Accidental Poisoning

Basic Poisoning Prevention

It’s hard to know everything we should do to protect our pets from poison. We do our best, but we may not think about everything that could be hazardous to a pet.

Anything we drop, spill or knock over could potentially be poisonous to an animal. Cleaning up spills and searching for anything we drop and misplace becomes crucial when we have curious pets to watch out for.

Keep medications away from your pet, and make sure you pick up dropped pills. Although one dropped Tylenol® may not seem a big deal, it could kill your cat if swallowed, and an extra-strength ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers in a ten pound dog.

Chocolate is very appealing to dogs and cats, but can cause very serious health problems, and can even be fatal in large quantities. Make sure you don’t leave chocolate out where your pet can easily reach it. Like humans, dogs and cats have a hard time resisting chocolate.

Top ten toxic foods for dogs and cats:

1. Nuts.Are hard to ingest and have a history of causing illness.

2. Grapes and raisins. Dogs and cats can experience kidney failure and there are cases where animals have died.

3.   Chocolate.   Contains caffeine and theobromine which are both toxic and adversely affect the central nervous and cardiovascular systems in dogs and cats which could ultimately lead to death.

4.  Onions and Garlic.  Onions can destroy red blood cells in dogs and cats causing anemia. Garlic over a long period of time can also cause serious illness to your pet.

5. Cooked bones.  Raw bones are fine.  Cooked bones become brittle and can shatter and cause severe injury to the lining of the digestive track.  Pieces can get lodged in the intestines causing blockage, this requires surgery to correct.

6.  Alcohol. Causes intoxication just like in people but in an animal that weighs a fraction of a person’s weight, causes liver failure, seizures, coma and even death. Hops are toxic to dogs, so beer is extremely toxic and should never be given to your pet.

7.  Avocado.  Causes significant vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats and will result in dehydration.

8. Liver.  Large amounts of liver can cause vitamin A toxicity.  Liver, in organ meat form, is best avoided, but  as a flavoring or in processed/prepared dog foods is safe.

9. Coffee and Tea.  Again caffeine is the issue here and causes rapid heart rates, excessive urination and irritability.

10.  Milk and Dairy Products.  As many as 50% of dogs and cats are lactose intolerant and will lead to  severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

The best thing you can do is  think of your pet as as a small child and always be cautious as to what is given or left behind where it can be reached. Also, getting in the habit of never giving your pet table food, will result in less accidental poisoning.

Use your instincts with your pet as you would do for your own child and everything should be fine.

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