Whether they bark or purr, our pets are beloved family members. In fact, we often spoil them more than we would our own kids! While there's nothing wrong with pampering your pet, it's important to remember that their insides are different from ours.
Since March 18-24 is National Poison Prevention Week, we are sharing some common foods, plants, and substances to keep away from your pet and what to do if your fur babies get their paws in trouble.
Common Pet Poisons
1. Human Medications
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, most calls resulted from dogs ingesting antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Effexor, pain-relievers containing acetaminophen such as Tylenol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Aleve, and Motrin. Symptoms of medication poisoning include seizures, tremors, stomach ulcers, liver & kidney failure, and cardiac problems. Keep all human medications away from your pets, and only provide them with veterinarian-prescribed medications in the instructed dosages.
Many of the foods we love can be deadly for our pets. The most common food poison is chocolate for dogs, especially dark chocolate due to its high concentration of toxic theobromine. While dogs enjoy some fruits such as strawberries, grapes and raisins are a no-no and can cause kidney failure. Xylitol, a gum and candy sweetener, can rapidly lower dogs' blood sugar and cause liver failure. You should also store away yeast dough, alcohol, caffeine, salt, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and macadamias.
3. Chemical Products
Insecticides, rodenticides, household cleaners, bleach, dishwashing detergent, and lawn care products are a few of many household chemicals that should never make contact with your pets. Mouse and rat poisons are especially dangerous to dogs, causing brain damage, seizures, kidney failure, and internal bleeding. Even a small amount of antifreeze can be lethal to dogs and cats. If using insecticides, make sure they dry completely before allowing your pets in the area. Other products can cause chemical burns and irritation.
4. Diet Pills and Vitamins
Some dietary supplements and vitamins can be toxic to dogs. Keep iron, Vitamin D, and alpha-lipoic acid supplements out of reach. Although Vitamins C, E, and K are relatively harmless, they can still harm dogs if ingested in large doses.
All types of lilies are poisonous to cats, causing liver failure if ingested. Philodendron and pothos plans can irritate and inflame cats' mouths and cause foaming. Sago palms are highly poisonous to dogs, causing liver failure.
What to Do if Your Pet Is Poisoned
If you suspect your pet has ingested or come into contact with a toxic substance, stay calm and act fast. Start by removing the substance from your pet's reach. Contact your veterinarian. If their office is closed, take the container or label of the substance and bring your pet to your local 24/7 emergency clinic immediately. Call Pet Poison Helpline at 855-213-6680 or ASPCA Animal Poison Control 888-426-4435 with your notes and follow their instructions carefully.
As always, prevention and preparation are best. Keep the contact information of your veterinarian, emergency animal hospital, and the Pet Poison Helpline posted on your refrigerator or saved in your phone. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss action plans and how to assemble a first aid kit for your beloved furry friend.
Disclaimer: Waggit is not a veterinarian or poison prevention and treatment professional. Please follow instructions provided by your veterinarian, Pet Poison Helpline, or ASPCA Poison Control Center for prevention and treatment methods.