Every year, the third week in March is deemed National Poison Prevention Week. Awareness of potential toxins is important in preventing pet poisoning emergencies. According to Pet Poison Helpline, they receive calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from distressed pet owners that, in most cases, the situation could have been avoided. Take a few minutes to learn where to look for potential pet poisons and how to pet-proof appropriately.
1. UNDER THE SINK
Under the sink is where many people store common household cleaners such as bleach as well as many other potentially toxic cleaners and materials. Pets are smart and can learn to open cabinet doors and get nosy! Make sure that if you store products under the sink, that you keep a lock on the cabinet door to keep pets (and children) out of harm’s way.
Paws to consider: There are many household products that state they are natural and non-toxic. Always consult with your veterinarian to ensure the safety of these products for your pets.
2. IN THE MEDICINE CABINET
All medications, pet or human, should be kept up high in secure cupboards. Pets can easily chew through bottles, pill vials, boxes, etc. and can easily ingest medications that they shouldn’t. Medications should never be left on countertops or tables or stored in plastic baggies as these can easily be chewed through.
Paws to consider: Never medicate your pets with human products or expired pet medications. Make sure to consult with your veterinarian as some human medications are extremely poisonous to pets.
3. IN YOUR GARAGE/OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME
Outside lurks many potential opportunities for your pet to be poisoned. One of these is Ethylene glycol, commonly known as antifreeze. It has a sweet taste that can be appealing to pets leading them to ingest this extremely toxic product. If you see anti-freeze that has spilled on your garage floor or driveway, clean it up immediately or dilute it with several gallons of water. You may also consider using a propylene glycol-based antifreeze as a safer alternative. Make sure to keep this and all other automotive products up and away from pets.
Rodenticide products should also be kept out of the reach of pets as they are extremely poisonous. Consider using an alternative product that is safer to use around pets. Another place to look for poisons is in the yard. Grub and snail killers can be dangerous to pets as well as insecticides, pesticides and herbicides if ingested.
Paws to consider: Pets (and other animals such as birds and wildlife) can be poisoned from ingesting a rodent that was killed with rodenticide.
4. IN THE KITCHEN
You might not think of the kitchen as a potentially dangerous place for your pet but according to Pet Poison Helpline, over 16% of calls they receive are related to pets helping themselves to human foods. It is important to know what human foods are not safe for your pet to ingest. If you visit https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poisons/ you will see all items (food and non-food related) that are harmful to pets. Some of the main culprits are chocolate, raisins and grapes, garlic, onions, macadamia nuts and table salt. Make sure to keep food put away and not left on tables or countertops. You should also make sure that garbage is kept away from your pet by keeping garbage can lids closed (or locked!) and behind closed doors.
Knowing where to look and what is harmful to your pet is the first step in keeping your pet safe! We recommend checking out the Pet Poison Helpline website (www.petpoisonhelpline.com) as they have many helpful resources. They also offer a 24/7, 365 hotline that you can call if you feel your pet has been poisoned- 1-800-213-6680. The call only costs $39 (sometimes covered under pet insurance) and includes the consultation, advice, information for your veterinarian and unlimited follow-up calls.
At VCPI, we want your pets to stay safe and would be happy to go over any questions you may have regarding household items, medications and more! Give us a call at 720-851-0820 or visit us at www.vcparker.net.
The Veterinary Center of Parker, Inc. is pawsitively excited to bring you Pet Tips & Advice. With each issue we hope to bring you a bit of information that you will find useful for you and your pet.
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