All In the Timing: Let’s Celebrate Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month!
It’s no surprise that Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month happens in March every year. Now that Valentine’s Day is over and Easter is on the horizon chocolate is everywhere! But beyond the risk of chocolate toxicity in pets, there are plants, flowers and fertilizers lining our driveways and pavers, all of which can put your pet at risk.
But not on our watch! Understanding the dangers, and knowing how to prevent a tragedy is key in protecting your pet, and the team at Barton Heights Animal Hospital is here to help.
Tips and Tricks
As with anything in life, the more you know about something, the better. Pet poison prevention is no different. We’re not suggesting that pet owners fear every possible experience awaiting their pets, but it is a good idea to proceed with an air of constant vigilance and caution.
A Full-Fledged Pet Emergency
We are here for your pet 24 hours a day. If they need emergency care, please do not hesitate to call or come by. When it comes to a poisoning episode, the longer you wait to seek help, the chances of a positive outcome plummets.
Poisons tear through a pet’s delicate systems incredibly fast. If they ever get into something they shouldn’t, you’ll usually know within an hour or so. Whether you saw them do it, or you’re simply suspicious, do not ignore the following tell-tale symptoms:
- Weakness, lethargy, collapse
- Pawing at the mouth
- Excessive thirst and urination
- Pale gums
- Racing heart beat
- Respiratory distress
- Muscle tremors
Again, please call us right away to let us know you’re on your way.
What Could It Be?
New pet owners typically go overboard when pet proofing their homes, but over time things begin to slip through the cracks (especially if their pet has shown repeated disinterest in potential hazards).
Pet poison prevention must always start in the home and involves the following threats:
- Food – So many temptations…starting with chocolate, of course, the list of toxic people food includes caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, chives, and Xylitol (found in sugar-free candy, mints, toothpaste, mouthwash, peanut butter, and baked goods).
- Medicine – As a general rule, prescription and over-the-counter drugs should never be located where your pet can easily access them. Likewise, pet meds are equally dangerous. Please store all pill, inhalers, bottles, blister packs, and vitamin containers behind secure cabinet doors. Be sure to pick up any bags and coats off the floor.
- Household products – All cleaning supplies, unless labelled pet-safe, should not be accessed by pets. When in use, keep your pet(s) in a different part of the house until all surfaces dry. Open windows and turn on fans to clear out any toxic fumes.
- Miscellaneous – Innocuous-seeming items around the house may need to move to storage. Essential oil diffusers, liquid potpourri, and more can create a dangerous situation.
Pet Poison Prevention: Outside
There are loads of toxic flowers and plants. We recommend conducting a pet’s eye view of your landscaping and pull out poisonous blooms, bulbs or bushes that may be too tempting for them. Please consult this list for more information on what’s safe, and what’s not. Be sure to steer your pet clear of any mushrooms that pop up this spring.
In addition to poisons in the yard, please look out for products like fertilizer, cocoa mulch, bone meal, pesticide, insecticide, rodenticide, and snail bait. Use conservatively or not at all.