Our curious cats and hungry hounds seem to have a way of getting into things they shouldn’t get into. That could be your new houseplant or Aunt Fran’s medications, there are thousands of things we use around the home that can harm our pets if ingested. Unfortunately, there is the thinking that certain types of substances aren’t appealing to pets, but you would be surprised.
This is why the team at True Care Veterinary Hospital wants to observe national Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month in March to educate pet owners on these toxic foes. Let’s explore the common toxins in our midst.
Ah, human food. No matter what it is, surely your pet will want it. Each year, though, hundreds of thousands of pets are poisoned by food we may never knew caused toxicity. Food toxicity can cause an array of symptoms, such as vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea, to more serious ones like low blood pressure, trouble breathing, and seizures.
But what are these poisonous foods?
- Xylitol (a sweetener used in candy, gum, and treats)
- Chocolate, especially dark and baker’s grade
- Garlic and onions
- Fruit pits
- Macadamia nuts
- Grapes and raisins
The biggest times of year that food poisoning occurs are around the holidays when multiple guests and children are eating around the table. Holiday treats like chocolate and alcohol are another risk that needs attention during holidays or any time of year.
Another common source of pet poisonings are plants. Plants that grow indoors as well as outside can be sometimes lethal to cats and dogs. The ASPCA has an extensive database of plants that are toxic to pets, as well as those that are not. We recommend going through your inventory and swapping out those that are bad for your furry ones and replacing them with silk varieties or the non-toxic greenery as recommended.
Toxic plants include:
- Lilies (very toxic to cats)
- Sago palm
Be aware of where your pet is digging and exploring when you are outside, and don’t forget to check out your local park and wherever you visit friends and family who might have toxic plants.
Based on the Pet Poison Helpline’s number of poison calls each year, they have narrowed down some of the most common risks to pets that lurk inside the home. Can you list how many of these toxins are in your home?
- Mouse and rat rodenticides (highly toxic)
- Antiinflammatory medication
- Antidepressant medication
- Stimulant medication used to treat ADHD/ADD
- Toilet bowl cleaner
It’s not surprising how many of these items are in the home, and medications rank up there in terms of risk to your pet.
In observing national Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month, the key things to remember are vigilance (being two steps ahead of your pet and what they may get into) and action (stashing all potential toxins in a safe place). We recommend doing a thorough sweep through the home and storing any poisons and things that may be dangerous to your four-legged friends.
If you believe your pet ingested something poisonous, call us right away. Time is very important in a toxic situation. For more information about pet poison prevention, or to schedule an appointment, please call us.
When my parents’ dog Kya died very suddenly a few years ago‚ their regular vet was not at work that day. But thankfully‚ Dr. Tullio was and treated my parents and their dog as if he was their doctor for the past 15 years—doing everything he could to try and revive Kya and by being so compassionate to my parents in the waiting room after having to deliver the sad news. We truly can’t say enough nice things about Dr. Tullio and can’t wait for him to open his new facility! Thank you.
—Lori Forrest & Bob Leahy
Dr. Tullio has always treated our dogs with great knowledge‚ care‚ and compassion‚ and we have grown to know him quite well. We have been so completely impressed with Dr. Tullio’s consistent excellence in care and services that we wanted to share our experience with others. We are pleased to recommend as the place to go for both quality treatment and compassionate care for your furry family members.
Doctor Tullio is a kind, caring gentleman who has cared for my cocker spaniels for many years now. He has always been helpful‚ honest‚ and understanding with my pets and me. He is a man I trust completely and have and do refer others to him. Any pet owner can feel safe and secure in trusting their beloved pets to his skilled hands.
—Margaret Rowe‚ Howell‚ NJ
Molly and Oscar have been patients of Dr. Tullio for several years. I have been very pleased with his care‚ his expertise‚ and his understanding with my two Wheatens. Dr. Tullio has been quick to diagnose any issues and remedy all of the problems we’ve had. I look forward to many more years working with Dr. Tullio. I wish him well in his venture.