Dogs and cats took advantage of the shelter and food they could get from humans long ago. They remain smart survivors.
But a disadvantage of living with modern humans is exposure to toxins. Our homes are full of products that are poison to unaware pets. Dogs and cats also inadvertently ingest trace amounts of toxic chemicals through regular exploring and rummaging.
Exposure to toxins can have immediate effects such as vomiting or skin irritations. Continual exposure can lead to liver damage and other serious illnesses such as cancer. Avoiding toxins and supporting your pet’s immune system are two preventative measures that may improve your pet’s overall health and longevity.
Tips on Preventing Pet Poisoning and Toxic Exposure
- Clean-up antifreeze. It tastes and smells sweet, and small amounts can be fatal.
- Store household cleaning supplies, herbicides, pesticides, personal care products, etc. where a dog’s nose or cat’s curiosity can’t get to it. Use natural cleaning supplies inside to reduce skin and respiratory problems.
- Keep medications out of reach. Pets can remove childproof lids—don’t underestimate their determination.
- Identify and remove any poisonous plants from your yard.
- Place ant traps and rat poisons out of reach. As with cleaners, use natural products when possible.
- Give puppies and dogs that have a strong urge to chew safe, non-toxic chew toys. Train them to satisfy this need with their own toy.
- Don’t give your pets human medications.
- Don’t give your pets chocolate treats. Chocolate can be toxic to animals, and cases of pet poisonings increase around the holidays.
- Ensure you home is safe before leaving your pet alone. The Animal Poison Control Center notes most poisonings happen when owners are away.
If you think your pet has been poisoned:
- Try to identify the toxic substance and estimate how much was consumed.
- If there is vomit, inspect it for clues on what was consumed. Don’t induce vomiting unless instructed by your Vet.
- Note symptoms and call your Vet.
For more information visit the Animal Poison Control Center website
or contact them by phone at 1-888-426-4435.
Also visit our Aging Pets webpage for information on products that can improve the health of senior dogs and cats.
- Coming Soon: The Importance of a Healthy Immune System in Dogs and Cats
- Coming Soon: How to Improve and Maintain the Health of Older Pets