Poison Prevention Week

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month! Pets are very curious, and love to investigate things. Dogs, in particular, try to learn about things by, well, eating them. This can be very dangerous! Here, a Carolina Forest, SC vet offers some tips on poison prevention.

Plants

Many of our favorite plants are toxic to pets. Sago palms, for instance, are extremely poisonous for Man’s Best Friend, while lilies are highly toxic to cats. Make sure your home and yard only contain safe plants. You can check the ASPCA site here for full list of safe and unsafe plants.

Foods

Food is another concern. Never give your pet garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; avocados; onions; caffeine; chocolate; grapes, currants, and raisins; nuts; mushrooms; alcohol; or anything containing xylitol.

Chemicals

The average household contains quite a few types of chemicals. Things like cleaning agents, dyes, bleach, paint, furniture polish, oven cleaners, gasoline, turpentine, antifreeze, and automotive products are all toxic to our four-legged pals. Keep these things in secure cabinets!

Lawn/Garden Products

Fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are also unsafe. Pets can get sick just by walking through an area that was recently treated and then licking their paws!

Medicine

Although some medications are safe for pets, you should never give your furry friend anything unless your vet specifically recommends it. Err on the side of caution, and consider all human medications—both OTC and prescription—as poisonous.

Marijuana

As marijuana legalization rolls out across the country, it’s becoming more and more common to see marijuana ingestion in pets. Keep all marijuana products away from pets! Edibles are particularly dangerous, as they often contain things that are toxic to pets in and of themselves, such as chocolate, nuts, xylitol, and caffeine.

Tips

Keep an eye out for signs of poison ingestion. Some common ones are vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, whining, unusual vocalizations, lethargy, fever, rapid heartbeat, and/or respiratory issues. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these red flags. Speaking of calling your vet, keep their number handy. Ours is 843-248-2752. You may also want to save the ASPCA Poison Control Center’s number, which is (888) 426-4435. (Note: charges may apply.) Last but not least, get a pet first-aid kit, and download a pet first-aid app. The Red Cross has a good one.

Please contact us, your Carolina Forest, SC vet clinic, anytime. We’re dedicated to offering great veterinary care!

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