There are many things that are not overtly poisonous to people, that can harm your pets. In addition, it should come as no surprise that pets could get into things that we thought were put “out of harms way”.

Here are a few pointers for keeping poisons away from your pets

  • While we don’t worry about eating our houseplants, many are extremely tempting, and hazardous to pets. Azalea, oleander, mistletoe, palm, Easter lily, yew and a huge list of other common plants can be harmful, or even fatal. If you have a pet that tends to chew your houseplants, don’t take chances, get rid of the plants

  • Cleaning agents, bleach and detergents can burn eyes and skin, and can be fatal in small doses because of difference in metabolism and the small size of the pets

  • Never use rat, mouse, slug, ant or roach bait traps where the pet can get them. Remember, if your cat eats a mouse that has ingested the bait, he will get just as sick.

  • Never use human medication on your pets without speaking to a veterinarian. One regular strength acetaminophen (Tylenol) is enough to kill a cat. Even vitamins can be harmful

  • Chocolate, onions, garlic, are all toxic to dogs

  • Cigarettes, and especially cigarette butts with their concentration of toxins are very toxic to pets

  • Alcohol should never be given to pets

  • Batteries, pennies, mothballs, dryer sheets, play-dough, coffee grounds, are all common household items that can be fatal

  • Antifreeze is sweet smelling, and a teaspoon left on the driveway can be fatal

  • Oil and gas are also toxic

  • Flea products, used incorrectly or combined can and do cause major health problems. Never use a dog product on a cat

  • Fertilizers, insect sprays, weed killers all have an odor pleasant to dogs and cats. They are likely to roll in them or eat the grass they were applied to.

  • Lime is another outdoor product that can cause serious burns

  • Pet proof your house the same way you would baby-proof it.

  • Keep all medications behind closed doors; pets can eat container and contents.

In an emergency you can contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. There is a $50 consulting fee. 1-888-426-4435, charge to credit card. 1-900-443-0000, charge to phone bill.