March is pet poison prevention month. This month was inspired by National Poison Prevention Week in the United States that raised awareness about harmful household products responsible for poisoning children. Like kids, our pets get into stuff they shouldn’t. Thousands of people call their veterinarians about potentially poisoned pets from something they ate safe for human consumption every year. These issues gave rise to pet poison prevention month to educate owners and raise awareness of what can potentially harm your pet. Read along to learn the things you should know about pet poisoning.
Know the Signs of Pet Poisoning
The number one sign of pet poisoning can be behaviour change. Behaviour can differ depending on the substance ingested, but in general, difficulty walking or breathing, excessive drooling and weakness can indicate something is wrong. In addition to behaviour, reactions like vomiting, diarrhea, fever, increased heart rate and even seizures can indicate poisoning. The most severe reaction is death, caused if too much poisonous substance is ingested. Keep a close eye on your pet to recognize any unusual occurrences.
What Can Poison Your Pet?
Many household substances are harmful to our pets. Some of these substances, like fertilizers and pesticides and household cleaning products, are more obvious to cause harm to our pets. Poisoning by these substances is often accidental when things are not put away safely. When buying chemicals for the garden or home, read the labels and ingredients to see whether there are pet-safe options.
Other Poisonous Substances
Marijuana, which has become legal in Canada, is highly toxic to our pets. Whether ingesting some weed lying around, finding a roach on the ground, or eating vomit or feces of someone who has smoked or eaten weed recently, it can cause extreme toxicity. Other substances, like food, are harder to identify as harmful. We know that chocolate and grapes are toxic to dogs, and garlic and onions are poisonous to cats, but what about other foods? A common ingredient found in human food called xylitol is a very harmful ingredient to our dogs. This substance is a sugar replacement commonly found in sugarless human food. If ingested by our dogs, it can cause low blood pressure, indigestion, and liver failure. It’s best to stick to natural foods to know they are safe for your pets.
What to do if Your Pet is Poisoned?
If you think your pet is poisoned, it’s best to get help immediately. Contact your vet right away or any emergency veterinary service in your area. Glenwood Park Veterinary Clinic can help you and your pet during the week. Edson Veterinary Clinic has a 24-hour line for emergencies occurring outside vet hours to help. It’s better to be safe than sorry in situations of poisoning. Reactions and consequences can become more severe if you wait too long. While you’re calling for help, be sure to tell the vet all you know, especially the substance ingested, if you know. Knowing more details will help the vet determine how to help your pet.
Pet Poison Prevention Tips
The best prevention tip is to remove any poisonous substance away from your pet’s reach. Lock away harmful chemicals and medications that your pets cannot get into, and refrain from purchasing plants that can cause them harm. A fake alternative is the better option for decoration and to keep your pets safe. Research the food you want to give to your pet. It’s best to stick to pet food and treats, but if you’re going to treat your pet to something, stick to natural ingredients. If you’re not sure about a particular food, it’s best to play it safe and not give it to your pet. Being careful and safe is the best way to prevent your dog from getting poisoned.
Pet Poison Prevention Month raises awareness about the everyday things that could be poisonous to our pets. There are so many foods, and items you wouldn’t think of that could make your pet sick. It’s always best to do your research if you’re unsure about food and to keep all cleaning products locked up and away from reach. For more information to help you protect your pets better from poisonous substances, you can check out APCC’s poison control page: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control.