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Cats and Dogs, Safety

What To Know About Pet Poison Prevention

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

We’ve all heard the old adage about chocolate and dogs, but can you quickly name any other common pet toxins? March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month, and we want to help you brush up on your pet poison knowledge. Read on to learn ways to minimize your pet’s risk of accidental poisoning.


Human food is one of the trickiest dangers to avoid for your pets for two reasons: they love eating our food, and we love feeding them. An occasional table treat once in a while can be okay, but only if you know for certain the food you’re sharing with them is safe. Unless you know the food is pet-safe, it’s best to keep it to yourself and avoid looking directly into those adorable, begging eyes. Always make it a habit to keep food out of paws’ reach and stored away securely when you aren’t present.


While many household plants are perfectly safe to have around your pets, there are some that should be avoided. Take a quick survey of your home (indoors and outside) and research any plants you’re unsure about. Lilies, daffodils, and tulips are some of the most commonly known toxic plants, but you can find a more extensive list here. Don’t forget about boquets! When a plant isn’t a permanent fixture in your home, it can be hard to remember to research its toxicity to your pets. Make it a habit to research any plant you bring into your home, even it it will only be there for a short period of time.

Household items

Of course, we never want our pets to ingest any non-food products, but there are a few household items that are especially dangerous. To avoid accidental ingestion, store your medications, cleaning products, solvents, and essential oils out of reach of curious noses.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center compiled a list of their top 10 most commonly reported toxins for the year 2016:

  1. Garden products (herbicides, fertilizers, and fungicides)
  2. Plants
  3. Rodenticides
  4. Insecticides
  5. Chocolate
  6. Household items (paint, glue, cleaning products, etc.)
  7. Veterinary products (medications, supplements, etc.)
  8. Human food
  9. Over-the-counter products
  10. Human prescription medications

Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, blood in stool, lethargy, loss of appetite, bruising, nosebleeds, irregular heartbeat, inability to urinate.

If you see your pet ingest something toxic, or suspect that he or she has, call your veterinarian or a pet poison control helpline immediately. There are a variety of hotlines available to help your pet, however, it should be noted that most of them come with a consultation fee.

For quick access to pet toxin information, you can download the free Animal Poison Control Mobile App.

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