March is Poison Prevention Month! This is a very important topic for those of us in the veterinary world. Our animal companions are very curious, and they also love snacks. Unfortunately, they don’t know what is and isn’t safe for them. In this article from Armitage Animal Hospital, a local vet offers some tips on keeping your pet safe.
Secure Toxic Items
Household cleaners, tobacco, gasoline, drain openers, paint, automotive products, marijuana products, and lawn/garden products, such as fertilizers, are just a few of the things that could poison your pet. Keep these things in secure cabinets. You’ll also want to store medicine, both prescription and OTC, out of paws’ reach. Antifreeze is another concern. It’s highly toxic to pets, but often has a taste many pets enjoy. Opt for less toxic brands, and mop up any spills right away.
Avoid Unsafe Plants
Many popular plants are toxic to our furry pals. Make sure your home only contains safe greenery! Some of the more dangerous ones include lilies, Sago palms, philodendron, bracken ferns, and tulips. The ASPCA has a full list of safe and unsafe plants here .
Offer Suitable Treats
Foods are another big concern. Never give your furry friend anything that contains garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; chocolate; alcohol; caffeine; grapes, currants, or raisins; avocado; or anything that contains xylitol. Ask your vet for more information.
If you don’t already have a pet first-aid kit, we recommend getting one ASAP. You can easily make one by adding a few pet-specific items to a first-aid kit for people. Keep a few first-aid brochures in the kit, along with the number for your vet. Ours is (905) 953-1933. It’s also a good idea to save the number for the Pet Poison Helpline, which is 800-213-6680. (Note: charges may apply.)
Watch For Warning Signs
The signs of poison ingestion vary from pet to pet, and will depend on the type of animal and what they ingested. However, there are some common ones to look for. Lethargy, trembling, pacing, whining, hiding (especially in cats), rapid heartbeat, diarrheas, bloody stools, and reduced appetite are all serious red flags. Call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately if you notice any of these warning signs.
Do you have questions about your pet’s care? Contact us here at Armitage Animal Hospital, your Newmarket, ON animal clinic, today!