National Pet ID Week

It’s National Pet ID Week!

1 in 3 pets will go missing…proper pet ID helps them get home faster!

One of the biggest fears for pet owners is for their beloved furry family member to go missing. Unfortunately, it’s a much more likely occurrence than some owners realize. In America, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 pets will get lost at some point in their lives. Even more frightening, only 2% of lost cats and 20% of lost dogs get returned to their families. The ones that do get home, are usually the ones with up-to-date identification. That’s why National Pet ID Week was started: to educate and inform pet owners on the importance of proper pet ID. Without ID, it is incredibly difficult to get a missing pet back to their homes. Here’s what proper pet ID looks like so you can protect your pet!

Visible Identification

The first and most common step in ID’ing your pet is visible identification. The most used form of visible identification is a collar with tags. ID tags are inexpensive and just putting one form of contact, like your phone number, greatly increases your pet’s chances of making it home. You can get personalized ID tags from most pet stores.

Your pet’s collar with tags should be on at all times, even when just at home. You never know when an accident or disaster can occur. If your dog has a collar with tag on, it also makes strangers more likely to approach them if they have escaped from home. A dog without visible ID might just look like a stray and make potential rescuers wary. By putting their tags on all the time, you will have some peace of mind.


Although putting a microchip in your dog or cat sounds scary, it is actually a relatively quick and painless experience. A lot of responsible owners microchip their new puppy or kitten at the time as their neutering. Microchips are a good supplement to visible ID because you can put more contact information in them. Some owners are hesitant to put a lot of contact information on a visible dog tag for privacy reasons. A microchip can hold much more information without putting it on view to the whole world. If for some reason your dog or cats collar falls off while missing, a shelter or vet can still scan them and find out where they belong.

Keep them accurate!

Even if you fully ID and microchip your pet, none of it matters if you don’t keep the information accurate. Most microchip companies require you to register the microchip with them once it’s implanted. Make sure to contact them to register it as soon as the chip is implanted. It also doesn’t hurt to have the chips periodically scanned to ensure they are still working. You can get this done at your pet’s routine vet appointments. ID tags should also be updated every time contact information changes.

Spend some time this week making sure your pet is properly ID’d! Update any inaccurate information and contact your vet to set up a microchipping appointment! You never know when or where your pet can go missing…give them a fighting chance at making it home to you!

Is Rover an Actual Pet Care Business?

“Tech” Sites like Rover and Wag are becoming increasingly popular with pet parents…but are they providing true pet CARE services? 

Is Rover a Pet Care business?  This is an excellent question and the answer is no. They are not.  Rover is an online platform that allows the public to sign up with them to be pet care providers. What does this mean for pet owners seeking care? Let’s start by taking a look at the structure of Rover:

  • In section 2.2 they say “ is NOT a Service Provider and, except for emergency phone support …does not provide pet care services.”

Is a web application that clearly states it does not provide service an ideal source for pet owners to find and secure care for their homes and furkids? It comes down to clients feeling safe and confident with the structure of how services are provided, such as:

  • Is there a local manager available to oversee care and meet clients?  No.  Rover operates nationally through a call center.  There are no local representatives who oversee care.   
  • Are the Rover care providers employees?  No.  Rover operates strictly through an independent contractor (1099) organizational set up.   
  • Are the care providers trained?  No.  By the legal nature of independent contractors, training is strictly prohibited by companies contracting their services.  Rover simply provides access to online materials for providers. 
  • Are interviews conducted when people sign up with Rover?  No.  Rover reviews online profiles that are set up by the public. They approve providers based on that information and a short set of questions.  Rover makes this very clear in section 2.6 of their terms of service which is titled Pet Owners are Solely Responsible for Evaluating Service Providers.”
  • Is a background check required for Rover providers?  No.  Rover makes a background check available, however it is optional.
  • As independent contractors, does Rover ensure providers are fully insured?  No.  Rover provides a blanket policy and it clearly states in section 8.5; “Service Providers are solely responsible for carrying insurance sufficient to comply with legal requirements in the jurisdictions where Service Providers provide services. makes no commitment that the Insurance Program will suffice for that purpose. does not verify whether Service Providers have obtained insurance, and Pet Owners are advised to inquire directly with Service Providers about this subject.”

In all respects, Rover sounds, and is advertised like a pet care business.  However, the details of how a company is structured are vitally important when it comes to client confidence and safety.  It is also important that the structure of the business reflect the industry they are in. When it comes to something as personal as pet and home care, the business should embrace and strive for the personal relationships developed as a result of their services.

Click here for more information, Tech Sites 


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April Pet Holidays

These April observances will help keep your precious pets safe and healthy

April isn’t just for celebrating Easter…we’re honoring a few other observances this month! April is all about keeping your dog or cat healthy and disease free. Organizations nationwide will be working with pet owners and pet lovers to raise awareness on three issues: heartworm prevention, pet first-aid, and Lyme disease prevention. Here’s a brief summary of the these three separate observances.

National Heartworm Awareness Month

Heartworm disease is caused by foot-long worms that can live in the heart, lung, and other blood vessels of dogs and cats. These worms are transmitted by mosquitoes through their bites. The worms enter a pet’s system as undeveloped larvae and then mature over 6-7 months. Once fully mature, these worms wreak havoc on a pet’s physiological systems and can be be fatal.

The early signs of heartworm disease include: cough, fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight loss. If left undetected and untreated, heartworms can cause heart failure and fluid build-up in the abdomen. Due to their fatal nature once transmitted, the best way to protect your pets from heartworms is prevention.

At your pet’s next vet appointment, make sure that your dog or cat is is getting all the necessary heartworm prevention medication they need. For more information on this topic, visit the website for the American Heartworm Society.

National Pet First-Aid Awareness Month

Most people probably know general first-aid for humans, but many may not know first-aid for their pets. Since our pets are members of our family, it only makes sense to have a basic understanding of when and how to use first-aid for your pet. Use the month of April to brush up on what you already know, or make a commitment to learn pet first-aid. You never know when an emergency could happen.

The American Red Cross hosts classes nationwide to teach and certify owners and pet professionals on pet first-aid. They also have a mobile app for download to give you first-aid tips at your fingertips. For more information on pet-first aid, check out the American Red Cross website.

Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month

The Lyme Disease Foundation has designated April as a month for increasing awareness about Lyme Disease in dogs. Spread by ticks, Lyme disease causes many serious health problems in humans and dogs alike. Dog owners should be especially aware of the risk of tick-borne illness since dogs spend so much time running outdoors. They are easily spread by running through plants, foliage, and tall grasses.

Ticks emerge in spring and remain active throughout the summer. They also go through bursts of activity during the fall. If a tick latches onto your dog, it’s important to remove it as quickly as possible. Lyme Disease can be transmitted within 24 hours of the tick bite. Your vet can give you many pharmaceutical options for tick prevention and how to handle a tick bite. You can also learn more about signs, symptoms, and treatment of Lyme Disease at the American Lyme Disease Foundation website.

Dog Behavior Series: Hackles Up – What Does it Mean?

Dog Behavior Series: Hackles Up

A dog’s raised hackles are an involuntary reaction to intense feeling

As we’ve been learning over the past few weeks with our Dog Behavior Series, dogs use every part of their body to communicate. From the tip of their tongue to the tip of their tail, dogs use body language to express a wide variety of emotions. They even use their hair to communicate! All dogs have a line of hair running down their back that raises or lowers in response to certain outside stimuli. Many call these hairs a dog’s hackles. When a dog raises their hackles, their owner might immediately think that the dog is being aggressive. However, raised hackles doesn’t always mean aggression. It can indicate a variety of feelings, including aggression, depending on the circumstance. By learning more about this biological phenomenon, owners can better discern what their dog is trying to tell them.

The biology of “hackles”

The scientific term for raised hackles is “piloerection”. Certain hairs located along the spine of a dog from their neck to the base of their tail are connected to small muscles called arrector pili”. These muscles contract under certain circumstances causing the hair shaft to move, making your dog’s hair stand up and puff out. This contraction of tiny muscles is an involuntary biological phenomenon to outside stimuli. Raised hackles is very similar to humans getting goosebumps during a good song or emotional moment. The phenomenon responds to the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system creates the fight or flight response. These responses are involuntary and activated by adrenaline and higher stress situations. Dogs have no control over whether their hackles raise or not.

What is the purpose of “hackles”

In terms of evolution, “hackling” is way to increase chances of survival. By raising their hairs, a dog can look much bigger than it actually is. In the wild, if a dog ran across an unfamiliar dog or animal, the adrenaline from the encounter would raise the hair and make them look more intimidating. The hope would be that the other animal would back off and not start a fight.

