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Poison Prevention Week and Your Pets

A kitten chews a plastic dinosaur toy that may be toxic. March 18-24 is Poison Prevention Week for Pets

Poison Prevention Week is Every March 18-24

Poison Prevention Week occurs every March 18-24 in order to help raise awareness and prevent illness and injuries for pets. However, it shouldn’t just be this week in particular: it should be all year round, as your pets can come into contact with a variety of items in your home that can make them extremely sick, and kill them. Poison prevention is a serious matter, and it’s not just household cleaners that can cause issues, but a variety of foods and plants that can be extremely dangerous.

Animals like to get into everything. They’re always curious, and that curiosity is what usually (well, not all the time) leads to trouble. Getting into human food and plants can be very risky, so it’s always best to exercise caution as to what to keep away from your pets. This is especially important if you’ve never had pets before, so safeguarding your house and being cautious will be be good over time.

Poison Prevention Week and Household Cleaners

Most of our household cleaners are incredibly toxic, not just to our pets, but to us humans as well. Do an inspection of your home and see what types of cleaners you have. You can switch to non-toxic household cleaners if you want to avoid chemicals, but even these should stay out of reach of your pets. Most people keeps these cleaners under the sink, so be sure to fasten the cabinets or use a child lock (also a good idea if you have kids, too) so that your pets can’t get inside and make contact.

Different Kinds of Foods

While it’s best to keep the foods we eat away from your pets, there are some human foods that won’t harm your pets if they come in contact with them. Pets are always intrigued by some new food, and if you’re cooking meat, of course they’re going to beg you for some.

Foods such as carrots, peanut butter, eggs, blueberries and pineapple won’t harm your pets, but only if given in moderation. If you feel the need to feed your cat or kitten tuna from a can, make sure that it’s packed only in water…even if it says it’s packed in water some brands have both water and salt, which won’t necessarily harm your pet, but it’s not all that good for them. Should your pet consume an excessive amount of salt, they can experience vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, or even seizures.

There are many types of foods out there can can be extremely harmful to your pets. Onions, chocolate, grapes and raisins are dangerous as are any type of food or product with yeast, caffeine, tobacco, or xylitol (a natural sugar alcohol often found in plants and fruits).

Some Foods/Products to Avoid:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Bones, such as pork and poultry, which can splinter and cause choking
  • Caffeine (tea, coffee, soda, chocolate)
  • Any foods showing mold

Weeding Out Toxic Houseplants

If your pets like to run outdoors and you have a garden, you should check if any of your plants in your yard can be harmful to them. The same can be said for houseplants; pets like to chew plants, especially cats, so exercise caution and only have pet friendly plants in your house.

And should your pets go outside, be cautious if you use any weed killing chemicals or lawn fertilizers, which can be extremely toxic. If you store these outside, keep them in a thick plastic bag or a sealed container, so your pets don’t get into them.

Here are Some Houseplants to Avoid:

  • Azalea
  • Cactus
  • Lilies
  • Ivy
  • Mistletoe
  • Philodendron
  • Poinsettia

Safeguarding Your Home

While you may have taken every precaution to keep anything toxic or poisonous from your pets, they will be devious little monsters and occasionally get into something that they shouldn’t. Cats will climb on countertops, so be sure to keep any possibly toxic items in cabinets. Pet toys can also be dangerous if they’re manufactured or treated with certain chemicals.

Always read the packaging to make sure that any toys or related items are safe and made from pet friendly products. If you’re unsure, or can’t find the information you need, reach out to your Austin Vet.

How to Determine if Your Pet Has Been Poisoned

Pets will have different reactions to a variety of toxins. Some may be immediate, while others may not be so obvious, sometimes a few days before they first appear.

If you notice the following symptoms, your cat or dog may have come into contact with a toxin, and should be brought to your Austin Vet immediately:

  • Lethargy, weakness
  • Drooling, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea
  • Pale or yellow gums
  • Dehydration or urination
  • Nervousness, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, seizures, and coma

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Should you see your pet eating something they shouldn’t, pick it up and bring it along with your pet to the vet; they’ll have a better understanding as to what in the specific product may be making your cat or dog sick.

If you think that your cat or dog may have been poisoned, contact ATX Animal Clinic right away. While Poison Prevention Week is an important time to be aware of possible items that may harm your pet, it’s important to be wary of any potential toxins throughout the year.