Poison Prevention Week is a campaign that is over 50 years old. Every year, we are urged to take notice of the chemicals in our lives that are dangerous. Pets are just as likely to be poisoned as young children.\. In many instances, pets are MORE prone to poisoning, since we may not be wary of foods or plants that we have no problem with but are toxic to animals.
Take some time this week to think about the people and animals in your life, and how you can prevent poisoning. Here are some tips that may help:
- Inspect your home for any medicines and chemical products, such as detergents, cleaning products, pesticides, and fertilizers that may be improperly stored and make necessary changes immediately. Always store medicines and household products up high, away and out of reach from children and pets.
- Install safety latches on cabinets used for medicines and chemical products
- Re-close medicines and other household products if interrupted during use.
- Program emergency poison numbers into your cell phone AND write them down someplace noticeable, like a calendar or on the refrigerator. For animal poisoning, contact the ASPCA Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 (A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card).
- Make sure any babysitters or pet sitters know the Poison Help Numbers.
- Read medicine and product labels before each use and follow directions
- Keep cleaning products in their original container with the original label intact.
- Never use empty detergent containers for storage of any other materials
- Know the name of all household plants in your home. Remove any poisonous plants from the house and yard
You are likely aware of what cleaning agents or other chemicals to keep away from your dog or cat, but you may not be aware of foods that are dangerous.
Here is a list from the Humane Society of common foods to keep away from pets:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Apple seeds
- Apricot pits
- Cherry pits
- Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
- Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans)
- Gum (can cause blockages and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
- Hops (used in home beer brewing)
- Macadamia nuts
- Moldy foods
- Mushroom plants
- Mustard seeds
- Onions and onion powder
- Peach pits
- Potato leaves and stems (the green parts)
- Rhubarb leaves
- Tea (because it contains caffeine)
- Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
- Xylitol (artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets)
- Yeast dough