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

  • Joey, a 14-week-old chihuahua, attends the pet trade fair (Heimtiermesse) at Velodrom with his young owner on November 2, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Pet owners know nothing turns around a long day faster than the unbridled joy exhibited by your cat or dog the second you open that front door.

    If you come home to find your labradoodle went to town on that chocolate bar you left out the previous night, that's another story.

    Petplan pet insurance receives countless claims of animals eating something they shouldn't have and requiring an emergency trip to the veterinarian to get stomach flushes or worse, surgery.

    Dr. Jules Benson, vice president of Veterinary Services at Petplan, recounted several cases in an interview with, with tales ranging from pets needing emergency care from eating seemingly-harmless flowers to a beagle who ate drywall and needed surgery -- only for vets to find a sock was also in there.

    Benson urges anyone who finds their pet has eaten something potentially dangerous on this list to call their veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-5535. Make sure you know what food or substance they ate, how much of it, and when they took it, along with other information about your pet such as weight and age. All these factors could save your precious pal's life.

    What better time to raise awareness for this issue than National Poison Prevention Week 2013, March 17 to 23? With Benson's assistance, we've compiled a list of common household items that pet owners should be wary of.