Pet Health Tips & More


10 Things That Could Make Your Pet Sick

Most responsible pet owners make a sincere effort to keep chemicals, poisons & other dangerous substances far away from their furry or feathered friends..  However, these same people may not realize how many other, less obvious pet toxins may lurk in the home.

This list is far from comprehensive, but here are 10 common items that could make your pet sick:


It may be tempting to treat your pet with human medications, but no drugs should be given to animals without first consulting your veterinarian.  As always, if you have any questions about medications, call Tumalo Animal Hospital at 541-389-1540.  Ibuprofen in particular can cause significant intestinal and kidney damage.  Many other prescription and over-the-counter human medications are harmful or even fatal to pets. Also remember that childproof medicine containers are rarely animal-proof, and your pet could ingest an entire bottle of drugs.

2. PET MEDICATIONS Even though they are prescribed by your veterinarian, keep these far out of reach of your pet.  They are often enticingly flavored, so if your pet finds it's way into the bottle (and they will try!) they are likely to gobble up far more than a safe dosage.

3. GRAPES AND RAISINS While these may seem like a healthy treat, they can cause kidney failure in dogs.  As few as seven grapes can be toxic!  Also beware of onions and garlic, which can also be harmful in larger amounts.

4.  SUGAR-FREE GUM, MINTS These often contain xylitol, a sweetener that can cause low blood sugar and liver failure in animals.  It can also be present in human cough syrup, which should also never be administered to your pet.

5.  CHOCOLATE This is not a myth.  Chocolate can be deadly for dogs and other pets. The mild stimulant in chocolate is far from mild in pets.  It can cause seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and heart problems.  Coffee and other caffeinated drinks contain similar substances and can also be dangerous.

6.  ALCOHOL Your dog may be your best bud, but don't share a Bud with him.  Even very small amounts of alcohol can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory problems in animals, and may be fatal.

7.  LILIES Many plants are toxic to pets, but lilies top the list.  A cat that ingests even a small amount of lily can incur severe kidney damage.  Other dangerous plants include (but aren't limited to) sago palms, tulip bulbs, azaleas, rhododendrons, yew and English ivy.

8.  BATTERIES Again, most corrosive acids are carefully kept away from pets, but owners may not think to keep batteries out of reach.  Acid escaping from a chewed battery can cause corrosive injuries to the mouth and stomach. Surprisingly, liquid potpourri can be similarly dangerous.

9.  CHRISTMAS TREES The holidays may be over, but remember that ribbon, tinsel and other decorations can cause intestinal damage, and that Christmas tree water (as well as any other houseplant water) may contain dangerous bacteria and fertilizers.

10.  CITRONELLA CANDLES Citronella may repel insects, but it attracts dogs, and can cause diarrhea & cramping if ingested.

If you think your pet may have ingested one of the above toxins or any other dangerous substance, call Tumalo Animal Hospital at 541-389-1540 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435

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