Poison Prevention Month and What It Means for Pets

It’s been more than 5 decades since the late President John F. Kennedy designated the 3rd week of March as Poison Prevention Awareness Week. It was originally started to raise awareness to prevent injuries and illnesses in adults and children, but has since expanded to include pets – and it gets a whole month now!

I have spoken many times since mom and I launched Best Life Pets about poison-proofing your home because some of us pets are curious and often on patrol for “prey” which can be literally anything.

My little bro, Beau, is a notorious scavenger who will taste-test everything that comes into our house and is out there for the nibbling….and this includes plants, cardboard, paper, rubber bands, yarn, and even a pistachio shell…as for me, on the other hand, I have taste and would never consider chewing on or eating anything that lowbrow!

During one of mom’s parties, Beau stole food right off a guest’s dinner plate when she looked away to talk to another guest! Thankfully it wasn’t something that could make him sick. Since then, we have been banished to the bedroom during dinner parties – both for the guest’s sake as well as ours! But why me, I ask, I didn’t do anything!!

Recently mom came across an article by the Pet Poison Helpline which outlined a checklist for your home and yard of all the potential poisons and “trouble spots” that you should be mindful of when you consider your pet’s safety.

We have “one of those” pets who puts himself at risk because he is so inquisitive and nosey. It is up to mom to be proactive and poison-proof our home for Beau’s and my safety. Even though I am not a nibbler, mom says it is better to be safe than sorry, and she can’t “train Beau”.

Some of the biggest “trouble spots” for pets are:

  • Traditional household cleaners – as opposed to organic and pet-safe

  • Many flowers and plants – check before you buy to make sure it is safe for pets

  • Many foods like garlic, onions, chocolate, raisins, grapes, etc.

  • All human medicines of every type

  • Vitamins

  • Home fragrance products – eliminate or use sparingly

  • Automotive products like antifreeze, windshield cleaning liquid, etc…

  • Any kind of poison for a rodent

  • Breath mints and sugar-free gum

  • Human recreational drugs

Some tips to help keep your pet safe:

  • Hang your purse, backpack, etc up high where we can’t get it…maybe you forgot that you left some chocolate or some gum where we can find it. Mom has found Beau rummaging around in her bag many times and now automatically parks it on a high hook in the coat closet for Beau’s security.

  • Be careful with your trash – as we will find it and get into it! Keep it well secured in your kitchen – and likewise secured outside in covered bins.

  • Keep the Pet Poison Hotline number on speed-dial to call in case you suspect your pet has eaten or been exposed in some way to a poisonous substance…you can also call the ASPCA (Animal Poison Control Center) for information. Both companies charge a customary consultation fee to assist in your inquiry.

Lastly, what mom liked about the Pet Poison Helpline article particularly is that they went “room by room” and discussed each room’s likely contents that would be poisonous or harmful to us pets.

Do check it out and apply it to your home and yard to help ensure our safety. It is an easy to-do list!

Rebecca BakofskyComment