March is recognized as Poison Prevention Awareness Month and this year, March 17-23 marks National Poison Prevention Week.
With many common household items toxic to pets, it’s important that professional pet sitters encourage their pet-owning clients to educate themselves to ensure they keep unsafe items out of paw’s reach.
It can happen to even the best pet owners—you turn around for one moment (or accidentally leave medication or chocolate on the counter) and your pet ingests a potentially harmful or fatal pet poison.
Many items commonly found around our homes can be dangerous to pets, including:
FOOD AND DRINK
Grapes and raisins
Coffee and tea
Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
Onions and garlic
Ornamental plants (lilies, sago palms, tulips, and more)
Veterinary prescriptions if ingested incorrectly
Other pesticides and rodenticides
Additional tips for poison prevention:
- Store cleaning agents, pesticides, automotive products, and other dangerous chemicals in areas that are inaccessible to your pets.
- Keep garbage cans behind closed doors. Many animals get sick from sneaking into the waste bin.
- Never give your pet medication, especially human medication, unless directed to do so by a veterinarian. Human medications can be deadly for animals.
- Dispose old medications in a trash or container that animals cannot access.
- Read all labels prior to using any products in your home. Always follow the directions for safety.
- Do not use cat products for dogs and vice versa.
- Do not allow pets on lawns or gardens treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides until the products have dried completely.
- Always store these products away from pet areas.
Ask the manufacturer or your veterinarian if you are uncertain about the use of any product. Signs of poison exposure vary, but include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, breathing issues, seizures and loss of muscle control. If a pet owner believes their animal has been exposed to a poison, they should seek veterinary treatment immediately.