Pet poisoning can happen to even the best of pet owners. You can turn your back for just one second and suddenly the dark chocolate in the kitchen has been scarfed down by your counter-surfing pooch! As pet owners, it is vital to be aware of all potential toxins in your home. Once you know what to look for, then you should pet-proof your home to avoid any terrible incidents. Not only will the vet bills alone be costly, but your precious pet could end up with lifelong complications, or even sadly succumb to death.
To help prevent a potential tragedy and spread pet poison awareness, here are some tips and resources on what could be poisonous to your pet and what to do should your pet be poisoned.
Common Household Items That Cause Pet Poisoning
1. Household Cleaning Supplies
Many household cleaning products are pet-friendly, but you should always check the label. Any products containing bleach can cause some serious issues for your pet, so be cautious about using any products containing bleach in places where your pet may be. Aside from internal issues, some household cleaning supplies can give your pet skin irritation or even chemical burns. As a general rule, lock your cleaning supplies up in a secure cabinet and keep them in their original packaging to avoid pet poisonings.
2. Household and Yard Plants
Many household and yard plants are toxic to pets if ingested. Lilies, in particular, are especially toxic to cats – even just the pollen from the flowers can poison them! Yew, foxglove, kalanchoe, sago palms, poinsettia, mistletoe, ivy, philodendrons, rhododendrons, hibiscus, hydrangea, and azaleas are all common plants seen in or around homes that are potentially life-threateningly poisonous to your pet. Check out this article for more details about plants that can result in pet poisoning when ingested by pets.
3. Pesticides and Other Household Chemicals
You might find items such as weed killer, fertilizers, anti-freeze, paints and paint thinners, rat and mouse poison, and gasoline in your garage or outdoor shed. Keep your pets away from areas where you store these types of products as these can also make your pet life-threateningly ill if ingested, even in small quantities.
4. Human Foods
Foods such as garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous), avocado, alcohol, yeast dough, coffee grounds, macadamia nuts, and anything containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol (which is in some peanut butter) can all be very poisonous to your pet.
5. Human Medications
Nearly 50% of pet poisonings involve prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Even seemingly harmless herbal supplements may be poisonous to your pet. Keep your medications safe and out of reach. Just because the pill bottle top is child-proof does not mean it’s pet-proof!
Signs Your Pet Has Potentially Been Poisoned Or Exposed To Toxins
Symptoms of pet poisoning can start appearing immediately after ingestion, but sometimes it can take up to a few days to see any symptoms in your pet.
Here are general symptoms to look out for:
- Gastrointestinal upset (loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting)
- Lethargy, weakness, and collapsing
- Excessive drooling, foaming at the mouth, and excessive thirst
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of bowel and urinary control
- Nervousness, muscle tremors, hyperactivity, and seizures
What Do I Do If My Pet Ingested Something Poisonous?
Keep these pet poison control numbers in your phone in the event of an emergency. Hopefully you will never need to use them, but you’ll have them ready to go if you do!
- ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 1-888-426-4435
Their experts are available 24/7, 365 days a year. There is a fee of $65 for the service.
- Pet Poison Helpline: 1-800-213-6680
Their experts are also available 24/7, 365 days a year. There is a fee of $59 for the service.
If your pet ingested something poisonous and they are exhibiting severe symptoms, don’t wait! Call your closest emergency veterinary clinic and get your pet there as soon as possible. Time is of the essence in the event of a poisoning. Even a few minutes difference can mean life or death for your pet. If you catch your pet in the act of ingesting something that may be poisonous, collect the substance that was ingested and bring it with you to your emergency vet. This will help your vet make the best treatment decisions for your pet.
Prevent Your Pet From Being Accidentally Poisoned
Pet poisonings are a very scary situation. With symptoms ranging from mild gastrointestinal upset to seizures and death, who wants to take the risk? We can’t keep everything that is poisonous to pets out of our homes, so it is important to stay vigilant to prevent a tragedy from occurring. We hope you find these tips and resources helpful in keeping your pet safe and healthy for life!
Charleston Dog Walker is a professional dog walking and pet sitting company here to give Charleston pet parents like you a safe, trustworthy, and reliable pet care solution when you work or travel. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 to get more information about how we can help you or sign up today to get started!