With spring having sprung in most parts of Canada, more and more pets will be begging their owners to go outside. Here is some information and tips to keep Fido and Fluffy safe from poisonous plants and chemicals. Are you aware of all the plants and other substances that are poisonous to pets? I certainly wasn’t, despite having owned cats for years (or rather, they owned me!) It looks like a lot, according to Pet Poison Helpline which has some great resources for pet owners. Here is their list of top ten plants poisonous to pets (four of which are growing in my garden; fortunately the feral cat that comes to visit hasn’t gotten ill):
- Autumn Crocus
- Lily of the Valley
- Sago Palm
- Tulips and Hyacinths
Other outdoor poisons include fertilizers and insecticides.
Other Poison Dangers
Apparently cats and dogs are both pill poppers. Common human drugs ingested by pets include anti-depressants, painkillers, ADHD medications, birth control pills, and heart medication. Pet proof your place by putting all medications in their bottles in a medicine chest or cupboard. Apparently, 50% of all pet poisonings are connected to human drugs. Even common over the counter drugs like ibuprofen are poisonous to pets. Any time you think your pet may have ingested a pill, give your vet a call or google it.
Also keep a close watch on your pets near other household chemicals. Just like kids, pets can be affected by things you might not notice like floor cleaner, antifreeze and other chemicals around your home and garage.
Emergency Kits to Keep In Your Home
The Pet Poison Helpline suggests creating a pet poison emergency kit. Include in the kit such things as:
- the name and phone number of your vet
- the pet’s medical records
- the name and address of the nearest emergency vet clinic
- the number of the pet poison helpline
- …all in a sealable plastic waterproof bag.
Create a “go-bag” for your pet: his or her leash, pet carrier, towel or blanket, and perhaps even a little food and water.
The Pet Poison Helpline further suggests keeping a basic first aid kit handy for your pet including:
- ice packs
- alcohol wipes
- hydrogen peroxide 3% to induce vomiting in dogs (not for cats).
See their website for further items to put into a first aid kit. I personally would draw the line at a rectal thermometer and lubricant – if I had to take my pet’s temperature, I’d see if my vet made house calls!
Did you know there were so many plants poisonous to pets?