March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month

Common Pet Poisons

  1. Chocolate. This is by far the most commonly ingested pet poison found in the home. It may be safe, and even pleasurable, for us to eat, but it spells disaster for your dog if he eats even a small amount. Your dog cannot process a component of chocolate which results in a build up of toxins that can be fatal.
  2. Rodent pesticides. It may seem safe to put that rat poison out in the basement, but it’s best to alway put pesticides in an area your dog cannot reach, like up high, under kitchen cabinets (try removing drawers to gain access), and in the attic. Never, ever put out pesticides where your dog can get to them.
  3. Human vitamins. Dogs process vitamins and minerals differently than we do, so they cannot tolerate the same disagrees of these “healthy” supplements as we do. Plus, Fluffy may see you “eating” these seemingly yummy substances and decide to chew the lid off and help himself when you’re not looking. Keep all supplements out of reach of your dog at all times.
  4. Medications. Human medications may be necessary for our good health, but they’re not good for your dog. A child-proof lid is not enough to deter a curious pup, so keep them in a locked box or medicine cabinet (not in your purse or on the counter).
  5. Xylitol. This common artificial sweetener is often found in sugarless chewing gums and mints. If you keep these items in your coat pockets or purse, always keep them out of reach of your dog. He may sniff them out when you’re not looking and eat whatever he can find. Xylitol ingestion can be fatal to dogs.
  6. Houseplants. When you bring home a dog, you’ll need to inspect your houseplants for varieties known to be toxic to dogs. These include sago palms, tulips, oleander, hyacinths, poinsettias, azaleas, lilies, and amaryllis.
  7. Cleaners. That pretty blue water in the toilet bowl probably contains bleach and other potentially toxic substances that can make your dog sick. Keep all cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet and don’t leave them out in the open while cleaning.
  8. Lawn chemicals. Be sure to read, understand, and follow all directions for lawn chemicals, specifically the time periods restricting contact with your pet after applications.
  9. Antifreeze. This common large fluid is sweet to taste and is fatal to dogs and cats. Clean up any spills using cat liter or absorbent materials and be sure to flush any contaminated areas with water prior to letting your dog in the area.

If you dog does ingest something he shouldn’t the ASPCA has a doggie poison control line available 24 hours a day, (888426-4435.

Other common household poisons are:

  • batteries
  • fabric softener sheets
  • cigarettes
  • pennies
  • instant hand warmers
  • mothballs
  • soap gel packs