Did you know the most common reason behind a pet emergency is an accidental exposure to a toxin? The list of potential toxins in your home is longer than you might think. So, how do pet owners stay in front of the fast-moving train that is emergency prevention? You don’t have to keep your eyes peeled 24/7, but you must control your pet’s environment to prevent a pet poisoning.
Common Household Toxins
Tens of thousands of calls are placed each year to veterinary hospitals and poison control centers (especially around the holidays). The most common concerns are directly linked to household toxins. This means that dangers to your pet are lurking in plain sight. With a little detective work, you can keep them safe from accidental ingestion.
Starting With the Kitchen
The following people foods should always be securely stored and never left out or displayed:
To the Bathroom
The bathroom medicine cabinet is home to many necessary human treatments. Not all of them are known to be toxic to pets, but these items can definitely land a pet in the ER:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Cough/cold Medications
- Prescription drugs for ADD/ADHD (Adderall, Concerta, or anything with amphetamines)
- Depression medications, such as Paxil, Prozac, Effexor or Celexa
- Medications for seizure disorders
Pet owners should always store their over-the-counter and prescription drugs in secured containers (preferably on a high shelf), and behind a closed door. Marijuana should be handled the same way.
What About Pet Meds?
It should be noted that if a pet gets into their own prescriptions, they could still experience life-threatening symptoms from having too much at one time. Please follow dosing recommendations and do not allow your pet to ingest more than the intended dose. This includes any parasite prevention medication.
Other Household Dangers
We recommend the following strategies to prevent a pet poisoning:
- Safely store cleaning products, like bleach, drain cleaners, detergents, and glass cleaners.
- Use cleaning products when your pet is outside.
- Only allow them back inside the home after products have dissolved or evaporated.
- Ventilate the house.
- Yard and garden products such as rodenticides, fertilizers, pesticides, slug bait, and bone meal can be risky around pets. Use sparingly or not at all around pets. Exposure to these types of products can lead to a life-threatening pet poisoning and should be dealt with promptly to minimize severe damage to the internal organs.
- Use extreme caution when bringing antifreeze into the garage. Control any leaks so your pet isn’t tempted by it’s slightly sweet taste.
Reduce the Chances of a Pet Poisoning
Take extra care regarding the storage of potentially toxic items or ingredients. Keep backpacks or purses off the floor, and minimize any opportunities for your pet to get into trouble.
Also, being able to recognize the signs of a pet poisoning, such as vomiting, drooling, disorientation, collapse, and seizures can clue you in that they need immediate help.