The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) announced that they managed more than 116,000 calls to its Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) hotline in 2006, several of which pertained to common household items.
For several years now, this category has been number one on the ASPCA's list of common hazards, and 2006 was no exception. Last year, more than 78,000 calls involving common human drugs such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements were managed by the Center-a 69 percent increase over 2005.
"Pet parents should never give their pet any medication without the direction of a veterinarian–just one extra-strength acetaminophen can be deadly to a cat, and just four regular-strength ibuprofen can lead to serious kidney problems in a 10-pound dog," says Dr. Hansen. To avoid inadvertent poisoning from medications, store them in a secure cabinet above the counter and out of the reach of pets.