With March being Pet Poison Prevention month, now is a great time to learn and brush up on the ways we can prevent our pets from accidental poisoning.
What kind of things are poisonous to my pet?
The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, or APCC, compiles data from their poison control hotline each year and determines which poisonous substances pets are ingesting most frequently.
Medications – According to their 2021 data, over the counter and prescription medications are the most common toxins ingested. These include medications like ibuprofen, vitamin-D and herbal supplements, as well as prescribed medications like antidepressants, cardiac medications and ADHD meds. You should always consult your veterinarian before giving your pet any medications, whether designed for pets or humans. Make sure to keep your pills in a safe, high place that your pet cannot access or accidentally get into.
Food – The next most frequent toxins ingested by pets according to the APCC come from a variety of unsafe food. While it may seem tempting to let your pets sample a part of your yummy – maybe even seemingly healthy! – meal, there are a lot of human foods that are toxic and potentially deadly to our pets. Among the most common are protein bars and shakes, anything artificially sweetened with xylitol, garlic, onions, grapes, raisins and chocolate. There are plenty of healthy human foods your pup can enjoy in moderation. Check in with your vet before trying out something new!
Plants – Indoor and outdoor plants can also be toxic for pets. Make sure to do research before planting new plants in your garden where pets might have access and try to keep indoor plants out of your pets’ reach! Some plants that are toxic if ingested include tulips, lilies, chrysanthemums and pothos, among others.
Cleanings products and pest control sprays – Cleaning products and sprays, like bleach or Clorox, insecticides and rodent repellants can all be extremely dangerous and toxic to pets. Keeps these products locked away somewhere safe to avoid an accidental ingestion from your pets, and make sure you are buying pet friendly products If you plan to use them in areas your pet frequents.
What do I do if I suspect my pet has ingested something poisonous?
It is important to act fast when dealing with a potential poisoning situation. We recommend first calling the ASPCA’s Pet Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. The hotline’s veterinary staff will direct you further and will likely suggest a trip to your nearest emergency animal hospital for treatment.
Accidents happen and we can’t always predict what our pets might eat, but making sure potential toxins are kept safely out of reach and keeping the Pet Poison Control Center’s number on hand can make a huge difference in keeping your pet safe, healthy and alive.