Pet Poison Awareness
Written by: Misa Nash Edited by: Alex Adaway
Yearly, there are over 200,000 cases of pets being exposed to various toxins. From house plants to cleaning chemicals and cooking spices, there are oodles of everyday items to keep your mind busy with worry when it comes to your pets’ safety. There is plenty of information on the internet that is both useful AND unhelpful. Consulting your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Hotline is ALWAYS the best practice when it comes to the safety of your pet.
Our medications, cleaning supplies, house plants and even the food we eat everyday can be potentially dangerous for our furry family members. The number one toxin reported for pets is human medications. Many over-the-counter AND prescription medications can be toxic to pets. Commonly used pain killers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve), cannot be metabolized by your pet’s liver and cause major damage. Consuming these medications can result in stomach and intestinal ulcers, or kidney failure. Your veterinarian or veterinary staff should be able to help you make sure your home is not filled with potentially harmful items.
The second most common toxin in our home is possibly one of the most controversial: table scraps. We love to share our meals with our furry family members and often see no obvious issues. Items such as steak, hamburgers, and chicken breast are not harmful, but the seasoning or condiments we put on them can cause issues. Many of our foods can create gastrointestinal upset, but there are others that may bring on more severe symptoms. The sweetener, Xylitol, is found in many products including peanut butter, sugar-free candy and gum. Xylitol can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar, resulting in weakness and seizures. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Avocados, macadamia nuts, milk chocolate and white chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea and in some cases weakness. Always consult your veterinarian before giving human food to your furry friends. Keeping food and trash stored in cabinets will help keep your pet safe from any of these possible toxins.
There are household products that may not seem very appetizing to us, but may strike your pet’s fancy. Keeping chemicals locked away is the best practice, not only so they are not consumed, but to also ensure there is no skin exposure. Often these chemicals can cause rashes or major skin irritations. Antifreeze, paint thinner and pool chemicals are products typically found in garages or yards that can be potentially fatal to your pets. Rodenticides and insecticides are common items found in garage or outside areas that can also be fatal if ingested. Keeping these items in metal cabinets or on high shelves is ideal. Pets can be affected by eating rodents that have been exposed to poisons, so always tell your neighbors with pets if you are using any poison. While these items might be obvious to keep away, our homes are filled with great smelling and decorative items that can be harmful to our furry family.
When purchasing décor for your home, you may opt to bring in fresh plants and flowers or candles, wax burners, incense and oil diffusers. These can all be found in almost every one of our homes. Taking time to research pet safe products will be beneficial. We use these items daily and probably do not think about the damage they may cause. If consumed, these products have been known to cause stomach or intestinal ulcers, neurological issues and skin and eye burns. If you have these items in your home, keep your pet out of the room. Never leave your pet unattended in your home, and make sure their kennel/designated area is free from all chemicals and plants.
Because signs of toxicity can be symptoms of other illnesses, it is crucial that you contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Hotline if you believe your pet has come into contact with anything potentially hazardous. If your pet starts exhibiting any vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, coughing or vomiting blood, weakness, lethargy, pale gums or if they collapse, notify your veterinarian immediately.