Pet Poison Prevention Month

Yes, it’s here! March is Pet Poison Prevention Month. It’s important since awareness is the key to prevention. Many people know about some toxins but, are unaware of some basic ones. The one MANY people are aware of is chocolate. We get lots of calls because a dog ate chocolate. The toxicity varies depending on the type of chocolate, baker’s chocolate being the most poisonous. The level of toxicity depends on the size of the dog, type of chocolate and amount ingested. . But, there are a number of foods that can be toxic that many people are not aware of including onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, avocado and macadamia nuts. A good rule of thumb is, if you are not SURE it is safe, don’t feed it to your pet. . Another common problem is misuse of flea and tick products. Under no circumstances should a product distributed for dogs be given to a cat. Cats are not small dogs and have different metabolic systems. Products should not be combined unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian. Directions should be followed to the letter. Placement of topicals is important to avoid ingestion that can cause illness. Recommended length of time between treatment should also be adhered to in order to avoid problems. . Cats are not dogs are not people. Huh? What I mean by this is the metabolisms of our pets is not the same as ours and not the same between pet species. Frequently, pet lovers will give their pet medication not labeled for pets. This can have devastating results, from minor illness to death. Some people use the Internet as a source for advice on drugs to use on their pet. The Internet can be a wonderful source of information, but a terrible source of knowledge and this can result in problems for your pet. . Plants both indoor and outdoor can be a source of toxins for your pet. Be sure to research whatever your pet has access to in order to be certain it is safe. A nice pot of cat grass or catnip can be fabulous for your kitty, but an Easter Lily is deadly. . A list of pet poisons can be found here http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poisons. Photo courtesy of Mike Rawlins via Flickr

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