Poison Prevention Awareness

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month! This is a very important topic in the world of veterinary medicine. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for our furry friends to ingest things that aren’t safe for them. An Ellicott City, MD vet discusses poison prevention below. 


Many of the things you will find in the average household are poisonous to pets. Chemicals, such as cleaning agents, automotive products, paints, sealants, drain de-cloggers, and pesticides, are all unsafe, as are many lawn/garden products, such as pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers.  Your pet could get sick by just walking through a recently-treated spot, and then licking their paws. Always keep these things in secure cabinets.


Foods are also a big concern. Some common foods that are toxic to pets include garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; chocolate; grapes, currants, and raisins; alcohol; xylitol; avocado; and xylitol.


Many plants are dangerous to pets. Sago palms, for example, are poisonous to dogs, while lilies are extremely dangerous for kitties. The ASPCA has a full list of safe and unsafe plants here. You’ll also need to keep things like tobacco and marijuana away from your pet.


Did you know that Himalayan salt lamps are a hazard to cats? Some kitties try to lick them, because they enjoy the taste. However, too much salt is toxic to Fluffy.


Many medicines made for humans are toxic to dogs. Aspirin, for example, is poisonous to pets. Vitamins are also unsafe. Keep these things out of paw’s reach!

Be Prepared

It’s always best to err on the side of caution. Get a pet-first aid book or app. You can also download and print out pet first-aid brochures. Keep these with your pet’s travel carrier, preferably with a first-aid kit. We also recommend saving the number for the Pet Poison Helpline, which is 800-213-6680. (Note: charges may apply.) You’ll also want to add your vet’s number as well as the nearest emergency clinic.

Signs Of Poisoning

Signs of poison ingestion will vary from pet to pet, and can also change depending on what substance they ingested. However, some common red flags include vomiting, trembling, rapid heart rate, withdrawal, restlessness, and unusual vocalizations. If you know or suspect that your pet ingested something toxic, call your vet immediately.

Do you have questions about your pet’s care? Contact us, your local Ellicott City, MD veterinary clinic, anytime!

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