In the world of domestic dogs, raised hackles can be the result of feelings such as fear, arousal, surprise, insecurity, excitement, nervousness, or defensive behaviors. The meaning behind their raising is all dependent on the context of the situation. Younger dogs who are still unsure of their surroundings and unsure of how to react may raise their hackles. In general, piloerection is just an involuntary reaction to an intense feeling. Stiffness in the body or tail can help you deduce what the specific feeling is. Is your dog very stiff and alert with hackles raised? In this case your dog may be feeling nervous or threatened. If your dog is more relaxed and playful with hackles raised, it could be that they are just feeling very excited!

Because of the involuntary nature of piloerection, it’s important as owners to assess the situation when it happens. Overstimulation and high adrenaline can lead to more aggressive behaviors and should be avoided. If your dog’s hackles are raised, consider modifying their environment to lower the amount of stress.


Dog Behavior Series: Tail Set – What Does it Mean?

Our month-long dog behavior series…Tail Position!

They say that the human eye is the window to the soul. In dogs, the window to how they’re feeling is their body. Specifically it’s the positioning and movement of their body parts. One of the most obvious and important indicators of how a dog feels is their tail. Dogs do much of their communication through their tail via its position and wag. Although your dog’s message can only be fully understood looking at their whole body, the tail is a good place to start. In this week’s installment of our dog behavior series, we will be discussing the position and tension of your dog’s tail and what it means.

In general, they higher the tail, the more excited or alert your dog is feeling. Conversely, the lower the tail, the more submissive or unsure the dog is. A tail set somewhere in the middle suggests relaxation. Additionally, tension is also indicative a dog’s level of excitement. A more tense and stiff tail suggests they are in a state of high excitement. While a looser, more flowing tail means they are relaxed and likely looking to engage in play or being social. Look at the first two inches of tail off the end of the dog to determine its position.

High and Tense

A dog holding its tail completely vertical means he is very alert. The dog may be unsure of the situation and is listing and watching carefully.  A high and alert tail that is stiff is a sign the dog does not like what is going on, even if for a moment.  

High and Relaxed

A dog may also hold their tail high if excited but he/she is still on high alert, but the tail will often be relaxed and waving gently instead of tense and unmoving.

Neutral and relaxed

A tail that is simply at rest and relaxed or wagging in a circle or erratic pattern is the sign of a comfortable dog. They do not feel intimidated. A dog comfortable in their environment will likely let their tail hang down with no tension.

Neutral and Tense

Dogs who are feeling unsure but are watchful as to how to proceed will hold their stiffly in a neutral position. As they decide how to react to the stimulus, their tail might move higher or lower.

Low and Tense

When a dog holds its low, this is generally a signal of submission or fear. A tail held low but not completely under is a quiet signal to other dogs that they submitting. Holding a tail low and to the side of their leg is a louder signal of submission. They don’t want to engage and are giving a more obvious queue that the other dog or person “can win” within that interaction. A tail held low, between their hind legs is the ultimate show of submission.  A dog feeling very anxious or scared of their surroundings may also tuck their tails between their legs.

As you can see, a dog can communicate many messages with just the positioning of their tail. When assessing a dogs feelings through their tail, it is always important to only watch the first few inches of the tail off the back of the dog.  It is also equally important that the tail be taken into consideration with other signals the dog is showing through body language.

Dog Behavior Series: Calming Signals

Dog Behavior Series: Calming Signals

In today’s world, domesticated dogs aren’t living in packs. A typical household might only have one or two dogs. Despite their more solitary lives, they still resort to pack behaviors to communicate. Millennia of evolution have ingrained these behaviors and instincts into their DNA. Unfortunately, humans don’t use these behaviors to communicate. Because dogs can’t speak like us, it’s our duty to at least try to understand their body languages.

Among these pack behaviors used by dogs are calming signals. Turid Rugaas, a Norwegian canine ethologist and dog trainer, coined the term while studying canines. she noticed that like wolves, dogs used signals to communicate stress and to shut down aggression. Unlike wolves, the signals used by domesticated dogs are much more subtle. According to Rugaas, there may be up to 30 calming signals. Each individual dog may only use a subset of these signals. When a dog senses a high-stress situation, they may display one or more of these behaviors to diffuse tension. The goal is to not have resort to aggression.

What are are these calming behaviors?

