The month of March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month. This a month of elevated awareness of all the potential chemical dangers to our pets.
Poison Prevention Awareness Month is a Time for Elevated Concern.
Poison Prevention Awareness Month is but one month. However, these same extra precautions should be practiced throughout the year.
Our pets are part of our family and more specifically, they are like our children. Therefore, it is imperative that we be extra vigilant in watching what they ingest.
Regardless of how intelligent our Pit Bulls are, they still cannot read a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). You should always take the necessary precautions to ensure harmful chemicals are out of the reach of your pet.
Here are Some of the Most Common Pet Poisons.
Chocolate is by far at the top of this list. This is by far the most commonly ingested pet poison found in the home.
It may be safe for you to eat, but it spells disaster for your Pit Bull if he or she eats even a small amount.
Your Pit Bull cannot process a component of chocolate which results in a build-up of toxins that can be fatal.
So, What is the Big deal with Chocolate?
There is a toxic component in chocolate known as theobromine.
Humans can easily metabolize the theobromine found in chocolate. However, dogs process it at an extremely slow rate.
Therefore, this allows it to build up to toxic levels in their system.
Tips and Precautions for the Ingestion of Chocolate by Your Pet.
Chocolate is poisonous to all dogs. Consequently, it is strongly advised that you not feed it to any dog.
However, the hazard of chocolate to your dog depends on the type of chocolate, amount consumed, and your dog’s size.
Although, in large enough amounts, chocolate and cocoa products will kill your dog.
Worst Case Scenario and Symptoms to Look for.
In case of large amounts, theobromine can produce muscle tremors and seizures.
In addition, it can also cause an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding or even a heart attack.
The onset of theobromine poisoning is usually marked by severe hyperactivity.
Treatments for Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs.
The usual treatment for theobromine poisoning is to induce vomiting within two hours of ingestion.
If you are worried or suspect that your dog may have eaten a large quantity of chocolate and they are showing any of the signs listed above, call your veterinarian immediately.
If you have a small dog that has eaten a box of chocolates, you need to call and go to your veterinarian right away. Please, do not wait.
Other Common Poisons You Should be Aware of.
Rodent pesticides are another common source of pet poisonings you should be aware of.
It may seem safe to put that rat poison out in the basement, but it’s best to always put pesticides in an area your dog cannot reach.
You should consider placing the pesticide up higher, under kitchen cabinets or in the attic.
What is Healthy for Us Can Be Deadly for Our Pets.
Case in point, Human vitamins.
Dogs process vitamins and minerals very differently than we do. Therefore, they are unable to tolerate the high concentrations of supplements the way we can.
So, keep this in mind and Keep all supplements out of reach of your dog at all times.
Again, What is Healthy for Us Can Be Deadly for Our Pets.
Another often overlooked source of poison to our pets is medications.
Human medications may be necessary for our good health, but they’re not good for your dog.
Therefore, a child-proof lid is not enough to deter a curious pup, so keep them in a locked box or medicine cabinet.
What is Sweet, Healthy for Your Teeth, and Deadly to Your Dog?
The answer is sugarless gum. It is sweet and good for your teeth, but what makes it deadly is Xylitol.
This common artificial sweetener is often found in sugarless chewing gums and mints.
The ingestion of Xylitol can be fatal to your dog.
More Precautions to Take in Regards to Xylitol.
This occurs because Xylitol may not be completely digested in the intestines until the digestive system adapts.
Thus, Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs.
Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs.
Foods on the Naughty List for Your Pet.
Other foods and items to be aware of that can contain Xylitol.
· Packaged Goods and Baking Mixes.
· Candies, Gum, and Mints.
· Jams, Syrups, Condiments, and Honey.
· Protein Bars and Powders.
· Flavored Waters and Drink Powders.
· Peanut Butter and Nut Butters.
· Dental Products of all kind.
Other Not so Obvious Sources of Poison to be Concerned About.
One such not-so-obvious source is Houseplants.
When you bring home a dog, you will need to inspect your houseplants for varieties known to be toxic to dogs.
These include sago palms, tulips, oleander, hyacinths, poinsettias, azaleas, lilies, and amaryllis.
The Obvious Sources of Poison, Still Need to be Mentioned.
One of these obvious sources is Cleaners.
As I am sure you are aware of, cleaners of any kind or type are also poisonous to humans.
Therefore, it almost does not bear mentioning that these same chemicals are also poisonous to your dog. So store all cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet and never leave them out.
More Obvious Sources of Poison that Bears Mentioning.
Lawn chemicals are a definite no-no for both humans and dogs alike.
So be sure to read, understand, and follow all directions for your lawn chemicals.
You should especially pay close attention to the time periods restricting contact with your pet after application.
What Prevents Freezing and You Should Prevent your Dog from Consuming?
Antifreeze of course.
This common large fluid is sweet to taste and is fatal to dogs and humans alike.
So, be sure clean up any spills using an absorbent material. In addition, be sure to flush any contaminated areas with water prior to letting your dog in the area.
What to do if a Worst Case Scenario Does Happen.
If your dog does ingest something he or she shouldn’t, you can call the ASPCA 24 hours a day at (888) 426-4435.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is one of the best resources for any animal poison-related emergency.
They are available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.