National Pet Poison Prevention Week

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Top Toxins that can poison pets National Poison Prevention Week is the third week in March, and it's a good time to take a look around the home with your pet's safety in mind.

Last year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Ill., handled nearly 180,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances, many of which are everyday household items

Thousands of pet owners called the 24-hour poison control hotline last year. Here are some common household items that resulted in frequent calls to APCC, and why they are so dangerous to pets.

1. Prescription human medications

The APCC handled 24,673 cases regarding human prescription medications, the top offender for the sixth year in a row. The top three types of medications that animals were exposed were heart medications, antidepressants and pain medications. Many instances of exposure occurred when owners dropped their medication when preparing to take it, and before they knew it, their pet had gobbled it off the floor.

2. Insecticides

Insecticides are used in the yard, home and on our animals, and nearly 16 percent of all calls to the poison hotline were related to insecticides. Always read the label before using any insecticide on your pet, in your home or in your yard.

3. Over-the-counter human medications

Over-the-counter human products, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and herbal supplements accounted for nearly 15 percent of calls in 2013. Many of these products are tasty to pets, and some can be life-threatening if ingested.

4. Household products

The poison hotline fielded nearly 17,000 calls about general household products. Household toxins range from fire logs to cleaning products.

5. People food

Human foods are often appealing to pets, especially dogs. Pets can get themselves into serious trouble by ingesting onions, garlic, grapes, raisins and the sugar substitute xylitol, among other common food items.

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