Pet Poison Prevention

Poison Prevention week started March 21. Poison is one of the most common—and most dangerous—types of emergencies that can befall your pet. Our animal companions are very curious about things, but don’t know what is and is not safe for them. A Columbia, MD vet discusses poison prevention in this article.

Common Toxins

While the full list of toxins is slightly different for dogs and cats, if something is unsafe for one, it’s usually unsafe for the other. Toxic plants are pretty high on the list of potential toxins. Anything with bulbs is dangerous to pets, which is something to keep in mind if you are headed out to the garden. Tulips, daffodils, lilies, and Sago palms are all unsafe. You can find more poisonous plants at the ASPCA site here. Other common poisons include household chemicals; automotive products; lawn and garden chemicals, such as fertilizers; pesticides; and antifreeze; medicines; and vitamins.

Signs Of Poisoning

Sometimes pets get into something without anyone noticing. For example, Fido and Fluffy could ingest fertilizer or fungicide just by walking through a recently treated spot and licking their paws. It’s important for you to be able to recognize the signs of poison ingestion. Vomiting and diarrhea are two red flags. Other warning signs include lethargy, bloody stools, trembling, whining, withdrawal, nosebleeds, inability to urinate, seizures, and bloody stools. The exact symptoms vary depending on what type of poison a pet ingested, but these are all indications that something is amiss. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.  


Hopefully, you’ll never be faced with the possibility that your pet has been poisoned, but it’s best to be prepared, just in case. We recommend having a pet first-aid kit. This should be stocked with hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal. However, don’t use these without consulting your vet. Keep your vet’s number in the kit, along with the Pet Poison Helpline number, which is 800-213-6680. (Note: charges may apply.)  


As the saying says, an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure. Keep anything that could be toxic to your pet out of paws’ reach, preferably in secure cabinets. We also recommend removing toxic plants from your property, and mopping up antifreeze spills right away. Better safe than sorry!

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Columbia, MD veterinary clinic, today!

Comments are closed.