March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month.  

The perfect time to learn about the dangers of accidental pet poisonings and how to prevent them. Understanding what potentially harmful poisons exist in your home and yard is the first step to keeping your pet safe. Some common items are very obvious but others might be new to you. Often when pets are accidentally poisoned by something, it’s safe for humans but toxic to pets. 

Below are the most common items that are toxic to pets to help keep your pets safe. Ensuring that your pet doesn’t ingest them will be well worth the time and effort needed to keep them a safe distance away. 

Many foods that are safe for people to eat can be deadly to pets. Keep the following toxic foods away from your furry companions. 

    • Chocolate
    • Xylitol (found in sugar-free products and peanut butter so be sure to check the labels)
    • Macadamia nuts
    • Grapes and raisins
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Alcohol
    • Coffee

There are several plants that are especially toxic to pets. These are just a few of the plants. Visit this website to learn more about poisonous plants. 

    • Lilies (especially around Easter)
    • Tulips
    • Daffodils
    • Azaleas 
    • Lily of the Valley
    • Sago’s palm
    • Olender
    • Hyacinths 
    • Rhubarb leaves

Each year, ASPCA receives many calls related to the ingestion of over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, cold medications, and herbal supplements. Never give your pet a medication that is not approved for veterinary use. Keep all medications (both RX and over-the-counter) away at all times and never leave pills lying around in purses and backpacks.

Prescription animal medications are often flavored to increase palatability, so pets may mistake them for treats and eat more than prescribed. Keep all medications out of your pet’s reach. Animals can chew through plastic bottles, so child-proof may not mean pet-proof!

Many household cleaners and other products can be used safely around pets. However, the key to safe use lies in reading and following product directions for proper use and storage. Read labels carefully on items like Bleach, Essential Oils, Insecticides, Detergents, and Paint.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of Poisoning:

Pets who have been poisoned may behave strangely or only exhibit mild symptoms. Signs of poisoning in dogs and cats can range tremendously based on the underlying poison. While this list is not exhaustive or complete, some common signs of poisoning generally include:

    • Vomiting or diarrhea
    • Excessive drooling
    • Inappetance
    • Excessive thirst or urination
    • Weakness or lethargy
    • Pale gums
    • Coughing or vomiting of blood 
    • Nausea
    • Racing heart rate

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items or any other questionable substance, call ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435, Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661, or your veterinarian for assistance. 

When it comes to poisoning, the sooner you treat your dog and cat, the better the outcome. Pets love to chew on all kinds of things, so please keep any potentially dangerous items and substances out of your pet’s reach. 

Learn more about the warning signs, common dangerous substances, and other resources at: 

    1. https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/basics/signs-of-poisoning-in-dogs-and-cats/ https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control 
    2. https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/pet-poison-prevention-infographics-and-resources 

Here are a few emergency vets local to Duluth, GA. It’s a good idea to keep your local emergency vet’s information on your fridge in case an emergency ever arises. 

Sources:

https://www.aaha.org/your-pet/pet-owner-education/ask-aaha/Household-Toxins/
https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-safety-tips/national-poison-prevention-week-march-20-26/