Don’t Leap to Conclusions!

Happy Leap Day! It can be really easy to leap to conclusions on what is or is not safe for our pets. That’s why we’re here to help educate! Check out these common myths to watch out for to keep your pet happy and healthy.


Just because an animal ingested something, doesn’t mean it is ok for them to vomit it up.

Sometimes going down once is bad enough, such as when a corrosive product is ingested. These substances can cause chemical burns in the mouth and esophagus that may only get worse if they are re-exposed during vomiting. Deep burns are more painful and can lead to life-threatening complications. Other substances might be safer after they travel past the esophagus. Button batteries can actually cause thermal burns if they become lodged in the esophagus. Hydrocarbons, like petroleum distillates and oils, are more likely to get into the lungs when a 4-legged friend vomits compared to when it was swallowed in the first place.


If it’s safe for humans, it’s safe for animals.

Never say always. Some human drugs are routinely prescribed by veterinarians to be used in our companion animals, but that doesn’t mean that they all can. There are drugs that are dangerous to humans at the same dose that a dog may take therapeutically. There are also drugs that are generally considered safe for people but can cause life-threatening illness in a pet. A few examples of drugs that people may take as needed that are dangerous to dogs and cats: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, pseudoephedrine, aspirin, and combination medications with caffeine. The point is, don’t ever give your pet any medication without consulting with your veterinarian! The sam

e holds true for certain foods including grapes, raisins, chocolate, and xylitol.


Animals can be given the same medication and amount as children.

Unfortunately, that is not true. Humans and companion animals often metabolize (process) drugs differently. Medications, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen can be very dangerous for a dog or cat.

Written by Heather Handley, DVM, Senior Consulting Veterinarian, Pet Poison Helpline