Poison Awareness – How to prevent it at home for your pets!

Attention pet owners! if you’ve never inspected your home or aren’t aware of the things that could be poisonous to your pet, now is the time to educate yourself! There are so many poisonous substances that can be harmful and even fatal to our pets, so it is important to know what’s in your home and also to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms that your pet may be in danger.

Here are some tips!

photo cred: mybrownnewfies.com
photo cred: mybrownnewfies.com

Inspect!
Regular inspections are the best way to ensure that your home is free of elements that may be toxic to your pet. Let’s go room to room and talk about some things that could be harmful to your pet.

Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms when it comes to poison prevention. People often make the mistake of assuming that certain table foods are safe for their pet, but this is a dangerous way of thinking. The following foods have been shown to be potentially harmful to pets –
Chocolate – especially dark chocolate, coffee, caffeine
Raisons and grapes
Yeast dough
Macadamia nuts
Raw or undercooked meat
Table salt
Garlic, onion and chives
Avocado
These are just some of the most common foods that can be hazardous to your pet. Consult with your veterinarian before sharing any table food with your pet.

Bathroom
The bathroom can be a dangerous place for your pet. Make sure you keep the following items in a place that is not accessible to your pet –
Human and pet medications
Cleaning supplies
Shampoo/conditioner
Bath salts and bathing liquids

Living Room
Household plants are a popular topic when it comes to poison prevention for our pets. If you are a pet owner and you like to keep plants in and around your home, be sure that you do your research before bringing a plant into your home that could be harmful to your pet.
Here are some other miscellaneous household items that can be toxic to your pet –
Batteries
Potpourri
Insecticides
Rodenticides
Plant fertilizer/plant food
Antifreeze
Yarn, rubber bands, dental floss

Secure!
Make sure that potentially toxic items are out of your pet’s reach. Pets can be pretty creative about finding a way to get into things, am I right?
Keep human medications and pet medications in separate areas, both secure and out of reach.

If you have multiple pets, make sure that their medications are kept separate, in order to keep them from getting mixed up.

Learn!
Do the necessary research to educate yourself on the topics surrounding poison prevention. What items are toxic to your pet? Talk to your veterinarian to find out if there are certain foods that may be more toxic to your pet than others. Read up on household plants and make sure that you don’t keep any toxic plants inside your home. Knowledge is power!

Read!
Pay attention to the labels on the items in your home. The label will often warn you if the substance is toxic to you or your pet.
Before administering any medication to your pet, make sure you read and understand the directions, and follow any doctor’s orders exactly.

Know!
Do you know what the common signs and symptoms of poisoning are? This is an important part of poison prevention. If you notice that your pet is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately!
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Difficulty breathing
Lethargy
Convulsions

If you can’t get in contact with your veterinarian, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Prepare!
It is important to be prepared in the event that any emergency arises with your pet, and that includes possible poisoning. Keep emergency resources on hand and have the number of your local veterinary emergency hospital in an accessible place, so that you can seek help immediately.

Beat the Heat- How to Keep Your Pet Comfortable and Safe in the Summer Months

Summer is upon us, fellow pet lovers, and with summer comes lots of outdoor fun with our pets. However, depending on where you live, the summer heat can present many dangers to your pet. Pet owners can sometimes be oblivious to these dangers, which can result in many health risks for our furry friends. Keep your pet comfortable and safe this summer with these tips on how to beat the heat.

What Not to Do

With temperatures rising to potentially dangerous levels in the summer months, you have to be conscious of your pet’s safety. In the hot summer months, these are some of the ‘DONTS’ to keep in mind when caring for your pet in the heat.

  • Never leave your pet unattended inside of the car. Honestly, it is never a good idea to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle for any length of time beyond a couple of minutes, but this is especially true in the event of extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold. The inside of a car on just a warm day can reach dangerous and fatal temperature levels, and it can happen within minutes! Print out this Humane Society flyer to disperse and help to educate your community.
  • Do not put a muzzle on a dog while they are out in the heat. There is a reason why dogs start panting when they get really hot – it is a natural way of controlling their body temperature. When you put a muzzle on a dog while they are out in the heat, you are preventing this natural process from occurring, which can lead to over-heating or heat stroke.
  • Do not leave your pet outside for extended periods of time during extreme heat. If it is too hot for you to be outside for an extended period of time, then you should consider it too hot for your pet as well.

Warning Signs of a Heat Stroke
It is important to be aware of the signs that your pet may be in danger of a heat stroke. Some of these warning signs are –
  • Heavy panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Glazed eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Profuse salivation
  • Vomiting

Pets who are most susceptible to suffering from heat stroke are usually very old or very young, overweight, or pets not conditioned to prolonged exercise. Speaking of exercise, if you are out exercising with your pet and they suddenly insist on slowing down or laying down – this is a sign that your pet is over-heated or over-exerted. Listen to what your pet is trying to tell you. Here are some more helpful tips on recognizing the warning signs of a heat stroke. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from a heat stroke, move them to the shade or an air-conditioned area immediately, place ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest and take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Tips to Consider
  • If your pet is going to be outside in the heat for any extended amount of time, be sure that they have access to plenty of water.
  • Do not assume that a dog house is a proper place for your pet to cool off in the heat. Dog houses are built to prevent air movement and can build up heat quickly.
  • When taking your pet out to exercise or walk/jog, be aware that the hot asphalt/concrete can be damaging to your pet’s paws. You’ve walked barefoot on hot asphalt before, right?
  • The best way to cool down your pet is by placing cool water or cloths on their neck, pads of feet, or belly.
  • If you have a longer haired dog, consider getting their hair cut shorter in the summer months.
Now that you know how to keep your pet comfortable and safe in the hot, summer months – get outside and have some fun with your pet on those beautiful, sunny days. Just don’t overdo it and stay cool – literally and figuratively.