Poison Prevention for Pets
March 17-23 is Pet Poison Prevention week. It’s a great time to get a few reminders on how to protect your pets, especially dogs, from harmful substances in your home. Poison prevention for pets isn’t complicated, but it requires us all to be diligent in our efforts to keep certain products away from our furry family members (not including Uncle Max).
Before we get into specific products, here are a few poison prevention for pets measures:
Keep all medicines, even OTC ones, away from pets. Keep them in child-proof containers and preferably in a place where pets can’t get to them. The same should be said for tobacco and marijuana products too.
If necessary, use child-proof locks on your under-sink storage to keep pets from opening those cupboards and finding the bathroom tub cleaner. We use these in my home to keep our cats from getting under the kitchen and bathroom sinks.
Don’t feed your pet human food. Yes, there are few that are fine: cooked carrots, plain, cooked chicken, etc., but as a general rule keep human food away from pets. If you do then they’re less likely to want it or think they can have it. That means they’re less likely to sneak pizza off your plate or a cookie off the counter.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline website, the most common calls to their hotline: (855) 764-7661 were for:
- Human OTC medications or prescription meds like Xanax, Paxil, etc.
- Human foods like chocolate, which contains theobromine. It’s similar to caffeine and is quite harmful to pets. Other human foods that they got calls about included Xylitol, which is often found in sugarless gums and candies; raisins and grapes, which can cause kidney failure in dogs; Macadamia nuts, garlic, onions, yeast-based doughs, and table salts were also issues.
- Insecticides – most indoor insecticides, like those bait products you can put out, aren’t super harmful to dogs. However, if you’ve got any rose care products containing organophosphates around, keep those locked up and away from your pets!
- Mouse and Rat poisonings – these are especially dangerous because most of them have no antidote.
- Dietary supplements and vitamins – while some vitamin products are fine, sugarless vitamin gummies often contain Xylitol. Other vitamin supplements like iron aren’t healthy for pets.
If your pet has been poisoned, or you think they’ve eaten something they shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian, our local emergency vet center (below) or call the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-764-7661.
For more poison prevention for pets information click here.