By Steve Graham, Networx
Most responsible homeowners make an effort to keep harsh chemicals, rat poison and other dangerous substances away from pets. However, the same people may not realize how many other pet toxins lurk in the home. Here are 10 other items that could make your pet sick.
1. Ibuprofen: You may have the best intentions in giving human pain medications to pets, but no drugs should be given to pets without first consulting your veterinarian. Ibuprofen in particular can cause significant intestinal and kidney damage, but many other over-the-counter and prescription medications for humans can harm animals. Also keep in mind that child-proof medicine bottles are not necessarily animal-proof, and pets could ingest a whole bottle of drugs.
2. Pet medications: Itís also important to keep animal medications out of reach of pets. They are often enticingly flavored, so if pets find their way into the bottle, they are likely to gobble far more than a safe dosage.
3. Grapes and raisins: Itís also important to be careful with snacks for animals. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Some tests show as few as seven grapes can be toxic. Onions and garlic are also dangerous for both cats and dogs, though typically in larger amounts.
4. Sugar-free gum and mints: Sugarless candy and other items often contain xylitol, a sweetener that can cause low blood sugar and liver failure.
5. Chocolate: Itís not a myth propagated by chocoholics trying to hoard their sweets. Chocolate can be deadly for dogs and other pets. A mild stimulant in chocolate can be far from mild for pets. It can cause seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and heart problems. Dark chocolate is particularly dangerous. Also, coffee and other caffeinated drinks contain similar substances.