PET SAFETY: POISONS
If you are a typical pet owner, your pet is a part of your family. However, just as you would with a baby, you must be vigilant in protecting your pet from poisonous items that can be found around the house.
Poisonous Plants
Those sweet-smelling flowers or green plants may brighten up your home, but unfortunately dogs and cats are attracted to them too. Popular flora that is dangerous to your pet includes:
Lilies
Tulips/Narcissus bulbs
Azaleas/Rhododendrons
Oleander
Amaryllis
Chrysanthemums
Daisies
Baby’s breath
Pothos – Of the Araceae family; is an extremely popular houseplant
All of the above can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination and in some cases even coma or death. This list is not exhaustive; for a more comprehensive record, visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) at www.aspca.org.
People Food
As much as your pet begs for a taste of what’s on your plate, it is generally not wise to feed it food or drinks meant for humans. Foods especially harmful to pets include:
Grapes
Raisins
Avocado
Chocolate
Onions, garlic and chives
Coffee
Alcoholic beverages
Undercooked meat
Raw bones (they can splinter)
Products sweetened with xylitol (like sugar-free gum)
Medications
Everyone has dropped a pill on the floor from time to time. However, if you have pets, you need to pick it up immediately; if you cannot find it, get out the vacuum. Never leave opened medication out on the counter. Also, if you are dispensing medication to your animal, make sure to read the instructions carefully. The ASPCA has received calls regarding poisonings by well-meaning pet owners.
If Your Pet is Poisoned...
Call the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Be ready with a description of your animal, symptoms, information about the poisoning and, if applicable, have the product’s label or container handy. The ASPCA also recommends having a pet first aid kit, containing hydrogen peroxide (3 percent, to induce vomiting), a bulb syringe or turkey baster (to administer the hydrogen peroxide), saline eye solution, artificial tear gel, forceps, a muzzle (to prevent getting bitten if your animal is in shock), a mild dishwashing liquid (to bathe your pet after skin contamination) and a can of your pet’s favorite food. You can purchase such kits in pet stores or online.