At American Animal Hospital, we want to make sure that your pet’s needs are being met in every aspect. Just like you, nutrition is of the utmost importance. Our veterinarians will discuss with you what type of food is most beneficial for your dog or cat. Of course, a general rule of thumb is to keep human foods away from your pet. Why? Because some are okay, and some are potentially really dangerous. In honor of Pet Poison Prevention Month, we wanted to talk about some household items to keep far away from your pets.

1. Plants. There are quite a few plants that can be quite toxic for your pet, including many that are found in most homes. Before you purchase a plant for your home, be sure to check the ASPCA Poisonous Plants list! Click here to learn more.

2. Laundry Stuff. As an obvious rule of thumb, it’s probably best to keep any cleaning products in your laundry area away from your pet. While laundry detergents used to be liquid and up on a shelf, we’re seeing more detergents in pod format and left under a sink or in a box in the laundry room. Ingesting these items will cause ulcers in your pet’s mouths and stomach.

3. Acetaminophen and aspirin. Found in Tylenol and other medicine, this can cause liver damage in dogs and anemia in cats. Be careful around your cats, ingesting too much can be fatal.

4. Chocolate (all forms of it!). This is a common one, but it’s always good to get a reminder. For the record, dark chocolate is worse than milk and white chocolate, but even cocoa can be toxic if too much is ingested. If ingested, call us immediately. In both cats and dogs, too much chocolate can cause seizures and even death. When cooking, please be sure to keep all chocolate out of range for your pet. This is especially true during holidays where we see more chocolate around the house.

5. Onions and Garlic. When you’re cooking and chopping both onion and garlic, it’s imperative to make sure they do not hit the ground. Also, if cats have the full range of the counters, it’s important to keep them away. These items do not even need to be ingested to cause issues with your pet – chewing does enough damage. Digesting these items can cause anemia and stomach issues. Next time you’re cooking with either, be sure to keep a close eye on your pets.

6. Chewing Gum, Mints, Toothpaste, and Mouthwash. All of these products contain Xylitol, a sweetener that can cause serious issues with your pets! The biggest issue you’ll need to worry about is liver failure. Keep your packs of gum and mints out of range of curious cats and excited dogs.

7. Grapes and raisins. Some fruits and veggies are okay for pets, and some are not. It can get complicated. Grapes seem innocent enough, right? Think again. Even a small amount of grape juice or a raisin could cause issues as bad as kidney failure in your dog. Be careful with this one, some fruits are okay for dogs to ingest and some are not. Grapes are the latter.

If your pet does ingest any of these things, please call us. During our regular business hours, American Animal Hospital’s medical staff and resources are available to help you with any emergency your pet experiences. Our veterinary hospital is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 7:00 pm, and Saturdays 8am-2pm. If possible, please call (973)895-4999 in advance so we can prepare for your pet’s arrival.

If your pet experiences an emergency outside of our normal business hours, we recommend the following emergency hospital: AERA (973) 226-3282 Located at 1237 Bloomfield Ave, Fairfield, NJ 07004

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