Poison Prevention Week March 18 – 24, 2018

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Poison Prevention Week: March 18 – 24, 2018

Poison Prevention Week is right around the corner, folks.  This national holiday centers around keeping our furry friends safe in and around our home all year long!  However, highlighting Poison Prevention Week once a year reminds us that, in our busy lives, we must always take time to survey our surroundings and make sure our family pets are safe. “Curiosity killed the cat” might be a saying we use to warn our human friends from staying out of trouble, death can, unfortunately, happen to our cats and dogs if we aren’t careful to protect them from their own natural curiosity.

Danger could be lurking in your very own backyard.

Insecticides and pesticides are being used now, more than ever.  While keeping pests at bay is certainly understandable, you must be aware of the potential dangers to your pets. If your dog spends a little or a lot of time out of doors, be on the lookout for tell-tale symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy and any other unusual behavior. Insecticides and pesticides can do long-term damage without us realizing it until it’s too late.  Some horrible long-term effects due to exposure may include kidney failure and cancer.  Of course, in large amounts death could be sudden. Insect and rodent bait should also never be placed in an area that your pets have access to.  Before you apply anything to your plants or lawn, research the effects on humans and animals alike.

Household Cleaners pose similar threats as well!

Harsh household cleaners are dangerous to your dog as well.  Think about it, your dog and cat spend a lot of time walking the floors of your home.  Then what do they do?  Lick their paws!  Cats often jump on counters and drink out of water faucets in the home, as well.  Now more than ever, it’s suggested that you avoid harsh cleaners altogether by going completely organic. You can purchase safe products or you can make your very own products at home with just a few short steps.  It will save you money, too! When cleaning with harsh chemicals, you also want to be leary of the fumes that are being breathed in by your human and furry family members.  Always clean your home with the windows open and clean in short spurts, if your schedule allows.

Candy, Drugs and other household items are potential dangers that are often overlooked.

The big culprit around the home is chocolate.  Chocolate in the right doses can cause death.  Dark chocolate is the worst, but all chocolate should be avoided!   Any candy that contains Xylitol can be fatal in addition to causing permanent damage to organs, such as the liver.  When tempted by smell, pets can get very creative about reaching items you may think they cannot and have even been known to open cabinet doors.

Household drugs, such as over the counter medications and prescription medications can cause failure to organs, most notably the kidneys.  These drugs can also cause seizures and heart failure to occur in your beloved pets so always err on the side of caution and keep ALL medicine out of your pet’s reach.

Dietary Supplements and Vitamins

5.5 percent of calls were concerning dogs that ingested dietary supplements and vitamins. While many items in this category such as Vitamins C, K, and E are fairly safe, others such as iron, Vitamin D, and alpha-lipoic acid can be highly toxic in overdose situations. Additionally, Pet Poison Helpline has managed several cases involving xylitol poisoning from sugar-free multi-vitamins.

If you think your pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact a veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Pet Poison Helpline is the most cost-effective animal poison control center in North America charging only $39 per call; this includes unlimited follow-up consultations. Pet Poison Helpline also has an iPhone application listing an extensive database of over 200 poisons dangerous to cats and dogs. “Pet Poison Help” is available on iTunes for $1.99.


Always take precautions when it comes to those you love, including your pets.  It always makes good sense, to begin with, the end in mind and prepares for the worst. If you suspect your pet has come in contact with any poisons, immediately reach out to your veterinary hospital and/or poison control.

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