March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month. According to the Pet Poison Hotline, fifty percent of the calls they receive are situations where an item that was not toxic to a person was ingested and was toxic to pets.
Let’s take a look at the top categories of potential toxins and identify ways to keep your pets safe:
- Xylitol. This is a substance in many sugarless products that is toxic to pets. It can be found in anything from sugar-free gums, mints, and even peanut butter. Symptoms that you may notice include vomiting, weakness, difficulty walking, tremors and seizures.
- Medications. Human medications can have lots of adverse impacts on your pets. From red blood cell damage to neurological problems, make sure to keep all human medications safely stored away from pets and small children.
- Flowers. With Easter around the corner, lilies are one type of flower that pets should not be exposed to as they can be toxic. If you have tulip or daffodil bulbs, keep an eye out for pets that like to eat them. These can also cause illness.
- Chocolate. In keeping with our Easter theme, those chocolate bunnies can be bad news. The real danger is in the darker and more bitter chocolate as it contains a chemical compound related to caffeine. If you pet ingests these types of chocolates, or you think it might be possible, watch symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, and seizures. Death is a possibility to seek medical attention promptly if you think your pet has eaten chocolates.
- Pest Control and Fertilizers. You might be preparing for vermin and gardening, but keep your materials out of the pathway of your pets. Some items can be fatal in small doses, so don’t take any chances.
If you do need immediate assistance with possible poison situations, contact your local veterinarian’s office or reach out to either the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 or contact the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.