Guest post: Pet poison prevention – Five Steps To Keep Your Pet Safe And Healthy

Apr 3, 2014

Pet Poison Prevention Month – Five Steps To Keep Your Pet Safe And Healthy

By the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association

web-0220March was Pet Poison Prevention month (I’m  little behind in posting!), quite fittingly, as a variety of common springtime items found throughout your house can be harmful to pets. Avoid putting your pet in danger from chemical products used for spring cleaning, Easter candies and allergy medications by following these five precautionary steps:

1. Swap Household Cleaners for Safer Options

As the weather starts to warm up, spring cleaning moves to the top of many people’s to-do lists. It is important to keep in mind that because pets are so close to the ground, they are more likely to pick up residue from chemical products on carpets, garage floors and lawns. To prevent this problem, switch to pet-safe house cleaning products, or try making your own inexpensive, non-toxic cleansers at home. Your pet (and wallet) will thank you.

2. Be Careful with Easter Treats

With Easter right around the corner, Easter baskets with chocolate bunnies and springtime treats can be tempting to our furry friends. In 2013, chocolate was the number one toxin pet owners reported to veterinarians, so make sure that you keep it somewhere safe where your furry friends cannot get to it.

3. Know Your Medication

While medicine can help ease springtime allergies, many human remedies will make your pets feel worse. Certain medicines, even those as common as Ibuprofen, can have deadly side effects on pets. It is easy for a pet to eat a pill that has fallen on the ground or was left on a table. If you are curious about human medications that are safe for pets, check out this list.

4. Store Harmful Products out of Reach

Now that you have an idea of how many items can be toxic to your pet, it is important to learn how to properly store these products. Make sure toxic products are always stored in a closet, cabinet or high shelf that a pet cannot access. Do not leave these products on a table, counter or floor; we all know how crafty a pet can be sometimes!

5. Steps to Take if Your Pet Eats Something Harmful

Even if you take the proper steps, it is impossible to guarantee accidents will not happen. In the case of a mishap, immediately call your veterinarian. Make sure to have their number handy. It is much safer and more efficient to be able to call your veterinarian for advice than to try to look up treatment steps on the internet. Additionally, if your vet is unavailable, call the 24-hour Pet Poison Helpline® for a small fee at 800-213-6680.

As much as pets may be part of our families, we have to remember that they are not humans. They can react much differently to foods and items that we use on a daily basis. Take the extra steps to protect your pets from the items in your home that they do not realize can hurt them. Observe Pet Poison Prevention Month and keep your pet happy and healthy!

The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCVMA) is a professional organization of veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter at @NCVMA, or call (800) 446-2862 or (919) 851-5850.