A survey conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists the top 10 most mischievous pets. Boxers wound up in the number 10 spot for getting into things they shouldn’t.
"Boxers are spirited and need daily exercise," said Tina Wismer, medical director for the ASPCA's Poison Control Center. "A tired dog is a good dog. Tired dogs do not get into trouble by eating things they shouldn’t."
Beagles are the ninth naughtiest pet, according to the survey. Wismer said owners need to “pet proof” their homes, just like child proofing. “Take your own medication in a closed room away from your pet,” she advised. “Do not leave any food, such as chocolate, on counters or tables.”
Shih tzu dogs may look small, cute and innocent, but their craftiness lands them at number 8 on the survey, mostly attributed to their curious nature.
American pit bull terriers came in at number 7. Wismer said that guests should always be informed about these dogs and other pets. “You may know not to put your purse or suitcase on the floor, but grandma may not.” Many animals get into medications, cleaning products and other potentially poisonous concoctions that way.
German shepherds are number 6 on the survey. "German Shepherds are a high energy breed," Wismer said. "If this energy is not channeled into appropriate behaviors, they can get themselves into trouble eating toxic items."
The top three types of medications that these naughty animals and others were exposed to included heart medications (usually blood pressure pills), antidepressants and pain medications (frequently opioids and prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Yorkshire terriers, number 5 on the list, often get into trouble as a result of their curious nature. Their tiny size allows them to sneak into places they shouldn’t.
Golden retrievers may look majestic, but that doesn’t prevent them from getting into trouble. They wound up in the number 4 spot.
"Goldens love to ‘mouth’ things, as it is in their retriever genes," Wismer explained. "Finding appropriate chew toys is very important to keep them from eating inappropriate things."
Chihuahuas, number 3 on the list, “are notorious for ingesting dropped pills,” Wismer said. “They are like little vacuums.”
Cats -- lumped into one group as domestic shorthairs -- are in the No. 2 spot. “Cats are into plants and will drool profusely if they get a bad taste in their mouths,” Wismer said. She added that many owners see this happening after flea spray has been applied and call the APCC. The cat is usually OK and is just trying to spit out the yucky-tasting substance.
Labrador retrievers earned the dubious distinction of being the most naughty pets. “Labradors are very popular and they are a very busy and mouthy breed,” Wismer said. “They like to eat both food and non-food items.” The latter often get them into trouble.