Animal Poison Prevention

March is National Animal Poison Prevention Month. Annually, the ASPCA releases a list of the top pet-ingested toxins, as reported to their Animal Poison Control Center over the course of the preceding year. Making the 2016 list was: human prescription medications, over-the-counter products, human foods, veterinary products, household items, chocolate, insecticides, rodenticides, plants, and garden products. What can you do to keep your pet from being poisoned by any of these toxins?

First, it is very important to keep all prescription and over-the-counter medications out of your pet’s reach, as many of them can be hazardous to your cat or dog’s health. Many veterinary medications and supplements are flavored to entice your pet to take them. This makes it especially important to keep these out of reach, since your pet may be tempted to ingest more than their directed dose.

As we have often heard, there are quite a few human foods that can make your pet extremely sick. Some of the most common toxic foods for your pet to avoid include chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, alcohol, dairy products, many nuts, and raw meat or eggs.

Household cleaners, pool/spa chemicals, paint, rodent poisons, insecticides, fertilizers, garden sprays, and many other common staples around your house can be deadly to your pet. It is imperative to keep these items safely secured at all times to prevent any access by your pet.

Before planting any flowers or other plants, research whether they are safe for your pet. It can be especially hard to keep cats and dogs from nibbling on plants in the yard or in the house. So, it is best to avoid any toxic plants, altogether, if you have pets.

If your pet does ingest something that may be harmful, contact your veterinarian immediately. You can also call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline at (855)886-7965.