A tabby cat with their friend sitting on the rugOur four-legged friends tend to be active and adventurous, and we love that about them! However, at times they can get into things they shouldn’t. Hopefully, your pets have never ingested anything that caused a pet emergency, but it’s always good to be prepared.

With that in mind, and in celebration of Pet Poison Prevention Week, Androscoggin Animal Hospital has put together a few tips and ideas for how to prevent pet poisoning in and around your home.

Pet Toxicity 101

Poisons act fast, so if you feel your pet has ingested something potentially toxic, you should act fast, too. Give us a call right away. Don’t spend time on the internet trying to figure things out, or only leave a voicemail for your veterinarian. If it’s after business hours, seek emergency care immediately.

Pet poisoning signs can be subtle at first, and may not even show up for several days after your pet ingests something toxic. Symptoms your pet may experience include:

  • Drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Pale or grayish gum color
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Weakness/ collapse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle tremors
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures

Prevent Pet Poisoning in Your Home

There are a few things that you want to be aware of in your home that could be potentially toxic to pets. As always, keep these things out of their reach.

People food – People foods, such as chocolate, bread dough, fatty table scraps, onions/garlic/chives, raisins and grapes, macadamia nuts, and Xylitol (sugar substitute) can all be toxic to pets.

Medications – Some human medications can be very toxic to pets. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Advil) are two medications found in many medicine cabinets that can cause big problems for pets. Keep human and pet medications separate, read the labels to make sure you’re giving the correct meds to your pets, and make sure that you don’t share unprescribed medication between pets.

Flowers and plants – There are certain flowers and plants commonly used around the home that can be toxic and even deadly to pets, such as lilies and cyclamen. Also, avoid toxic holiday plants like holly and poinsettias.

Cleaning supplies – Cleaning chemicals can be irritating to pets noses, mouths, and can be toxic if ingested. Ventilate your home when cleaning, keep pets away from “helping” you when you clean, and stow all cleaning supplies and chemicals out of their reach.

Essential oils and liquid potpourri – Essential oils and liquid potpourri can damage organs if ingested. In addition, even the lovely smells from them can be very irritating and potentially harmful to pets. Talk to your veterinarian before using any essential oils around (or on) your pets, and give them a way to get away from diffused smells.

Pet Poison Prevention in Your Yard and Garden

It’s amazing (and somewhat frightening) to realize how many things in your yard and garden might pose a poisoning risk to your pets. Common sense and precaution are good watchwords. If you think your pet has eaten something poisonous, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact veterinarian today!

Here’s a basic list of things to watch for:

  • Bone and blood meal
  • Fertilizers
  • Mushrooms
  • Plants
  • Cocoa mulch
  • Rat and mouse poison
  • Snail bait

Give us a call if you have any questions about pet poison prevention in your home and yard. We are here to help you keep your pet safe.