Many common household items can pose a threat to animal companions. Even some items specifically meant for pets could cause health problems. To protect your pet, simply use common sense and take the same precautions you would with a child. Although rodent poisons and insecticides are the most common sources of companion animal poisoning, the following list of less common but potentially toxic agents should be avoided if at all possible:
For more information about common household dangers, see The American Veterinary Medical Association's Pet Owner's Guide to Common Small Animal Poisons.
The HSUS recommends that pet owners use all household products with caution and keep a pet first-aid kit and manual readily available. The HSUS puts out a first-aid book in conjunction with the American Red Cross entitled Pet First Aid: Cats and Dogs. If all of your precautions fail, and you believe that your pet has been poisoned, contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary service immediately. Signs of poisoning include listlessness, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, lack of coordination, and fever.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center operates a hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 888-426-4435 for a fee of $45 per case. If you call, you should be prepared to provide the following information: the name of the poison your animal was exposed to, the amount and how long ago; the species, breed, age, sex, and weight of your pet; and the symptoms the animal is displaying. You'll also be asked to provide your name, address, phone number, and credit card information.