Poison Prevention Week starts March 20th. This is a very important topic for anyone with pets. There are over 232,000 cases of pet poisonings in the US every year! Our furry friends don’t know what is and isn’t safe for them, so you’ll need to take some precautions to keep your beloved pet safe. A Washington DC vet lists some ways to prevent pet poisoning in this article.
Keep Cabinets Locked
Many toxic chemicals and household products are stored in cabinets, often underneath sinks. Keeping these locked is a simple step that can prevent tragedy. Keep in mind that your four-legged friend doesn’t have to actually eat or drink these substances. Because most animals lick themselves clean, they only need to walk through it or get it spilled on their fur to ingest it.
Choose Non-Toxic Plants
Plants are one of the most common culprits when it comes to pet poisoning. While there are many that are dangerous to all pets, others are more toxic to some animals than to others. For instance, lilies are extremely dangerous to cats, while Sago palms are a huge risk for dogs. Check the ASPCA site here for a list of safe and unsafe plants.
Know The Warning Signs
Although the signs of poison ingestion can vary, depending on the pet and the type and amount of substance involved, there are some common red flags to look for. These include vomiting, drooling, lethargy, agitation, restlessness, trembling, collapse, unusual vocalizations, and diarrhea. Pale gums are also a warning sign, as is a rapid heartbeat or shallow breathing. Cats may withdraw, while dogs may pace or whimper. It’s worth noting that while these things can be indicative of many medical issues, they should always constitute a call to the vet.
Understand The Dangers
It’s also important to know what is and isn’t poisonous. Some things, such as household chemicals, antifreeze, and rodenticides, are well-known. Others? Not so much. For instance, many people don’t know that a single grape or raisin can be extremely dangerous to dogs. Medication is also a common source of poisoning. Ask your vet for more information.
This one applies more to dogs, of course. However, consider teaching Fido to Leave It. This simple command could help prevent tragedy!
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or safety? Contact us, your Washington DC animal clinic, today!