Here are some common examples of a dog using calming signals:

  • Yawning: The dog may yawn when someone bends over him. When you sound angry. If there is yelling and quarreling in the family. When the dog is at the vet’s office. If someone is walking directly at the dog. When the dog is excited with happiness and anticipation. Humans can yawn back at a dog to let them know they come in peace.
  • Licking/tongue flicks: Licking is a signal that is used often, especially by black dogs, dogs with a lot of hair around their faces, and others whose facial expressions for some reason are more difficult to see than those of dogs with lighter colors, visible eyes and long noses.
  • Turning head away: The dog can turn his head slightly to one side, turn the head completely over to the side, or turn completely around so that the back and tail is facing whoever the dog is calming. This is one of the more common calming signals. Another variation is simply averting the eyes to break direct contact.
  • Play bow: Going down with front legs in a bowing position can be an invitation to play if the dog is moving legs from side to side in a playful manner. A dog standing still while bowing is often used as a signal to calm someone down. These signals often have double meanings and may be used in many different ways – often the invitation to play is a calming signal by itself because the dog is making a potentially dangerous situation less tense.
  • Sniffing the ground: Sniffing the ground may look anything like moving the nose swiftly down toward the ground and back up again, to sticking the nose to the ground and sniffing persistently for several minutes.
  • Freezing:  This is when the dog is stopping while standing completely still, sitting or laying down and remain in that position. Canine behaviorists believe this is something to do with hunting behavior – when the prey is running, the dog attacks. Once the prey stops, the dog will stop too.
  • Walking in a curve: This signal is frequently used as a calming signal, and it is the main reason why dogs may react so strongly towards meeting dogs when they are forced to walk straight at someone.. Their instincts tell them that it is wrong to approach someone like that – the owner says differently. Dogs, when given a chance, will walk in curves around each other. That’s what they do when they meet off leash and are free to do things their own way. Allow your dog to do the same when he’s with you.

What can you do to help your dog in a stressful situation?

The most important thing that you can do when working with your dog is to simply watch them. Humans have a very different communication system from dogs and many things that we do our canine companions find offensive and distressful. When our pets show us calming signals, we need to observe these and cease what we are doing. Some of the common things we do to inadvertently stress our dogs include: raising our voices, leaning over the dog, staring, patting the dog on the head, and physically manipulating the dogs body position.


Top 5 signs your dog isn’t feeling well

Top 5 Signs your Dog is Sick

Here are the top 5 warning signs that your dog could be sick

Although it sometimes seems like your dog is talking to you, when it comes to health, dogs can’t always tell you if they’re feeling sick. With something as serious as their health and safety, it’s best not to guess. Luckily, by looking out for some telltale symptoms, determining whether your dog is sick or not doesn’t have to be a guessing game. We’ve compiled the top five signs dogs give when their health is declining.

1. Vomiting

While vomiting occasionally is not something to be worried about, increased or daily vomiting is something to pay attention to. If your dog starts to vomit multiple times a day, it’s time to seek veterinary attention. What’s in your dog’s vomit is also important. Dark brown or reddish vomit means there could be blood present. Bloody vomit can indicate a serious medical issue and should be brought to your vet’s attention. Foreign bodies, like plastic or bone pieces, in the vomit should also be taken seriously. Contact your veterinarian for advice in such circumstances.

2. Diarrhea

Like vomiting, occasional diarrhea is not always an indicator of your dog being sick. Changes in your dog’s diet or minor stress can cause temporary diarrhea. Any episodes of diarrhea lasting more than a few days are something to be concerned about. Also, any stools containing blood could indicate your dog is sick.

3. Lack of Appetite

Anytime your dog refuses to eat for more than 24 hours is reason to be concerned. Dogs that don’t feel well tend to avoid eating. Accompanied with other symptoms, decreased appetite can indicate serious medical conditions.

4. Lethargy

A sleepy pup isn’t always cause for concern…especially if you just spent the day running around with them. A dog that has been unusually sleepy and unwilling to move to go eat or walk is something else. Any extreme behavioral changes like unwillingness to move or play should be brought up to your vet. A dog who is feeling sick may also start resting or sleeping in unusual places, a behavior known as hiding behavior.

5. Changes in Urination

Both increased and decreased frequency in urination can indicate a health issue in your dog. Things to look for when it comes to changes in urination habits include: peeing inside the house (if dog is housebroken), straining to pee, drinking excessively, asking to be let outside more that normal.

Bonus –  Pale Gums

A healthy dog should have pink gums. Vets often use gum color as a quick visual indicator of a dog’s health. A sick dog could have gums that are pale, white, bluish, splotchy, or even yellow. If you suspect your dog is sick take a moment to check their gum color. If they are anything but a normal pink, it could indicate a serious problem. Always contact your vet if you notice changes in gum color.

