Eliminating the Risk of a Pet Poisoning All Year Long

dog begging for foodSpring brings a sense of regeneration, renewal, and optimism for the future. While you may be preparing to till the soil, clean out the garage, and tear through that Honey-Do List, allow  us to renew the concept of preventing a pet poisoning this spring.

The calendar month of March is on board; in fact, March 20-26 is marked Pet Poison Prevention Week. Your pet’s natural curiosity can place him or her in harm’s way – but your team at Prairie Ridge Veterinary Clinic have the following tips and tricks so your pet can enjoy nature’s splendor for all the months of the year.

Entirely Preventable

Depending on what your pet gets into, there may be limited, or narrow, safety margins. This means that accidental ingestion of certain pet poisons has a range of symptoms between gastrointestinal upset to organ failure, damage to the respiratory system to death.

While severity is species-dependent, the bottom line is that a pet poisoning can be prevented with simple measures.

Where to Start

If you’re doing some spring cleaning this year, watch what you throw out and how it’s stored until pickup day. Likewise, conduct a survey of what you might have in your home that, if stumbled upon and eaten by your dear, sweet, curious pet, could could have disastrous results.

The most common household dangers that pet owners should be aware of include:

  • Medications – Your pet should never have access to items that belong in your medicine cabinet, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, vitamins, and prescription drugs. Check out this list for more information.
  • Cleaners – You might think it’s unlikely that your pet would ingest detergent, hand sanitizer, or bleach, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Foods – Alcohol, chocolate, grapes, onions, macadamia nuts, and anything sweetened with Xylitol can pose significant risk to your pet. Even if he or she has never exhibited interest before, make sure your counters aren’t tempting for a single nibble.
  • House plants – With Easter right around the bend, there are usually lilies in abundance, but your cat should never be near any type of lily. Check out this list of other toxic plants to reduce your pet’s exposure.

Outside Risks

We know few pets that wouldn’t relish the chance to explore the garage. Because of this magnetism, please store the following items securely:

  • Antifreeze
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Rodenticides
  • Insecticides
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Crazy glue

Similarly, gardening products can be highly toxic to your pet. While it’s best not to use the following items at all, if you do use them limit your pet’s access to the yard and garden, and secure the products in a locked cabinet:

  • Fertilizer
  • Pesticides
  • Cocoa mulch
  • Blood or bone meal
  • Metaldehyde (found in snail or slug bait)
  • Compost

Dealing with a Pet Poisoning

We recommend installing the Pet Poison Helpline App on your mobile device, and also put together a poison first aid kit. If you notice any of the following symptoms, your pet may require emergency care:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Pale gums
  • Racing heart rate
  • Coughing up blood
  • Weakness, lethargy, or collapse
  • Signs of renal failure or liver failure

If you know what your pet ingested, bring the item(s) with you. This can help when we run certain diagnostics to effectively diagnose and treat your pet.

Our veterinary staff is always here for you and your pet. Please contact us with any questions or concerns, and above all, have a happy, safe spring!

posted in:  Pet Safety