March is Pet Poison Awareness Month, so what better time to talk about the hidden dangers that may be lurking in your household? The fact is, no pet owners intentionally poison their pets. Rather, they are just unaware that certain common household items can be dangerous and downright deadly for dogs and cats. Here are a few common dangers:
- People medications: Dogs and cats don’t process medications like people do. One Tylenol can kill a cat. Keep your medications out of reach of curious pets and never give your animal medication unless specifically instructed by your veterinarian.
- Plants: Before buying that new decorative houseplant, be sure that it is safe should your pet take a nibble. Many plants can cause digestive upset, and others like lilies can be lethal.
- Rodenticides: These products are made to lure and kill rodents. They often do the same to unwitting pets. Find pet-safe alternatives to use instead.
- People food: Most people know that chocolate is not good for pets. But did you know grapes, raisins, onions, and the artificial sweetener xylitol can also harm your pet? When in doubt, ask your veterinarian.
- Pet medications: Medicines prescribed for your pet are often flavored for easier administration. This can make them tempting for curious critters. Just like with human medications, more isn’t always better, and overdoses can result in serious side effects and even death.
If you think your pet may have been poisoned, call us immediately. It will be helpful if you can let us know your pet’s age and weight, what symptoms the animal is exhibiting, and information about what your pet may have been exposed to and when. It is always helpful to have the packing available as well. If you are unable to contact us, you can contact the ASPCA Pet Poison Control hotline at 1-888-426-4435.