As always, with something as important as your fur-baby’s health, call your vet if you’re ever in doubt!

Top 5 signs your cat isn’t feeling well

Top 5 Signs your Cat isn’t Feeling Well

Could your cat be hiding an illness?

Keep an eye out for these subtle signs

Cat lovers know that cats show more emotion than they are given credit for. They can be cuddly, silly, energetic, and extremely interested in people. They do, however, live up to their reputation of being cunning and sneaky. This is especially true when they aren’t feeling well. Unfortunately, cats are so good about hiding their illness that their owners don’t contact a vet until the illness has progressed to critical levels. When this happens, owners can feel tremendous guilt. Often they think that it was because of their carelessness or ignorance. Of course, for truly loving and good cat owners,  this is not true. Why do cats hide that they’re not feeling well? Well, it’s written right into their basic instincts.

Cats in the wild evolved to hide when they aren’t feeling well. An animal in the wild that shows signs of weakness or sickness is an easy target for predators. For a wild cat, it’s in their best interest to hide how they’re feeling. Though this can be frustrating for cat owners who just want to take care of their kitty, there are a handful of signs that may indicate your cat is hiding an illness. To help you keep your kitty as healthy and happy as possible, we’ve gathered the top five signs that your cat may be secretly sick.

1. Change in Behavior or Attitude

It’s common for a sick cat to become reclusive and anti-social. If your social kitty suddenly spends more time hidden away, it could mean that they aren’t feeling well. This goes back to their basic instincts to hide weakness from predators. Alternatively, if your older, lazier cat suddenly becomes spunky and active, it could point to a disease like hyperthyroidism.

2. Change in Grooming Habits

Additionally, any change in your cat’s grooming habits can indicate problems in their health. If their coat becomes lack-luster or dry, your cat may have have developed a skin condition. They may also be in physical pain and therefore unwilling to groom themselves. On the other hand, over-grooming could indicate high levels of stress or parasites.

3. Change in Appetite or Thirst

Most animals exhibit decreased appetite and thirst when they’re sick. This is true for cats as well. Also, if your cat is suddenly ravenous, this could also mean the development of a certain illnesses.

4. Changes in their Litter Box

When scooping the litter box, try to make note of what is “normal” for your cat. Sudden changes in their bowel movements can be a sign of internal issues. Any sort of diarrhea means your cat is not feeling their best. Have they switched foods recently? This can change bathroom habits. If nothing has changed in their routine, though, and you notice changes in their litter box, consult your veterinarian. A sick or unhealthy cat may also start going to the bathroom outside of the litter box.

5. Abnormal Vomiting or Regurgitation

It’s normal for cats to occasionally vomit up a hairball. However, if your cat starts to have them more frequently, or is vomiting with no hair in it, it may be a sign they are sick.

If you notice any of these changes in behavior in your cat, it’s always best to reach out to your veterinarian. Any sudden change from normal, in either direction, may indicate a health issue. As always, it’s better safe than sorry so don’t hesitate to call your vet and ask their opinion.


Dog Behavior Series: Sniffing

Dog Behavior Series: Sniffing

Join us for a month-long series of understanding dog behavior!

First up, sniffing

If you’ve spent any time around dogs, it’s clear that they LOVE to sniff. They’re really good at it too. Dogs have some of the most powerful smelling organs in the world. From food, to drugs, to diseases, dogs can sniff out just about anything. However, their “nosiness” can be a great source of frustration and embarrassment for dog owners. With this first blog in our dog behaviors series, we’ve researched the biological basis of sniffing behaviors and how to handle an “excessive” sniffer.

Biology of Sniffing

Dog’s were born to sniff. Evolution has perfected their sniffing capabilities over thousands of years. The canine brain has a specialized smell processing area that is 40 times larger than in the human brain! In addition, they have 45 times the number of smell receptors that humans have. All of this means that dogs have nearly 1000 times the smelling power than humans. It’s no wonder why they spend so much of their time sniffing around!

Sniffing behavioral patterns

Other than just smelling around for food, dogs sniff for a number of behavioral reasons.

  • Nervousness: Sniffing the air and pacing around may indicate that your dog is feeling nervous. They may have heard or seen a strange animal or person and are trying to sniff out their identity.

