National Poison Prevention Week is March 17-23. In an effort to raise awareness of common household items that can poison your pets, I have decided to share some of the ASPCA (the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) guidelines.
*Keep all drugs out of your pets’ reach in closed cabinets. Painkillers, cold medicines, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills can be lethal to animals, even in small doses.
*Never give your pets medication unless you are directed to do so by a veterinarian. Human medicine is not for pets.
*Always read the label before dispensing medication. Some flea products for dogs can be deadly if given to cats.
Thousands of cats and dogs needlessly suffer and many die each year by accidental ingestion of household poisons, including popular houseplants and common foods.
“Most pet owners simply do not know that small amounts of chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts and bread dough can be dangerous,” comments Dr. Steve Hansen, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. “Many cats are poisoned in the spring from plants including daffodils and lilies. A cat that eats an Easter lily will die unless it receives prompt medical attention,” says Hansen. The ASPCA advises cat owners to pay special attention to the plants in their homes, since cats have the ability to jump onto tabletops and windowsills. Other common houseplants such as philodendron, dieffenbachia, cyclamen, corn stalk plants, sago palms and bird of paradise all contain toxins and are dangerous if ingested by animals.