Pet Poison Prevention Month

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Poison Prevention Month: protecting your pets from common household poisons

What do you do if you think your companion animal swallowed something toxic or accidentally ate something you dropped from your purse?

Poison Prevention Week is in March and I wanted to bring some light to this super important topic. I’ve induced vomiting on more than one occasion both at home and when I was a CVT working at a clinic. Chocolate cases came in more often than you’d think – these were always scary.

Every home contains substances that are toxic for our animals including:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Fatty foods
  • Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Avocados
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast dough
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Salt
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Any product containing Xylitol (even peanut butter brands use this so read the ingredients)

There are hazards in the bathroom – medications for example. I’ve tried very hard to train my dogs to “leave it” and “drop it”. We do trade up in our household with high value treats but if it’s a small item I’m afraid my dogs would swallow it.

Simple soaps and sunscreens can cause your animal to vomit. Some substances can be dangerous or even fatal if ingested so it’s really important to know when you need to rush to the emergency room.

NOTE: Inducing vomiting is NOT always the right thing to do so you need to call your vet first and ask about how best to proceed. Some items will do more harm if they are vomited so be careful!

The best advice:

“Time is critical for successfully treating accidental poisoning. Pick up the phone and call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435; a consultation fee may apply). Be prepared to provide your pet’s breed, age, weight and any symptoms. Keep the product container or plant sample with you to assist in identification so the appropriate treatment recommendations can be made.” –from the AVMA site

Resources:

AVMA: http://atwork.avma.org/2011/03/23/poison-prevention-in-pets/

ASPCA Poison Control Center: www.aspca.org/apcc

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