Make sure animals are safe from dangerous substances

To the Editor:

Grab that dropped grape, lock up your chocolate, and lose the lilies: All of these can sicken or even kill cats and dogs if eaten. While many of us are spending more time at home, it’s a good time to make sure that our animals are safe from dangerous substances.

Macadamia nuts, onions, bread dough, alcohol, and Xylitol (a sweetener often used in toothpaste, gum, mints, and even some brands of peanut butter) are also toxic to animals, as are many medications and vitamins. Keep these out of reach, and teach children not to share them with animals. (Remember, many cats are excellent jumpers and like to knock objects off surfaces.

Poisons lurk outdoors, too, including tulip and daffodil bulbs, sago palms, azaleas, rhododendrons, and mushrooms (which can pop up in lawns overnight). Cocoa mulch and many fertilizers are also toxic. Remove these, if possible, and closely supervise animals when they are outside.

If you suspect that your animal has been poisoned, call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 immediately. For more ways to keep animals safe, visit


The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.

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