National Animal Poison Prevention Week: How to Keep Your Pets Safe

National Animal Poison Prevention Week is March 17th to March 23rd, so there’s no better time than now to ensure that your home is pet-safe and potential toxins are out of sight and out of mind.

If you suspect your pet has ingested poison, contact your veterinarian or poison control center immediately and be prepared to answer the following questions:

Signs of poisoning include vomiting, tremors, excessive salivation, change in color of gums, and increases or decreases in heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature.

How to Protect Your Cat from Potential Poisons

Our feline friends are constantly exploring their surroundings, harnessing their natural instincts to investigate and hone their hunting skills. Unfortunately, cats’ propensity for discovery can easily get them into trouble.

There’s a myth floating around that cats are less susceptible to poisoning than dogs thanks to their more discriminate eating tendencies, but that’s simply not the case. When you couple felines’ curious nature with their grooming habit of licking substances found on their coats, they prove far from immune from the perils of poison. In fact, poisons and toxic substances can be even more hazardous to felines, since they have smaller body sizes and digestive systems less capable of breaking down certain substances.

It’s not uncommon for veterinarians and animal clinics to field frantic phone calls from owners who’ve discovered their cat ingested something that’s potentially toxic. With proper education and preventive efforts, though, we can strive to minimize such situations. National Animal Poison Prevention Week represents a campaign designed to raise awareness regarding dangerous substances and how to handle a poison-related emergency.

Lead Toxicity

Lead toxicity refers to poisoning due to ingestion or inhalation of products containing the element lead.

Cats can run into lead poisoning if they get into:


Plants are another example of something that cats love, but can be extremely dangerous. Springtime holidays are often associated with bulb plants, which can cause severe illness if ingested.

Here are some of the most common spring and summer holiday plants and information on their toxicity:

How to Protect Your Dog from Toxins

Some of the more common poisons dogs ingest include insecticides, antifreeze, household cleaning solutions, and poisonous plants. Human foods — such as chocolate — can also be harmful. A poison’s overall effect on your canine is based on the amount of poison ingested and how long that poison was in the body prior to treatment.

The effects of a poison aren’t always immediate, and can take days or weeks to materialize. Therefore, if you witness your pet ingesting a potentially toxic substance, don’t be lured into a false sense of security simply because they aren’t immediately ill. Every toxic ingestion is cause for concern and should prompt an immediate call to your veterinarian or local animal emergency facility.

If you’re concerned about costs related to vet visits, click here to learn how pet insurance may be able to help.

Resources for National Animal Poison Prevention Week:

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