March 19 through 25 is Pet Poison Prevention Week. When your pet is a member of your family, you want to be sure they are safe. There are many common household substances that are dangerous for pets. Some are mildly toxic, while others can be deadly. There are also dangers lurking in nature that your pets may come in contact with.
I want to mention the following quickly. In case anyone has come across this article while searching due to a poison emergency
The Pet Poison Helpline Number is:
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Number is:
BOTH charge a fee!
It may be desirable to call your own vet. If your vet office is closed call a local emergency vet clinic. If your veterinarian is open it may be best to take your pet right in. Better safe than sorry when it comes to a potential poison situation.
In order to be certain your pets are safe, it is good to have some basic knowledge about poison potentials.
Poison is everywhere when it comes to your pets.
From walnuts to mushrooms, to rodent traps, if there is a poison danger, your curious pet could come into contact.
The best thing to do for your pets is more research. While I am listing some of the most common poisonous substances your pet may encounter, it is by no means all-inclusive.
Personally, I was shocked when doing research for my pets just how many plants are poisonous!
Also, the type of pet you have makes a difference.
The best thing I can do for you is to link you to the best list I found. I like this list because it contains images to help you identify the plants.
Household products, medications, and beauty products can also poison our pets.
Essential Oils can be toxic. I use essential oils regularly and am very careful about using them around my pets. Carpet fresheners, which many pet owners use to help prevent odor can be poison to your pets. Fabric Softener sheets can be a danger, as well as toilet cleaning tablets.
The most common manner in which pets become poisoned is from human food and medications. Always keep your medications out of areas your pets have access. It is always best to never feed your pets human food. If you do, be sure you stay away from the following:
Xylitol, Alcohol, Chocolate, Caffeine, Grapes and Raisins, Nuts, Onions, Garlic and Chives, to name only a few human foods unsafe for your pets.
Xylitol is perhaps the worst and can be found in many human foods pets love, such as peanut butter.
We also want to consider poisons that your pet could come into contact with outside.
Lawn fertilizers, weed killers, rodent traps, and walnuts that have dropped from trees are all poison to pets.
It is frightening when one considers just how many everyday items can cause harm to your furry family member!
Again, please do not use this article as the end all be all source of information. I would have to start a whole other blog or website to cover all the toxic and dangerous substances to animals.
The best resources I have found thus far is Animal Poison Control via ASPCA. I like this site because of the user-friendly nature. It provides quick information. The other resource is the Pet Poison Helpline website. I love their alphabetic poison list from A to Z which I have linked.
According to Pet Poison Helpline, the 4 things you need to do if you believe your pet has been poisoned are:
- Evaluate – try to determine what has potentially poisoned your pet.
- Call the Pet Poison Hotline (or your vet, or the ASPCA Poison Control).
- Do not give anything to induce vomiting or otherwise, unless instructed.
- Get to the vet. (this could be #2 if more convenient and your vet office is open).
It is my belief the number 1 thing we should all do is prevention!
After reading this article, do more homework! Research, recover items in and outside of your home that may be a threat. Be mindful of medications around your home. Do yard checks daily. Be aware of cleaning products and makeup items you use.
Performing research for your specific pet is helpful. Dogs and cats have different sensitivities, as do farm animals and other household pets.
Awareness is vital. Educating yourself is key. Animals are defenseless against the toxins we humans use. It is our responsibility as pet parents that we ensure their safety.
Thank you for reading and please spread the word!
I would love any comments on this topic. If you have information I have not shared, please do so in the comments. The more knowledge we all share the better our pets will be!