Pet Poison Prevention
If you believe your pet has ingested a toxin, contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month and as the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” However, as many pet owners know, our pets often laugh in the face of prevention and are masters at inducing panic. When it comes to our beloved four-legged (or less) friends, our top priority is their safety. There is nothing worse than that gut wrenching feeling of discovering an empty food wrapper, a tipped over trash can, or a chewed up medicine bottle with all signs pointing to a furry, guilty party. Regardless of their crime, when it comes to pet poisoning, there isn’t time for innocence until proven guilty. Some poisonous effects may show immediately (drooling, coughing), but some effects can take up to 3-4 days after ingestion to present. Time is of the essence, and tackling it early can prevent any serious or long-term damage.
Sharing isn’t always caring
Puppy dog eyes and charming cat antics can feel impossible to refuse, and while sharing some treats with your pets every now and then is okay, it’s important to be aware of which treats will spread the love, and which ones will spread panic. A quick Google search before you feed anything to your friends can be worth its weight in gold, but sometimes our friends take it upon themselves to ingest the worst. Of course it’s important to be cautious, but if you’re anything like me I must give the advice that I haven’t yet been able to follow; don’t panic. While some toxic treats like grapes can be poisonous in small doses, many poisonous ingestions depend on the weight of your pet. Caution is warranted, but a clear mind is best to reach a resolution!
The top pet toxin in 2021 was over-the-counter medicines like Advil, Tylenol, and cold medicines. Most bottles come with a childproof cap, but unfortunately it does little to stop determined teeth and curious minds. Storing the above mentioned items in impossible to reach places can save your pet’s life and your wallet. Other less-thought-of toxins around the house include common cleaning supplies like bleach, odor sprays, cleaning tablets, fabric softener sheets, certain essential oils, and even the more natural vinegar and water solutions. Now what’s better than setting out a fresh vase of flowers after cleaning your house with pet friendly products? Surprise! Common household plants and flowers can be poisonous to cats and dogs, including spring favorites like lilies and tulips. Beware of your decor!
Poise in the face of poison
This month and beyond, be mindful of ingestible hazards, and don’t underestimate the lengths your furry friends may go to explore their curiosity! In the event that your pets happen to ingest the un-ingestible, or are demonstrating signs of poisoning, the best thing you can do for them, and yourself, is to stay calm. It is not recommended to try to induce vomiting or administer anything to your pet unless directly told to do so by your vet or a professional. This can make matters worse despite the best of intentions. If you can, collect a piece of the toxin ingested, and a sample of your pet’s symptoms – if you know what I mean. If you suspect your pet may have ingested a toxin, please immediately call your vet or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. Here’s to a great month of awareness, and safe pets!