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March is Pet Poison Prevention Month

March is Poison Prevention Month and the third week in March has been observed as National Poison Prevention Week and National Animal Poison Prevention Week.

This week is meant to bring knowledge and awareness to all pet owners regarding the many poisonous hazards in and around your home, and what to do if you know or suspect that your pet has ingested something that is potentially harmful.

Pets are naturally curious and often can’t resist smelling, tasting and sometimes swallowing foods, plants and other items in our homes that interest them. Poison-proofing your home is important. Taking simple steps such as storing medications in secure areas and making sure your houseplants are non-toxic will greatly reduce the chances that your dog or cat will come in contact with a toxic substance.

Foods: Read the labels of all food and candy you purchase to protect your pets from dangerous ingredients and unintentional xylitol poisoning. Many foods are dangerous for your pets, such as chocolate, onions, garlic, raisins and grapes. Know what foods are good for or dangerous for your pets.

Plants: Learn about the plants inside and outside around your house since some common household plants can be toxic to dogs and cats if eaten. Lilies for example are especially poisonous to cats.

Medications: Human medications should be kept out of reach of your pets. They are dangerous to your pets and can cause health issues or can be deadly. Drugs such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs as well as prescription drugs can cause serious harm to pets when ingested. Also any medications that are prescribed for your pet should always be administered according to veterinarians directions.

Household chemicals: Keep household cleaners away from pets. Watch especially for cleaners that are concentrated, such as toilet bowl or drain cleaners. Store these products in their original containers to avoid leakage, accidental mix-ups, and loss of important label information should an accidental exposure occur. Keep home fragrance products, such as simmer pots of liquid potpourri, well out of reach. These products may cause chemical burns if ingested. Also make sure to keep your pets away from automotive products, such as windshield cleaner fluid, brake fluid or antifreeze.

Insecticides/Rat poison: Read product labels so you are aware of the possible dangers and so that they are being used properly. Keep your pets away from rat and mouse poison. Be mindful that rodents can transfer the products to locations accessible by pets.

Be aware and prepared, read labels and keep your veterinarian‘s phone number handy. If you believe that your pet has ingested something harmful contact your veterinarian immediately. Keep your pets safe.

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