Pet Safety

Free Poison Hotline - Kansas State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital

ASPCA - National Poison Control Center - 1-888-426-4435  (charge for service)

Antifreeze -   This substance has a sweet taste and is very appealing to your pets.  One teaspoon of antifreeze can kill a small pet.  Keep pets away from areas that contain antifreeze - such as a garage.

Aspirin - We recommend you consult with your vet prior to giving aspirin to your dog.  The School for Champions website has a wonderful article on the use of aspirin:

Avocado - The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.

Blue Green Algae Toxicity Be aware of algae in lakes and ponds as some algae can be extremely toxic to pets while swimming or drinking.

Chewy's/Rawhide/Pigs Ears - Use caution and check ingredients.  These items can get lodged in a dog's throat and some are not easily digestible.

Cocoa Mulch - This mulch has a wonderful chocolate scent that many animals find very appealing.  The ingredients in this mulch are deadly if ingested.

Electrical cords - Small puppies seem to have a fascination with electrical cords!  An electrical shock to a small puppy can cause heart shock, difficulty breathing, and burn marks on the lips or tongue.

Fireworks/Thunder- Keep your pet inside as most animals become scared of loud noises. Turn music or TV up to try to buffer sound. Talking to your pet will provide comfort.

Flea Infestation - Flea infestation can rapidly get out of control.  Your vet can prescribe a flea prevention medication for your pet, and you will need to hire an exterminator or bomb your home for flea extermination.  A good website for tips on flea prevention is

Fruit Seeds/Stems/Leaves - Apple, Almond, Apricot, Peach, Wild Cherries, Plum, Balsam Pear,
Prunes and similar fruit have seeds that contain Cyanide.  Cyanide is poisonous to dogs and humans.  Symptoms are Diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain


Garlic/Onions - are toxic to dogs as they contain thiosulphate.  Ingestion can cause haemolytic anemia, gastroenteritis, vomiting, diarrhea

Glues - Some glues may expand in the stomach and cause severe obstructions that will require surgery to remove.  The ingestion of glue can also cause severe oral and esophageal burns.

Grapes and Raisins - These are toxic to dogs and may cause vomiting and kidney failure.

Heavy objects -  Many pets have been severely injured or died due to large objects falling on them.  Make sure these objects are secure and stable.

Hotel Rooms -  Always check your hotel room thoroughly before letting your pet wander free in the room.  People have found rat poison, prescription medications, broken glass and other assorted items left behind by the last guest.  These are all items that can cause harm to your pet.

Hurricane and Storm Safety - If you must evacuate during a storm, make sure you are going someplace that allows pets or have made arrangements for the care of your pet. Take crates, food, medicine and wee, wee pads with you. Make sure your pet has proper identification. If being treated by vet or on medication you should take your medical records.

Leashes - Make sure your pets collar fits properly.  A pet can easily escape if a collar is too loose.  Loose collars can get caught on protruding objects or a pet can get their mouth caught up while trying to chew.  Use harnesses over collars for toy dogs with delicate throats who are prone to collapsing trachea.   Leash should be of good quality and periodically check for raveling or fraying.

Macadamia Nuts - causes locomotory difficulties.  Affects the skeletal muscles and can cause weakness or paralysis.

Potpourri - The liquid potpourri is highly caustic as well as tasty to your pet.  Ingestion can cause severe esophageal and mouth burns.  If untreated, the ingestion can be life threatening.

Rattlesnake Bites - The venom of a rattlesnake is poisonous.  The faster the bite is recognized, the more effective the treatment is. Do not try to cut the bite wound open or suck out the poison. Seek veterinary care immediately for proper treatment  Tyke's Story

Reclining Chairs -  Recliners are a hazard to small animals and puppies as they may crawl under them or lay at the foot of the chair.  When you come down from the reclining position you can crush your pet.   Always check before lowering your recliner.

Shock Collars -  We do not recommend shock collars for toy dogs.  Click on the link below to read a personal story about the damage a shock collar can do.  Duke's Story

Shredders -  Keep pets away from shredders and turn off and unplug when not in use.  Curious pets have gotten tongues, ears, skin, fur, and paws caught in the teeth of shredders causing serious injury and even death.

Ticks - Check your pet regularly for ticks.  If you are not familiar with a tick, click here to see what one looks like.   Ticks come in a variety of sizes and shapes.  Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood/tissue of their host and they can transmit bacteria to the host within 24-48 hours.  Ticks carry many diseases such as lyme disease and rocky mountain spotted fever. Properly remove a tick by using a pair of pointed tweezers.  Grasp the mouthparts of the tick as close to the skin as possible.  Pull the tick straight out with a firm and steady force.  Wash the area with soap and water.  Do NOT remove a tick by touching it with a burnt match or swabbing with alcohol or using petroleum jelly as these methods will aggravate the tick and cause it to release more bacteria into the bloodstream.

Toads - Toads secrete a substance that can irritate a dog's tongue or eyes.  Catching, chewing or licking a toad may cause excessive salivation and sometime disorientation.  It usually is not very serious.  Flushing  out his/her mouth with water is normally all that is needed.  However, some toads (Colorado River Toad, Bufo Toads and the Giant Brown Toad to name a few) are poisonous.  It is best to take you dog to your vet or call your vet if your dog has come into contact with ANY toad.

Trash Cans - Trash cans can contain items that are hazardous to your pet and are full of dangers.  Items such as bones, ribbons, dental floss, string, discarded chocolate are all dangerous materials.  Keep trash cans covered our out of reach of pets.

Travel - Confine your pet while traveling in a car. Use a crate, booster seat, or safety harness.  Many a pet has died or escaped in a car accident.  Always put your pet on a leash for potty breaks and provide plenty of water.  Call ahead for pet friendly hotels.  

Xylitol - is a sugar substitute for humans that can cause liver failure, internal bleeding and a fatal hypoglycemic reaction in dogs.  This ingredient is found in chewing gum and mints.  If veterinary intervention is not sought immediately even a small amount of gum, as few as two or three sticks (that contain xylitol) can kill a 15 pound dog.  Major damage can occur within as few as thirty minutes to an hour after consumption.  Symptoms are loss of coordination, depression, seizures, and collapse.






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