In 2010, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL, fielded more than 167,000 phone calls about pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances. Almost one-quarter of calls received was about human medications ingested by pets.
The most common culprits include over the counter painkillers, antidepressants and ADHD medications. Many times the pet accidentally ingested the medication when a pill was dropped on the floor.
Next on the list are insecticides, which made up about 20% of the call volume. That was followed by substances commonly used to kill mice and rats, that was ingested by animals when left around the home.
People food like grapes, raisins, onions and garlic was also a major toxin, as was veterinary medication. Veterinary medication is designed to taste appealing to dogs, which means they are likely to eat all of it at once if given access to it.
Cleaning supplies also made the list. Bleach and detergents can cause corrosive injuries to the mouth and stomach.
Both house plants and outdoor plants can be harmful when ingested by pets. Lilies can cause life- threatening kidney failure in cats, while sago palms can cause liver failure in both dogs and cats.
Herbicides are also likely to be eaten by cats and dogs, as they typically have a salty taste the animals are drawn to.
Outdoor toxins such as antifreeze, fertilizers and ice melts round out the list. These items should be kept in securely locked sheds or up on shelves where pets cannot get to them.