Think of this post as the Mr. Yuck for pets. March 16-22 is National Poison Prevention Week and the majority of resources available are aimed at protecting your children, so we at PVMA thought we’d give you a little help with protecting your pets! Take our poll at the end of this post to see which preparations you’re making.
First and foremost, be cognizant of the fact that your home is full of hazards, both inside and out. No, this doesn’t mean you’re a bad pet parent. Pets – especially dogs – are curious creatures and often investigate new things by tasting and eating them. Many plants in your yard or potted plants in the house can be poisonous, as can cut flowers like lilies. Like you would do with small kids, keep household cleaners, toiletries, and medicines out of reach. You know they aren’t food but your pet doesn’t. Also take special care in the kitchen. Everyone knows chocolate is poisonous, but so are many other foods and even chewing gum. Things like onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt and yeast dough all can have bad consequences if ingested. I know if can seem like a treat to feed your pet people food, but stick to the pet food and treats that are designed for them. PVMA has a number of fact sheets which might be helpful on these topics – be sure to check them out and download for free.
Having a pet first aid kit stocked and at the ready can also be beneficial if you suspect your pet has been poisoned or is injured. Pet Poison Helpline, a fantastic web resource for pet safety, also has a number you can call -1.800.213.6680 – if you suspect that your pet has been poisoned. Keep it on your refrigerator and in any first aid kit that you create. Below is a list of items you might want to include in your first aid kit but remember, it’s very important to call Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian before giving any of these remedies yourself at home. The treatment will depend on the type of animal, the size, what was ingested, and what symptoms are being displayed.
- Hydrogen peroxide 3 percent used to induce vomiting in dogs– make sure it’s not expired
- Oral dosing syringe or turkey baster – for administering hydrogen peroxide
- Teaspoon/tablespoon set – for measuring appropriate amount of hydrogen peroxide
- Liquid hand dish washing detergent, such as Dawn or Palmolive
- Rubber or latex gloves
- Triple antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin™
- Vitamin E (a small container of oil or several gel caps)
- Diphenhydramine tablets 25mg – with NO other combination ingredients
- Ophthalmic saline solution or artificial tears
- Can of tuna packed in water or tasty canned pet food
- Sweet electrolyte-containing beverage
- Corn syrup (1/4 cup)
- Vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
You can visit the Pet Poison Helpline website to learn much more about pet safety as well as facts, products, tips and recalls. They also have a mobile app for your iPhone so you can have information on the go.
Pets are part of our families and we want them to stay safe. With a few small steps to prepare, you can rest a little easier in case something happens.