Pet Poison Prevention Week: Keeping Your Animals Safe
Whether your household is under the rule of a mercurial tabby or you’re greeted after a long day at work by the barking, slobber, and tail-wagging of a friendly pup, you know the love that only pet-owners can understand, and the responsibility that comes with bringing an animal into your home and your family. As a pet parent you go out of your way to make sure that your canine or feline companion is healthy and happy.
Naturally, you would never willingly poison a beloved pet. And yet, there are almost certainly items in your home that could cause your animals harm if ingested. Plus, you might not realize that certain table scraps, while harmless to humans, could prove fatal to a dog or cat. In other words, you need the 411 on pet poisons in order to keep your furry friends healthy and well. This is the goal of pet poison prevention week, and here’s what you need to know to keep your animals safe.
What is Pet Poison Prevention Week?
Pet Poison Prevention Week falls on the third week of March, which means it runs from March 18-25 this year. Designated as “National Poison Prevention Week” by Congress in 1961, this week dedicated to poison prevention was initially intended to raise awareness about poisoning hazards for humans. It has since been adopted by the veterinary community to ensure that all members of the family, including the 4-legged variety, are kept safe from the hazards of avoidable toxins.
How Can You Keep Your Pet Safe?
There are two ways that pets are commonly poisoned in the home. One is that they get into something they shouldn’t, like the pantry or cupboards containing toxic solvents, pesticides, medications, or even seemingly harmless items like vitamin supplements. All can be harmful and even fatal to pets that gobble them up.
The simple solution is pet-proofing your home, just as you might to keep babies and toddlers away from similar hazards. Installing child-safety latches or locks on any cabinets pets could access is wise, or at least on those containing food or other items pets might try to consume. You should also be aware of plants in your home or your area that could be poisonous to animals.
The other way pets get poisoned is when their owners allow them to eat people food. Certain foods are totally safe, and even healthy for pets to eat. By and large, this category includes natural meats, grains, and some fruits and veggies. You want to avoid giving pets processed foods and dishes that contain sauces, spices, and other ingredients that aren’t great for animals.
You should also know that dogs and cats are unable to process certain foods. Chocolate is a well-known toxin, but you might not know that some natural items like grapes and raisins are bad for your pets, as well. It pays to do your research, but your best bet is to simply limit your pet’s diet to veterinarian-approved foods and treats.
Pet Poison Helpline
Even if you take precautions, accidents can happen. In this case, you should have the number for the Pet Poison Helpline handy, stored with your other emergency numbers. If you notice common symptoms of poisoning, including vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, seizures, bleeding, and more, and your veterinarian is unavailable, call the professionals at the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.
To learn more about the team at Central Texas Animal Hospital, view our team page or contact us today to schedule an appointment! We offer veterinary services for cats and dogs in the Pflugerville/Austin-Round Rock, TX area.