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Poison Prevention

As a pet owner, you can take significant steps to help prevent accidental poisoning in your pet. Each year, the third week of March is National Poison Prevention Week and Lawndale Veterinary Hospital has tips, educational information, and resources to help you be proactive in keeping your pet safe.

Be sure to also check out the ASPCA Poison Control Center and Pet Poison Helpline websites for additional information.

Tips:

  1. Make sure you tell us about all the drugs, vitamins, supplements, topical products, etc. your pet is receiving. We can help you understand whether these items are safe for your pet.

  1. Do not give your pet any over the counter substance unless your veterinarian has advised you to do so. Some over the counter substances can be safe, but many can be harmful to animals.

  1. Poison proof your house.

  • Keep all medications (pet and human) out of reach of pets.
  • Avoid feeding your pet foods that can be harmful.
  • Know which plants are toxic (and avoid having them where your pet can get to them!)
  • Keep toxic cleaning and laundry supplies out of reach
  • Always understand the safety of any pest bait, trap, or killer. Many of these products can harm or kill your pet.
  • Check out the Pet Poison Helpline's list of ways to poison proof your home here.

  1. Poison proof your yard.

  • Know which plants/bulbs are toxic (and avoid having them where your pet can get to them!)
  • Keep pets off lawns while herbicides are drying
  • Keep things like fertilizers, bone meal, blood meal, herbicides, and pesticides locked up tight. Also read and understand product labels to decide whether the products are even safe to use in outdoor areas where pets are kept
  • Check out the Pet Poison Helpline's list of ways to poison proof your yard and garden here.

  1. Know what to do if your pet ingests or is exposed to a poison.

  • Time is of the essence! Call us, an emergency clinic, or a poison control line immediately. Learn more about what to do in an emergency here.
  • Do not administer anything else (home remedies, etc) as these may worsen the problem or interfere with necessary treatments
  • The veterinary team will instruct you on the best plan of action depending on your pet’s individual circumstance.
  • Keep in mind that pet poisonings can happen without an owner’s knowledge. If your pet ever exhibits unusual symptoms (for example vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, trouble walking, etc) try and recall whether your pet may have been exposed to something toxic.

  1. Have crucial information available for your veterinarian.

  • Product name
  • Active and inactive ingredients
  • Route of exposure
  • Time of exposure
  • Other medications involved?
  • History of medical problems?
  • History of reactions?

Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS