What You Need to Know About Pet Poison Prevention

Poison Prevention Month

Our pets tend to be inquisitive little creatures! They just love checking for treasure in purses, cabinets, trash cans, and everywhere else they aren’t supposed to be! Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to them swallowing something potentially harmful or poisonous.

Check the list below to see the most common toxins and poisons according to Pet Poison Helpline. Although symptoms may not always show immediately, it is very important to seek immediate care for your pet if any toxin or poison is ingested. Once ingested, there is a relatively small window of time where we will be able to get the toxin or poison out of your pet’s system. If your pet has ingested any of these, call Pet Poison Helpline immediately at 1-855-764-7661 (fee applies). 

Common Toxins and Poisons for Dogs:   

  • Chocolate
  • Mouse and rat poisons (rodenticide)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener used in many human foods)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Antidepressant medications 
  • Acetaminophen
  • Vitamin D medications
  • Stimulant medications (such as for ADD/ADHD)
  • Fertilizers

Common Toxins and Poisons for Cats:

  • Lilies (the pollen is dangerous too!)
  • Topical flea/tick medication for dogs
  • Household cleaners
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Essential oils (even just the smell of some!)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Mouse and rat poisons (rodenticide)
  • Stimulant medications (such as for ADD/ADHD)
  • Onions and garlic
  • Vitamin D medications

Common Symptoms After Ingesting or Contacting Something Poisonous or Toxic:

  • Drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Seizures
  • Pale or grayish gum color
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weakness/collapse
  • Trouble breathing
  • Muscle tremors
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea

If your pet shows these symptoms, please call us or an after-hours emergency vet immediately.

Poison Proofing Your Home

It is impossible to keep all potential poisons away from your pet. The best things to do are to keep poisons and toxins in a locked cabinet or drawer when not in use and to train a solid “Leave it!” cue to ensure you can stop your pets from picking up anything dropped or on the ground outside (yes, you can train cats as well!). 

If you have flowers or plants in your home or yard, use the ASPCA Poisonous Plants website to check if any of them may be toxic to your pets. 

What To Do In Case of Toxin or Poison Ingestion

  1. Call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-764-7661 (fee applies). The veterinarians at the Pet Poison Helpline can determine if the amount of toxin or poison your pet ingested or came into contact with is detrimental to their health and whether treatment needs to be administered.
  2. Call us at 973-887-0522. For almost all poison/toxin cases, we will have you come down immediately with your pet. We ask that you call on the way so we can be prepared for your arrival.
  3. If after our normal business hours, visit an emergency 24-hour hospital.
    1. Animal Emergency and Referral Associates (AERA)
      1237 Bloomfield Ave, Fairfield, NJ
    2. Oradell Animal Hospital
      580 Winters Ave, Paramus, NJ
    3. Veterinary Emergency Group
      Locations in Clifton, Union, Hoboken

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