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101 Things You Didn't Know Could Harm Your Pet

101 Things
You Didn't Know Could Harm Your Pet


One of the most common ASPCA Pet Health Insurance claims for both dogs and cats are swallowed objects. Small household items or things that can be chewed or ripped apart, like #41 to #60 on our list, can cause choking or damage the digestive tract. They can also get stuck and require expensive surgery to remove.

  • 42. Sharp objects
  • 43. Coins
  • 44. Buttons
  • 45. Batteries
  • 46. Balls
  • 47. Twist ties
  • 48. Rubber bands
  • 49. Cotton swabs
  • 50. Glass
  • 51. Hair pins
  • 52. Jewelry
  • 53. Nylons
  • 54. Paper clips
  • 55. Plastic wrap

56. String and yarn

Cats love to play around with string and yarn, but it can actually be a dangerous activity. They can get tangled up in it, and even strangle themselves as they try to work free. If they swallow some of it, they can end up with an intestinal blockage or tears in their digestive tract. If this happens to your cat, never attempt to pull the string or yarn out yourself, since it could make the damage much worse. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • 57. Dental floss
  • 58. Electrical cords
  • 59. Wax
  • 60. Socks
  • 61. Towels

Home Hazards

Real Story+

“Reba, my 2 pound Chihuahua is the love of my life! Unfortunately, she swallowed a piece of plastic that almost killed her. She needed immediate surgery and thank goodness she got through it. The veterinary bills were difficult, but we were relieved to have ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. Without that, the situation would have been so much more stressful.

Reba is doing great and I have my best friend back!”

— Denise K., Denver, CO

Did You Know?

Veterinarians reported that cost affected their clients' treatment decisions in 75% of cases in 2009.* Help make sure you won’t have to make a tough financial decision about your pet’s health with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. Learn more.

*DVM Newsmagazine, October 2010

*Sources: ASPCA.org and internal claims data. For details or a copy, contact jennifer.s@hartvillegroup.com.

+Customer stories are examples of recent claim payouts. Reimbursement is subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. Identifying information has been changed.

This is not a complete description of all coverage terms, conditions, and limitations; see your plan for a full description. Issuance of coverage is subject to underwriting. Discounts are subject to eligibility requirements. Specific products, features, and discounts may vary and may not be available in all states. Rates and coverage subject to change. Additional deductible and co-insurance options may be available.

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company and administered by Petsmarketing Insurance.com Agency, Inc., a subsidiary of the Hartville Group, Inc. Petsmarketing Insurance.com Agency, Inc. and the Hartville Group, Inc. are collectively and individually referred to as Hartville or Hartville Group. The ASPCA does not offer insurance. Through a strategic licensing agreement, in exchange for the use of ASPCA trademarks, the ASPCA is paid a royalty fee of up to 10% of the purchase price, with a minimum of $1.95 million to be recognized over at least three years.

© 2012, The Hartville Group, ASPCA Logo, Copyright 2012, ASPCA. All Rights Reserved.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center - 1-888-426-4435