5 Ways To Protect Your Pet From Toxins

As a pet owner, you want to ensure your furry friend’s health and safety, and the possibility of toxin exposure is a major threat to their wellbeing. Take precautions to protect your pet from these common toxins, which include household products, medications, foods, and plants. Our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital & Mobile Services team shares five ways to keep your pet safe from toxin exposure. 

#1: Be aware of chemicals in household products 

The average home contains many common toxins that can be harmful or lethal to your pet. To help prevent your pet from experiencing a potentially dangerous toxin exposure, store these common household products out of your pet’s reach: 

  • Cleaning productsMany popular cleaning products contain chemicals that can harm your pet. Rather than using products that contain bleach, ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, phenol, and isopropyl alcohol, which are all highly toxic, use products whose labels specify they can be used safely around pets. If you must use cleaning products that have toxic ingredients or whose labels include hazard statements, such as danger, warning, and caution, use them in well-ventilated areas.
  • Laundry detergents — Laundry detergents are poisonous to cats and dogs. Many people keep detergents on shelves next to the washing machine or in cupboards with easy-to-open doors. Unsurprisingly, cats and dogs often ingest these toxins. To help prevent your pet from getting into laundry products, keep detergents out of their reach by storing the products in a cupboard that has a door you can lock. 
  • RodenticidesRodenticides usually have deadly effects on pets. To ensure your pet does not accidentally ingest these dangerous toxins, keep these products out of your furry friend’s reach. 
  • AntifreezePets are particularly drawn to antifreeze because this automotive product has an enticingly sweet scent and flavor. However, antifreeze is extremely toxic because it contains ethylene glycol. If your pet ingests even a small amount of this toxin, they can experience severe kidney damage. Always keep antifreeze out of your pet’s reach, and if you spill a few drops on the garage floor, immediately take your pet out of the area and clean up the spill.
  • Fertilizers — Fertilizers often contain blood or bone meal, herbicides, or insecticides, all of which are toxic to pets. Keep all lawn and garden chemicals out of your pet’s reach.

#2: Store medications out of your pet’s reach 

Your pet may view your pill bottles as toys and the colorful capsules and tablets within as treats. To prevent your pet from accidentally ingesting any medication, keep the drugs in a secure cabinet out of your pet’s reach. Prevent your pet from ingesting these harmful medications: 

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications — Drugs intended for people are toxic to pets, and can cause them to experience organ failure or other complications. The most common culprits are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—such as ibuprofen and naproxen—acetaminophen (i.e., Tylenol), cough and cold medicines, and supplements. Never give your pet any medications before consulting your veterinarian.
  • Prescription medications You can accidentally drop a prescription pill or tablet, or leave the bottle out where your pet can find it. The prescription drugs pets most commonly ingest are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), heart, and psychiatric medications—all of which will negatively affect your furry friend’s health. 
  • Veterinary medications — Veterinary medications and supplements (e.g., flavored tablets and chews) can be extremely hazardous to your pet’s wellbeing if they ingest these drugs in large quantities. Ensure you securely store veterinary medications out of your pet’s reach. In addition, never give one pet a medication your veterinarian has prescribed for another pet. Also, never give your cat your dog’s medication, because drugs that may be safe for a dog may not be safe for a cat.

#3: Avoid sharing food with your pet

Food is extremely motivating to many pets, but certain people foods are toxic to our furry friends, and if they eat something they shouldn’t, they can experience serious consequences. Resist sharing table scraps with your pet. In addition, ensure you store your food out of their reach and—to prevent your pet from getting into discarded foods—use trash cans with locking lids. These common foods that you enjoy are dangerous to your pet:

  • Chocolate 
  • Sugar-free foods 
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions, leeks, and chives 
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol

#4: Remove pet-toxic plants

For your pet’s safety, keep toxic plants out of their reach. To determine which plants are pet-safe, use this searchable poisonous plant list. If you have houseplants, ensure they are not these toxic varieties:

  • Lilies — Lilies are especially harmful to cats, causing severe kidney damage. All parts of the lily are dangerous, including the water in the vase.
  • Aloe — If your pet ingests aloe, they can experience vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle tremors.
  • Dieffenbachias — Dieffenbachias contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. If your pet ingests this plant, they can experience mouth and gastrointestinal (GI) irritation, which can cause drooling, oral pain, decreased appetite, and vomiting.
  • Sago palms — All parts of the sago palm are dangerous to pets, but these plants’ seeds are the most toxic. If your pet ingests this plant, they can develop acute GI signs and experience liver failure.

#5: Have an emergency plan for your pet

Be prepared to act quickly if you suspect your pet has been exposed to or has ingested a toxin. While your pet’s signs will differ depending on the toxin, these signs usually indicate trouble:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Incoordination
  • Blood in the stool
  • Seizures
  • Collapse 

If you know or suspect your pet has ingested a toxin, contact the Pet Poison Helpline or our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital & Mobile Services team to ensure your pet receives the prompt care they need.

By |2024-02-15T00:00:13+00:00May 10th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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