garbage can. To be as safe as possible use a can that has a lid that can be fastened shut. Also, make sure to use a safety latch on the cabinets beneath the sink where you store any cleaning products.


The bathroom is a treasure trove of both prescription and OTC medications. And many of us are guilty of leaving them out on the counter, giving our fur babies easy access. The safest thing you can do is to get into the habit of closing your bathroom door to keep all curious four-legged family members out. 


Ideally you should keep your pets out of the garage, but it’s not always easy. Be sure any rat poison, paints, automotive products like antifreeze and brake fluid are stored up high and out of reach. Should you accidentally spill anything in your garage, clean up the spill immediately and thoroughly. 


There are fertilizers and insecticides that can seriously harm your pet. You should avoid all toxic chemicals in the yard and only use products that say ‘Safe For Pets and Children.’ 

What to Do if Your Pet Still Becomes Poisoned?

If you take the above precautions, your pet should be safe from danger. But being human, we sometimes forget to put that chocolate bar away or forget to latch the garbage can before we leave for work. So even with the best of intentions, our pets can still get into trouble.

What should you do if you think your pet has ingested something poisonous?

Remain calm but act quickly. Call your vet if the office is open. You can also call the 24/7 hotline provided by the APCC. That number is (888) 426-4435. They will guide you on the next steps to take.

Pet Insurance is There – Because Accidents Happen

The fact you’ve read this entire article shows just how much you care about your fur baby. And though you will no doubt take every precaution for their safety, serious illness and accidents can occur without warning.

Are you financially prepared to get your baby life-saving treatment?

More and more pet parents are turning to pet insurance because it gives them peace of mind knowing they can get their pet the care they need without draining their savings account.

Get a free quote today.

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  1. National Poison Prevention Week:
  2. Poisonous Household Products:
  3. Pet Health: Common household items may be toxic to your pet:



The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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