Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month

Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month

March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month


One of the joys of having a pet is watching their continuous curiosity in the world around us. However, sometimes that curiosity gets them into trouble. Knowing what potential hazards are in and around your house is the first step in keeping them safe. Hopefully you are never faced with a medical emergency involving your pet ingesting a potentially poisonous product. However, being prepared and knowing what actions need to be taken in that moment could mean the difference between life and death for your furry friend.


Our pets could show symptoms of poisoning quickly after ingestion, but many can take hours to days to set in before they show a problem. It is extremely vital that you contact us and/or Poison Control immediately if you discover your pet has ingested something potentially toxic. The sooner you act, the better the chance we have to decontaminate and provide treatments to counteract the poison from causing both immediate and long term issues. Act fast!! Don’t wait for symptoms to develop or spend time searching on the internet for answers. Call us so we can determine if what they ate is toxic and put a plan in place to get them help immediately. If it is a weekend, night, or holiday then please call one of the local 24 hours emergency facilities or contact ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline at (888) 426-4435.


Please take proper precautions to keep these products out of your pet’s reach at all times:


Human Medications – This is by far the most common toxicities we see. Many medications that are safe for us can be very toxic to our pets. This includes medications such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol), NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, Motrin), and common vitamins. Please, do not give your pet any human medications without consulting with a veterinarian first! You may think you are helping them, but could ultimately be causing them more harm.


Human Foods – again, many foods we eat can be quite harmful to our pets. This is not an all-inclusive list, but toxic foods include chocolate, xylitol (artificial sweetener), raisins/grapes, macadamia nuts, garlic, onions, yeast-based dough, table salt, and fatty table food. A very small amount of some of these foods can cause major medical issues.


Plants – ASPCA Poison Control has an extensive list of plants that could be potentially poisonous to pets. Some common plants to avoid keeping in the house include lilies, holly, poinsettias, tulips, cyclamen, and many more. Here is a link to a list of plants that are and aren’t toxic to our cat and dog family memebers:


Essential Oils and Liquid Potpourri – these products can damage your pet’s organ systems if ingested, but can also be very irritating to the skin and airway if applied directly to your pet’s skin or if they breath in the fumes.


Yard/Garage Products – Fertilizers, mouse/rat poisons, cocoa mulch, snail bait, mushrooms, plants, cleaning products, antifreeze, and insecticides are just a few products that can be extremely toxic to your pets. Please keep these materials out of your pet’s reach and monitor their outdoor activities closely at all times! The outdoors should be fun place for your pet to spend time, but can be a very hazardous space if not pet proofed adequately.


If you suspect your pet has ingested something of questionable safety, please do not hesitate to call us or Poison Control. We are here to help!!! When calling to seek medical advice please have the packaging or label readily available so we can evaluate the active ingredients. This will save valuable time.


Have a happy and safe start to your spring!

Dr. Hillery