Skip to main content

Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company.

Protect pets from common household toxins

Common household foods and cleaning products can pose a danger to pets. Dr. Lee provides information on household hazards that may pose a threat to your pet.

Protect pets from common household toxins

Q: My friend’s cat died after she licked a small amount of Children’s Tylenol liquid that had spilled from the bottle after the lid was left loose. I was shocked. Are there other medications that are toxic to cats?

A: Yes, and more than you’d think, because cats have an unusual metabolism. Tragically, accidental poisoning of pets is all too common.

In 2017, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center reported that 35 percent of pet poisonings resulted from accidental exposure to human prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Each category accounted for half the reports.

To protect pets and children, tighten lids and store all medications in their original childproof containers in a closed cabinet where inquisitive fur kids and youngsters can’t find them.

After medications, the next most common cause of pet poisonings was human food with 19.7 percent of toxicities involving chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, alcohol, raw yeast dough, the artificial sweetener xylitol and other human foods pets shouldn’t eat.

A surprisingly high 8.9 percent of poisonings were due to veterinary drug overdoses. Since many are flavored, it’s important to keep them secured where pets can’t reach them.

Rounding out the list of pet toxins were household items, like paint, glue, laundry detergent pods and cleaning products (8.6 percent of poisonings); insecticides, such as bug sprays and ant baits (6.7 percent); rodenticides (6.3 percent); plants such as lilies (5.4 percent); and garden products, like fertilizer and compost (2.6 percent).

Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at

  • Instagram logo
  • facebook
  • tiktok
  • Twitter

No one is permitted to sell, solicit or negotiate an insurance policy without a producer license in the state in which the plan is sold, and all prospects should be directed to Figo Pet Insurance. The information contained in this website is for illustrative purposes only and coverage under any pet insurance policy is expressly subject to the conditions, restrictions, limitations, exclusions (including pre-existing conditions), and terms of the policy documentation issued by the insurer. Availability of this program is subject to each state’s approval and coverage may vary by state. Coverage underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (IAIC), a Delaware Insurance Company, 11333 North Scottsdale Road Suite 160 Scottsdale, AZ 85254. Live Vet and the Figo Pet Cloud are separate non-insurance services unaffiliated with IAIC. Figo Pet Insurance's California license number is 0K02763.

Copyright © 2015-2023 Figo Pet Insurance LLC. All rights reserved