March is Pet Poison Prevention Month. That’s why we’re sharing this reminder to make a habit of regular home inspections for both indoor and outdoor toxins that could pose potential dangers to your pet. And, we’re talking about going beyond your typical pet-proofing, as items inevitably come and go throughout your home that can leave disastrous consequences lurking in the dark. But, where should you start?
The process of regular home inspections should go something like this:
- Educate – It’s important to first know which items in and around your home may be harmful to your pet. Learn about which human foods, plants, cleaning products, etc. are absolute no-nos!
- Scrutinize – Make time to carefully look over your home to ensure there are no toxic or hazardous materials left out that your pet can get into.
- Secure – Store all hazardous materials far out of reach from pets, or ensure they’re removed completely.
- Plan – In the unfortunate event that your pet consumes something poisonous, it’s important to know which symptoms to look for. They often include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and seizures or convulsions.
- Seek Help – Part of planning includes preparing for an emergency situation. Keep a list of all emergency veterinary and poison control numbers easily on hand, and seek help as soon as you notice signs of distress or suspect poisoning.
Poisoning can come from a great number of things, so it’s important to educate yourself early on things your pet can and can’t have as well as items that should be completely removed from your home or property.
Many emergency poisoning calls come from pets getting ahold of foods that are left sitting out around the house. Some of the most common food toxins include:
- Human health supplements not directly prescribed for your pet
- Ingested food items that are excessively sweet, salty, or fatty
Always consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your pet.
Other emergency situations pets can get into include ingesting toxic plants. Whether outdoor or indoor, there are several common ones that can be incredibly dangerous. Those include:
- Emerald Fern
- Aloe Vera
- Morning Glory
We understand that even the most diligent pet owners can still see accidents happen. That’s why it’s important to be prepared, and know when to contact your veterinarian or emergency poison control line. Learn the signs and symptoms, and always, always be proactive when it comes to your pet’s healthcare.
As pet owners, it’s up to us to take our four-legged companions’ well-being into our own hands and take on the responsibility of creating a safe and loving environment for them. So, make a point to set aside time, regularly, to inspect your home for possible toxins. It could be a matter of life and death.