Most poisons are obvious, but some may sneak up on you from the most unlikely sources—like your table scraps. Because of this, fur parents report over 100,000 cases of pet poisoning each year. While many of these result from the nefarious acts of strangers or disgruntled neighbors, too often, the poisons pets consumed were found in the fur parents’ homes.
To prevent this, it’s very important to cat-proof and dog-proof your home before taking your new fur friend home. And, even if your pet has been with you for years, it doesn’t hurt to see what kind of substances may bring their lives with you to an abrupt end.
Most often, the focus is on dogs. However, cats are just as likely to be poisoned, if not more so. While dogs are prone to eating just about anything they can get their jaws on, cats with outdoor privileges have the opportunity to find themselves in a lot of unsupervised trouble. To ensure we cover both pets, we’ll be splitting the article into two sections: one for dogs and one for cats.
3 Substances That Are Harmful to Dogs
Dogs love to chew and love to eat. Sometimes it’s the bacon off your plate and sometimes it’s your favorite pair of leather shoes. So, it’s important to keep items that may be harmful to them far out of their reach. Here are three you should watch out for.
Whether you gave it to Sparky because you thought it might help reduce his pain or swelling, or he got into your stash on his own, human medications can be harmful to pets. What’s worse is that large doses are not always required for consumption to result in negative effects. To prevent this from happening, lock your medication away as you would from a small child and always check with a vet before administering human meds.
Pesticides & Herbicides
From a sprayed lawn to their own flea medication, herbicides and pesticides can be extremely poisonous to dogs. Flea medications help to keep dogs healthy, but if they accidentally ingest it, the inverse is true. You should also be careful about letting your dog roll around or sniff grass in unfamiliar areas. If the grass is sprayed, your pup may even suffer seizures.
Ah, sweet table food! Is there anything else your pup loves more than the sweet privilege of licking your plate clean? However, this habit could put your pooch in harm’s way. Once your dog gets used to eating human food, he’s sure to steal some when you’re not looking, if the chance arises, so better to not create the habit. Here are some foods to keep him away from:
- Macadamia nuts
- Grapes and raisins
- Avocado (yes, even that delicious guacamole!)
3 Substances That Are Harmful to Cats
Cats are picky eaters, but they’re not immune to accidentally ingesting poisons. In fact, cats are even more likely to do so, because they bathe themselves with their tongue. So, for instance, if your cat falls into a tub of bleach, he will try to lick himself clean, further compounding the issue. Because they are agile, can get into hard-to-reach places, and are often escape artists, cats may also be more likely to get themselves into trouble. Here are three substances to keep out of their way.
When you bring a bit of nature indoors via a potted plant, chances are it will be swatted into oblivion, dragged across the floor and trampled. They mean no harm, but when it sways in the wind and casts moving shadows on the wall, it becomes a prime suspect. In some instances, the only casualties are the plant, the pot and your patience. However, some plants may actually harm your cat. Keep your home feline-friendly by keeping these out of reach or not bringing them home:
- Aloe vera
Unfortunately, hygiene requires chemicals that may cause your cat harm if they get into it. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep them in a cupboard or closet that kitty can’t get into. Encourage other family members or housemates to replace these items after use and not to leave open containers lying about. Here are some chemicals that are poisonous to cats:
- De-icing salts
- Bait for rodents
While cats don’t often get the same table treat privileges as dogs, they may be even more crafty about swiping something from your plate when you’re not looking. As is the case with dogs, the best remedy is abstaining from giving them human food, or at the very least, not from your plate. Here are some foods that they should never be given at all:
- Grapes and raisins
- Caffeinated beverages
This Pet Poison Awareness Month, take the time to familiarize yourself with these and other potential poisons. For a full list, talk to your vet and do some research. If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these substances or may have been poisoned, contact your vet immediately.
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Shadow the PR Cat is the pompous PR puss at Alexis Chateau PR. His job includes tweeting, taking
selfies, rolling in catnip, and advocating for animal rights. Follow his kitty adventures on Twitter and
Instagram as @ShadowThePRcat.