March 18-24 is National Poison Prevention Week


dogBy Dr. Camille DeClementi

March 18–24 is National Poison Prevention Week!

This is a great time to think about ways you can protect your pets from potential poisons lurking in your home. I am a veterinarian living in Pittsburgh, and I work for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control. We are your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call 888.426.4435. You can also check out our website to get additional information: One of the best tools on our website is our poisonous plants application. You can type in the name of a plant, and it will show you a picture of the plant and tell you if it is poisonous or not. Below is a list of things in your home and garden that you’ll want to steer your pets clear of.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate (all forms)
  • Coffee (all forms)
  • Fatty foods
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough
  • Garlic
  • Products sweetened with xylitol

Warm Weather Hazards:

  • Animal toxins—toads, insects, spiders, snakes and scorpions
  • Blue-green algae in ponds
  • Citronella candles
  • Cocoa mulch
  • Compost piles fertilizers
  • Flea products
  • Outdoor plants and plant bulbs
  • Swimming-pool treatment supplies
  • Fly baits containing methomyl
  • Slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde

Common examples of human medications that can be potentially lethal to pets, even in small doses, include:

  • Pain killers
  • Cold medicines
  • Anti-cancer drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Vitamins
  • Diet Pills

Cold Weather Hazards:

  • Antifreeze
  • Liquid potpourri
  • Ice melting products
  • Rat and mouse bait

Common Household Hazards:

  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Cleaning products
  • Potpourri or other fragrance items
  • Mothballs
  • Post-1982 pennies (due to high concentration of zinc)

Holiday Hazards:

  • christmas tree water (may contain fertilizers and bacteria, which, if ingested, can upset the stomach.
  • electrical cords
  • ribbons or tinsel (can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction—most often occurs with kittens!)
  • batteries
  • glass ornaments

Non-toxic Substances for Dogs and Cats:
The following substances are considered to be non-toxic, although they may cause mild gastrointestinal upset in some animals:

  • Water-based paints
  • Toilet bowl water
  • Silica gel
  • Poinsettia
  • Cat litter
  • Glue traps
  • Glow jewelry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s