Courtesy Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society

March 17 – 23 is Poison Prevention Week, and a great time to be aware of toxins to your pets.

  1. Rat poison is deadly to pets.
  2. Antifreeze, which has a sweet taste, causes kidney failure in pets.
  3. Lilies are extremely toxic to cats. Don’t bring them into the home or within reach outside.
  4. Human medications not prescribed by a veterinarian should never be given to your pets. Be careful to not drop your own medications on the floor. Pets can also ingest topical creams by licking them off of your skin.
  5. Recreational drugs are dangerous to pets. If your pet has been exposed, telling your veterinarian can save its life.
  6. Wild amanita mushrooms found under or near oak trees and algae blooms in stagnant water cause liver failure if ingested by your pet.
  7. Xylitol, a common artificial sweetener found in baked goods, peanut butter, drink powders, candy, pudding, ketchup, barbecue sauces, and pancake syrups, can cause low blood sugar, resulting in seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs.
  8. Grapes, raisins, onions, macadamia nuts, and chocolate (especially dark and baking chocolate) are toxic for dogs. Avocados are toxic for birds. Coffee, tea, and
  9. caffeine pills are dangerous for all pets.
  10. Flea products meant for dogs can be toxic and cause seizures.

If you think your pet has been exposed to a toxin, contact a veterinarian immediately. Keep hydrogen peroxide at home in case you need to induce vomiting, and know the number of your vet and Animal Poison Control (888-426-4435).

The Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society consists of more than 75 small animal hospitals and 200 practitioners in Erie and Niagara counties. Visit to learn more.