Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month

March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month

Everything you need to know to help prevent pet poisoning!

All pet owners and lovers want to do what’s right for their furry family member. That means giving them the best foods, treats, toys, and medical care. It also means educating themselves on pet safety at home and away from home. For over 50 years, March has been designated as Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month. The month is sponsored by the National Poisoning Prevention Council (“the Council”). It is a group of representatives from government and nonprofit organizations that have an interest in the prevention of unintentional poisoning through raising awareness and public education. By taking time to learn about the needs of your pets, you can help ensure they live the longest, healthiest lives possible. Here is some important information on pet poisons commonly found in the household.

Household plants

When your significant other brings home a beautiful bouquet, checking if it contains a poisonous plant to pets is not first on your mind. Unfortunately, there are some common household plants and flowers that are lethal to cats and dogs. A small list includes:

  • Autumn Crocus

  • Azalea

  • Lilies

  • Oleander

  • Dieffenbachia

  • Sago Palm

  • Tulips

  • Hyacinths

Lilies of all varieties are especially lethal to cats. If your cat ingests them, they should be taken to the vet immediately. Even small ingestions of two or three petals/leaves can result in kidney failure.

Human foods

Even if you’re an owner who doesn’t allow your pet to eat people food, pets can sneak their way into a pantry or cupboard for a naughty treat. Many common household foods are highly toxic to pets. If you leave these foods easily accessible to a sneaky dog or cat, it’s possible they could poison themselves. Among these toxic people foods are:

  • Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine

  • Citrus

  • Coconut and Coconut Oil

  • Grapes and Raisins

  • Macadamia Nuts

  • Milk and Dairy

  • Onions, Garlic, Chives

  • Xylitol (a sweetener found in some gums and candies)

Household products and medications

It’s always best to keep any cleaning products and mediations behind closed doors and out of reach of curious paws and noses. Pets may not be naturally drawn towards ingesting these things, but you never know when an accident could occur. Also, never give your dog or cat human medications! Only your vet should be advising how to medicate and prescribing those medications. Here is a list of toxic household products and medicines:

  • Bleach

  • batteries

  • Carpet fresheners and shampoos

  • Essential oils

  • Fabric Softener Sheets

  • Toilet Cleaning Tablets

  • Adderall

  • Petroleum Jelly

  • Aspirin and baby aspirin

  • Bar Soap and Face Wash

  • Ibuprofen and Naproxen

  • Kaopectate and Pepto Bismol

As always, contact your vet in the event that your pet has ingested a potentially toxic substance. The ASPCA also has a 24/7 hotline you can call if you suspect your animal has been poisoned.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435

The ASPCA also has a mobile app for download that gives you a comprehensive guide on many more toxic substances. The app gives you a wealth of information, including: complete access to colorful images for easy identification, level of toxicity, side effects, and actions to take for each item listed.

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