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The danger of poisons and toxins surround us every day, especially for our pets. What may be edible, even enjoyable to humans, can be toxic or even deadly to our dogs and cats. March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, a great time to remind ourselves of the dangers in our homes, garages and yards. PetFirst has compiled 10 poison prevention tips to keep in mind for your pet including foods, medications, common household and garage chemicals and more.
1) Foods of all sorts: there are numerous foods that present a hazard to our pets. These foods contain ingredients that become toxic if consumed by dogs and cats. Here are a few of the most common foods to keep away from your pets:
– Alcoholic beverages
– Fatty foods
– Macadamia nuts
– Moldy or spoiled foods
– Raisins and grapes
– Yeast dough
2) Human medications: Pain killers, cold medicines and diet pills and all medications need to be stored in a pet-free zone. Even the child-proof cap is no match for a dog who chews! Keeping all medications in closed cabinets out of your pet’s reach is highly recommended.
3) Pet medications: Medications given to you by the vet for your pet are a danger if consumed inappropriately. Keep these medications stored in a closed cabinet and out of your pet’s reach.
4) Dog Rx for dogs & Cat Rx for cats: This mainly refers to the flea-control medications. If the medication is prescribed for your cat, give it to the cat. Specific medications made for cats may contain additives that will harm your dog. There are medications that can accommodate both cats and dogs. When in doubt, always check with your vet.
5) Kitchen chemicals: Dish washer tablets, steel wool cleaning pads and degreasers for the kitchen are all hazards for your pet and can lead to significant intestinal issues if consumed. Consider using the baby-proof cabinet locks to keep nosey cats and dogs out of these storage areas under your sink.
6) Car chemicals: Car chemicals such as anti-freeze produce a sweet smell that entices the most curious of pets, but it can be fatal to your dog or cat. First, consider the garage off limits for your pet, especially if they are unsupervised. Second, make it a habit that every time you finish a project in the garage, all chemicals are returned to their proper storage space that is out of your pet’s reach and that used chemicals are disposed of properly. This will protect your pet and the environment.
7) Yard chemicals: Helping your grass be green and lustrous and adding fertilizer to the garden is normal. But when left in the open for curious noses and licks, these chemicals can be dangerous to your dog or cat. Again, when you finish yard chores or tending to the garden, put the chemicals away.
8) Tamper proof garbage cans or storage containers: Making the investment in tamper proof garbage cans and storage containers is a penny well spent. The up-front cost may be overwhelming, but the end result will be protection for your pet and the avoidance of emergency vet visits. If you can’t afford the purchase all at one time, consider buying one a month to get you started.
9) Flowers in thehouse and outside: Flowers inside and outside can be dangerous to our pets. A great example are Lilies which can be fatal for cats. Do your homework when selecting flowers to plant or for decoration in your home. A quick online search can tell you which ones are pet friendly and which ones are not.
10) Laundry supplies: Dryer sheets, detergent and stain removers all are potential poisons for our pets. Keeping everything secure and out of reach is a safe bet to keeping your pet happy and healthy.
All of these examples could end in an emergency trip to the vet for treatment or evaluation. Another added layer of protection for your dog or cat is pet health insurance. By having pet health insurance, pet parents will be reimbursed up to 90% of their vet expenses should their dog or cat be injured in an accident or become ill. Pet insurance plans offer several options, allowing a plan to be customized to a pet parent’s budget as well as their pet’s physical needs.