March is Pet Poison Prevention Month – Familiarize Yourself with these Common Household Items
As a loving pet parent, keeping your animal companion by your side for as many years as possible is likely one of your top priorities. At Lakeside Animal Hospital, we provide routine health services and wellness exams for pets in Plantation, Florida and the surrounding area to ensure your animal’s health is in tip-top shape. Regular checkups are crucial for addressing potential health issues and administering vaccines but unexpected incidents such as your pet accidentally ingesting or being exposed to toxins can happen on a whim. It is essential to be prepared and aware of what steps to take in such situations.
That’s why March is a month dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of poisoning in dogs and cats. As a pet owner, it’s important to be aware of common household items that can be toxic to your furry friend and what to do if they accidentally ingest something harmful.
What is Poisonous for Dogs and Cats?
Many common household items can be toxic to pets, including human medications, plants, household cleaners and certain foods. Here are some of the most common culprits:
- Human Medications: Medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and antidepressants
- Household Cleaners: Common household cleaners like bleach, ammonia and toilet bowl cleaners
- Plants: Certain plants like lilies, azaleas, tulips and sago palms
- Foods: Many foods that are safe for humans can be toxic to pets including chocolate, grapes, onions and garlic
- Pesticides: Pesticides used in and around the home can be dangerous if ingested by pets
What to Do if Your Pet Eats Something Poisonous? If you suspect that your pet has ingested something poisonous, it’s important to act quickly. Here are the steps you should take:
- Stay Calm: Try your best to remain calm. Your pet can sense if you’re anxious which can make the situation worse.
- Identify the Poison: If you can, identify the substance that your pet ingested. This will help your veterinarian determine the best course of treatment.
- Call ASPCA Animal Poison Control: Contact Animal Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435 as soon as possible and before calling your veterinarian. They’ll give you immediate instructions and guide you on what steps need to be taken. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Contact Your Veterinarian: Call your veterinarian and let them know what happened. Make sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions thoroughly. They may instruct you to induce vomiting or to bring your pet in for treatment.
How to Prevent Poisoning in Cats and Dogs?
Of course, the goal is to never have a poison scare. Here are some tips to help you prevent poisoning:
- Store Medications Safely: Pets can accidentally ingest medications that are in easy-to-reach locations. It is important to make sure all medications are stored in a secure location that is inaccessible to pets.
- Keep Household Cleaners Out of Reach: Household cleaners can pose a danger to pets if they are ingested or come into contact with their skin or eyes. Store household cleaners in a secure location where pets can’t reach them. Additionally, after using a household cleaner, make sure to keep your pets out of the area until the product has dried and the area has been properly ventilated.
- Choose Pet-Safe Plants: Choose pet-safe plants for your home and yard. It is imperative to research any plants you are considering bringing into your home or planting in your yard to make sure they are safe for your pets. If you do have plants that are toxic to pets, make sure to keep them out of reach.
- Be Careful with Food: Don’t feed your pet table scraps or foods that are toxic to pets.
- Use Pesticides Cautiously: Use pesticides carefully and follow the instructions on the label. Always make sure they are pet-safe.
Pet poisoning is a serious issue, but with a little knowledge and preparation, you can help keep your furry friend safe. Remember to keep household items that are toxic out of your pet’s reach and to act quickly if you suspect that your pet has ingested something harmful.
If your pet needs emergency or urgent care in Plantation, contact us right away. We provide emergency care during our regular business hours and will do everything we can to help in your furry friend’s time of need.
If we are closed, please contact one of our emergency associates:
LeadER, Advanced Veterinary Care Center, or Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.