  • Investigation: One of the main behavioral reasons for sniffing is simply investigation. Because their sense of smell is so powerful, their noses are their way to “read” the world around them. If your dog is sniffing around the room, it could be that they’re trying to find the source of the smell.

  • Avoidance: Dogs sometimes use their nose as a way to avoid unwanted situations. For example, if you take your dog on a walk and they see a strange person, they may start sniffing the ground until they have passed.

  • Stress: Increased sniffing is also an indicator of stress in dogs. Similar to avoidance, dogs use sniffing as a way to distract themselves from a potentially stressful situation. In highly stressful situations they may also exhibit symptoms like yawning, lip licking, shaking, stretching, freezing, refusing to eat, having sweaty paws, and excessive shedding. If this is the case, you may want to remove your dog from the stressor.

Excessive Sniffing

Unfortunately, dogs can get a little too excessive with their noses. Owners can start to find walking their dogs a terrible chore when their dog has to stop and sniff every inch of grass. In this situation it’s up to the human to set down some rules. Allow them to satisfy their sniffing needs (up to a point) and then give a command to move on. Some dogs can get a little too eager to sniff other people. This can be quite embarrassing for their owners when guests come in and get greeted with a dog snout in some “personal” areas. To work on eliminating this habit, start by putting your dog on the leash when a guest enters the house. Allow the dog to sniff the guest’s hand to greet them and then reward them for their calm behavior. As your dog progresses, try taking them off the leash and see if they will calmly greet on their own.

Keep an eye out for the next blog in our dog behavior series! As dog owners and lovers, it’s important to know how to read and understand their behavior. Only by learning their way of communicating will we establish harmonious and long-lasting relationships with our furry family members!

Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month

March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month

Everything you need to know to help prevent pet poisoning!

All pet owners and lovers want to do what’s right for their furry family member. That means giving them the best foods, treats, toys, and medical care. It also means educating themselves on pet safety at home and away from home. For over 50 years, March has been designated as Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month. The month is sponsored by the National Poisoning Prevention Council (“the Council”). It is a group of representatives from government and nonprofit organizations that have an interest in the prevention of unintentional poisoning through raising awareness and public education. By taking time to learn about the needs of your pets, you can help ensure they live the longest, healthiest lives possible. Here is some important information on pet poisons commonly found in the household.

Household plants

When your significant other brings home a beautiful bouquet, checking if it contains a poisonous plant to pets is not first on your mind. Unfortunately, there are some common household plants and flowers that are lethal to cats and dogs. A small list includes:

  • Autumn Crocus

  • Azalea

  • Lilies

  • Oleander

  • Dieffenbachia

  • Sago Palm

  • Tulips

  • Hyacinths

Lilies of all varieties are especially lethal to cats. If your cat ingests them, they should be taken to the vet immediately. Even small ingestions of two or three petals/leaves can result in kidney failure.

Human foods

Even if you’re an owner who doesn’t allow your pet to eat people food, pets can sneak their way into a pantry or cupboard for a naughty treat. Many common household foods are highly toxic to pets. If you leave these foods easily accessible to a sneaky dog or cat, it’s possible they could poison themselves. Among these toxic people foods are:

  • Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine

  • Citrus

  • Coconut and Coconut Oil

  • Grapes and Raisins

  • Macadamia Nuts

  • Milk and Dairy

  • Onions, Garlic, Chives

  • Xylitol (a sweetener found in some gums and candies)

Household products and medications

It’s always best to keep any cleaning products and mediations behind closed doors and out of reach of curious paws and noses. Pets may not be naturally drawn towards ingesting these things, but you never know when an accident could occur. Also, never give your dog or cat human medications! Only your vet should be advising how to medicate and prescribing those medications. Here is a list of toxic household products and medicines:

  • Bleach

  • batteries

  • Carpet fresheners and shampoos

  • Essential oils

  • Fabric Softener Sheets

  • Toilet Cleaning Tablets

  • Adderall

  • Petroleum Jelly

  • Aspirin and baby aspirin

  • Bar Soap and Face Wash

  • Ibuprofen and Naproxen

  • Kaopectate and Pepto Bismol

As always, contact your vet in the event that your pet has ingested a potentially toxic substance. The ASPCA also has a 24/7 hotline you can call if you suspect your animal has been poisoned.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435

The ASPCA also has a mobile app for download that gives you a comprehensive guide on many more toxic substances. The app gives you a wealth of information, including: complete access to colorful images for easy identification, level of toxicity, side effects, and actions to take for each item listed.