Did you know that March is Poison Prevention Month? There are a lot of common foods, medicines, plants etc that can poison your pet.
The top ten common pet poisons are :
- Human medicines
Many common medicines are extremely toxic to pets, including Acetaminophen (Tylonel), Anti-Cancer drugs, Anti-depressants, Aspirin, Cold Medicines, Ibuprofen (Motrin), Vitamins.
Always keep medicines out of reach of curious pets.
Slug and snail pellets and other garden insecticides can poison your pet. Always be careful when using them, and if possible find an alternate way to keep your garden pest free. Remember to always check with your vet when using flea and tick insecticides as well, especially if treating for the first time.
- People food
Many common foods such as chocolate, grapes, and many citrus fruits are poisonous to dogs and cats. For a fuller list please see the ASPCA’s list of People Foods to Avoid Feeding your Pets
- Rodent poison
Bait that is designed to attract mice and rats is also often attractive to other animals as well. The poisons that kill rodents can also seriously damage your pets. Bear in mind that if your pet eats rodents that have been poisoned they can also suffer the effects of the poison.
- Veterinary medicines
It is important to use medicines as directed. Overdoses can kill. As can one pet stealing another’s medicines. Keep them out of reach and always make sure you understand the dose instructions. Ask your vet if in any doubt.
Many common plants are poisonous, including azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, lilies, kalanchoe and schefflera. For a more detailed list please see the ASPCA’s Poisonous Plants list.
- Chemical hazards
Did you know that anti-freeze and de-icer are highly toxic to pets. Some brands of these products now add a bitter taste to prevent accidental ingestion.
Other chemical hazards include paint thinner and drain cleaners. Always keep these sorts of products out of reach of pets, and when you are using them make sure your pet isn’t investigating.
- Household cleaning products
Bleaches are often used for cleaning pet bowls, cages and toys, but it is important to note that Bleach is a poison. Make sure to use a properly diluted solution and to rinse well. You should also air out anything you have cleaned with bleach.
Most cleaning agents can be used safely in homes, as long as label recommendations are followed. For more information see this article from the ASPCA.
- Heavy metals
Lead, zinc and mercury are all toxic. If you are renovating an older home you may release substances in the form of dust, or chips through sanding etc. If you are worried contact your vet.
Lawn and plant fertilizers can contain toxins. Prevention is always best, but if you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t contact your vet.