Common household items that can lead to a costly trip to the veterinarian

  • Medication

    Ibuprofen pills. istockphoto

    ibuprofen, advil, stock, 4x3Experts often say people should store their pills in a locked location that's high up, so it is out of sight and reach from small children who can get their hands on it.

    The same is true for pets.

    "Pets don't actually have the enzymes to metabolize like humans do," noted Benson, which may make certain pills even more dangerous to pets. Ingestion can lead to kidney and liver failure rather quickly if they get their paws on these pills. If you drop an antidepressant and your dog sweeps it up it may not be a huge deal, said Benson, but medications for ADHD like Aderrall (amphetamine) can be another story entirely because of their extreme toxicity to animals. Once Benson saw a dog that needed nearly $6,000 in veterinary care because it ate its owner's warfarin, a common medication prescribed to reduce stroke risk.

    Over-the-counter meds can be just as problematic. Dogs love sweet foods and that applies to tablets like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which contain added sugar to mask the taste. According to 2012 Petplan claims data, ibuprofen and acetaminophen toxicities carry the highest average costs for treatment of all poisoning claims ($840 and $700 per incident, respectively).

    Benson said he's heard of cases of dogs chewing through bottles of ibuprofen or busting through child safety-locked cabinets, so to be safe, keep the pills completely out of reach of pets.

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