We love that our pets are naturally curious and want to explore. Sometimes, though, that means getting into something they shouldn’t.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received 199,000 phone calls about pet poisoning in 2017. In fact, this is one of the top 3 reasons pet owners seek emergency care for their beloved pets. Many people don’t realize just how many potentially toxic substances are commonly used in our homes and yards.
To help you avoid a pet poisoning emergency, Brodie Animal Hospital has put together this guide so you know what to keep out of your pet’s reach and what to do if an emergency strikes.
Pet Poisoning Basics
The signs of pet poisoning can be subtle at first; they can range from mild to severe, depending on what and how much was ingested. However, many poisons act fast, so if you suspect your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t, you should act fast, too. Call us immediately or go to the nearest emergency clinic if you need help after hours. Your pet’s life may depend on your quick thinking.
Common signs of pet poisoning include:
- Pawing at the mouth
- Rapid or irregular heart rate
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Difficulty breathing
- Pale gums and/or tongue
- Excessive thirst
Pet Poisoning in Your Home
Our homes are our sanctuaries, but it can be alarming to realize just how many potential pet toxins are commonly found in our homes. Here’s a basic list of things to watch out for:
Human and pet medications – Statistically, human prescriptions and over-the-counter medications are the top toxic substances ingested by pets. Common medications, like Advil and Tylenol, are highly toxic, and human prescription medications can also wreak havoc on a pet’s health. Accidentally mixing up pet and human medications is a real hazard, so make sure you read labels carefully and store your pet’s medication away from your own.
Human food – Foods that are toxic to pets include: chocolate, bread dough, xylitol, raisins and grapes, onions and garlic, alcohol, and macadamia nuts. Keep these and all fatty table scraps out of your pet’s reach.
Plants and flowers – Many common and beautiful flowers and houseplants can be toxic to pets. Some lilies can cause acute kidney failure in cats. Other potential hazards include cyclamen, holly, and poinsettias.
Cleaning products and chemicals – It should come as no surprise that household cleaning supplies and chemicals can be harmful to pets. Just as with children, keep all cleaning products away from pets, ventilate rooms while cleaning around pets, and store all chemicals where pets cannot reach them.
Essential oils and liquid potpourri – In recent years, essential oils and diffusers have become more popular. However, some essential oils can be toxic to pets if ingested, inhaled, or if they come into contact with the skin. Please ask us if you have questions about specific oils. Liquid potpourri also poses a hazard if it’s knocked over and walked through or ingested.
Pet Poisoning in Your Yard and Garden
Prevention and awareness are key to preventing a pet poisoning in your yard, garden, or garden shed. There are many products that can be toxic to pets. Give us a call with any questions, and don’t wait to seek treatment if your pet ingests something toxic. The most common culprits include:
- Blood and bone meal
- Poisonous plants
- Rat and mouse poison
- Snail bait
- Cocoa mulch
We hope this guide has provided some helpful tips on how to prevent pet poisoning. With planning and awareness, you can save your pet from a disastrous situation. Let us know if you need any help!