For First Time Ever, OTC Medications Top ASPCA’s List of Pet Toxins

ASPCA top 10 pet toxins 2015

Be sure to keep any over-the-counter medications, including herbal supplements, out of your dog’s reach. For the first time ever, these medications topped the 2015 ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) list of the 10 toxins most commonly ingested by pets.

“We’ve seen numerous new vitamins, herbal supplements and joint supplements hit the market over the last year, exposing more pets to these types of products, and more of these products to our pets,” said Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director of the APCC, in a press release.

“Just as we recommend for prescription medications, it’s crucial that pet owners keep these potentially toxic items out of their pets’ reach and keep them behind closed doors.”

Prescription drugs, which formerly held the No. 1 spot, dropped to No. 2 last year. Here’s the complete list.

1. Over-the-counter medications

More than 28,500 cases of pets ingesting these meds and supplements were reported in 2015. This includes about 7,000 items, including everything from aspirin to topical ointments.

2. Prescription medications

About 16 percent of pets who were poisoned last year ate prescribed meds intended for humans.

3. Insecticides

More than 15,000 pets ingested insect poison.

4. Food

There were more than 14,600 APCC cases of pets, mostly dogs, becoming sick after eating toxic human foods such as onions, garlic, grapes and items containing the artificial sweetener xylitol.

5. Household items

Cleaning products, fire logs and paint were the most common household items ingested by pets last year.

6. Veterinary medications

More than 7 percent of APCC’s cases last year were pets who overdosed on their own meds, especially chewable ones.

7. Chocolate

Although it seems like it should be included with No. 4, so many pets are sickened by chocolate that it got its own spot on the list. In fact,the APCC averaged more than 30 cases of chocolate poisoning a day last year.

8. Plants

About 5 percent of pets, mostly cats, were sickened by eating indoor and outdoor plants last year.

9. Rodenticides

There are more humane ways to kill rodents and save your pets, as well. In 2015 the APCC had more than 8,100 cases of pets who ingested rat poison.

10. Lawn and garden products

About 3 percent of pets ingested herbicides and fungicides.

March happens to be National Animal Poison Prevention Month, but protecting your pet from these toxins is something that needs to be done all year long.

If you think your pet may have ingested something poisonous, immediately call your veterinarian or the APCC at 888-426-4435.

ASPCA top pet toxins infographic

Photos via Twitter; ASPCA

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!