pet toxinsWe all want the best for our pets, and of course that includes keeping them safe from potentially poisonous substances. Because so many items commonly found in our homes, gardens, and neighborhoods can pose a hazard to our pets, it’s vital that pet parents are not only educated on the potential pet toxins, but also know what to do in the event of an accidental pet poisoning.

Pet Toxins At Home

Pet toxins inside our homes can take many forms, including:

  • Kitchen – Many food items are toxic to pets, including chocolate, Xylitol (an artificial sweetener used in some sugar-free foods), onions, raisins, fatty foods, alcohol, and coffee.
  • Bathroom – Any item containing Xylitol, such as toothpaste and gum, is a potential pet toxin. Most over the counter and prescription medications can be dangerous for pets, including acetaminophen, inhalers, NSAIDs, and ADHD medication.
  • Backpacks – Backpacks and purses are often irresistible to pets, but items such as leftover lunches, medication, gum, asthma inhalers, cigarettes, and e-cigarettes pose a serious threat to a curious pet. Stow backpacks, purses, and bags out of your pet’s reach.

Just Outside Your Door

Pets love to be outside, but a busy nose can get a pet into trouble in the blink of an eye. Be on the lookout for the following pet toxins around the outside of your home:

  • Plants – Plants that are toxic to pets include lilies, poppies, hyacinth, ivy, crocus, rhododendron, iris, daffodils, tulips, tomato plants,
  • Chemicals and garden – Antifreeze, rodenticide, lawn chemicals, compost, bone and blood meal, rose food, and cocoa mulch are all highly poisonous to pets if ingested. Use the same safety precautions to keep your pets safe from chemicals as you would to keep a small child safe.
  • Garbage cans – Keep garbage cans tightly lidded all times to prevent pets from investigating the potentially hazardous contents.

The Concrete Jungle

Living with a pet in busy areas poses a unique set of challenges when it comes to avoiding pet toxins. Keep the following safety tips in mind while out for your daily walk with your pet:

  • Keep your pet away from garbage cans and recycling bins
  • Don’t allow your pet to investigate unknown substances or refuse
  • Avoid alleys and other areas where garbage and potential toxins may collect
  • Wipe your pet’s paws after a winter walk to remove any accumulated de-icing salts, which not only irritate the paws but can be toxic if ingested
  • Keep your pet on a short leash while out walking, and never leave pets outside unsupervised.

It’s important to know what to do if your pet has ingested something toxic:

  • Regardless of which type of toxin your pet has come into contact with, it should be treated as a medical emergency.
  • If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested something toxic, try to collect as much information about the substance as possible, including how much was eaten, when, ingredients list if available, or a sample of the material.
  • Bring your pet into hospital, give us a call, or call the ASPCA’s pet poison hotline immediately. Review our guidelines for handling an accidental pet poisoning.

Your friends at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital are here to answer your questions and concerns regarding pet toxins. Don’t hesitate to give us a call!