Poison Prevention Awareness

March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month!
Poison Prevention Week (Mar. 18th-24th) was established to raise awareness on pet toxins and to help prevent emergency trips to the veterinary hospital.

Some of these toxins are well known – others may surprise you.Common toxic household foods & products:

– alcohol
– caffeine
– chocolate (particularly dark and baking chocolate)
– some essential oil extracts (including but not limited to: cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree)
– grapes, raisins and cherries
– citrus fruits
-onions or garlic
– moldy foods
– medications or supplements meant for human consumption

Common toxic household plants:

– azalea
– cactus
– lucky bamboo
– creeping charlies
– lilies
– ivy
– mistletoe

Pet toxins that may surprise you:

– fabric softener sheets
– sugar-free gum and breath mints (containing Xylitol)
– nicotine and tobacco products (cigarettes or e-cigarettes)
– fertilizer
– non-pet safe de-icing salts
– marijuana (cannabis)
– bleach products
– cocoa mulch
– artificial sweetener Xylitol (check your peanut butter label carefully!)

Symptoms of a poisoned pet can vary greatly depending on the toxin, how much was ingested, and the size of your pet. While signs may vary from case to case, some common symptoms of a poisoned pet include:

– vomiting
– diarrhea and upset stomach
– seizures
– lethargy
– appetite loss
– abnormal behavior
– drooling
– weakness
– excessive thirst or urination
– incontinence

How should you handle an emergency?

– If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested or come into contact with a poisonous substance, immediately contact the National Poison Control Help Line at 1-800-222-1222. You can also text “POISON” to 797979 to save the contact information for Poison Control in your phone.

– In addition to contacting Poison Control, immediately contact your Veterinarian or a nearby emergency veterinary hospital. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.