Benjamin Franklin said it best: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This sentiment is especially relevant right now, as March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month. If you haven’t already, now is the time to review the potential poisons and toxins in your home, and make sure they are safely out of reach of your pets.
1. Food for Thought
Dogs can’t always dine on the same things people do. Make sure you keep the following foods away from your dog, as even the smallest taste might be dangerous:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Chocolate Learn more about the dangers of chocolate>>
- Macadamia nuts
- Raisins and grapes
- Xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in sugarless gum)
2. Prevent a Kitchen Nightmare
There are other things to consider keeping away from your pet besides food. Dish soap, degreasing products, dishwasher tablets and steel-wool cleaning pads can all pose a health risk to a nosy pup. Consider using cabinet locks to keep your clean-up supplies away from curious canines, or store them out of the kitchen in a place where you can keep them up and out of reach.
3. The Rx for Safety
Keep your medication in its original, safety top containers, and store it high out of reach of your pet — preferably in child- or pet-proofed cabinets. With regard to flea medication prescriptions: Don’t give your dog flea medication prescribed for a cat, as these meds are not interchangeable among species. Cat-specific medications may contain additives that can harm your dog. Check with your veterinarian about flea medications that can accommodate both cats and dogs.
4. Washing Woes
Similar to the kitchen, you’ll want to have a place to store your laundry supplies where they’ll be safely out of reach of your pet. Detergent, dryer sheets and stain removers are all potential poisons if your dog eats them.
5. The Sweet Scent of Safety
Fresh flowers can make your home look and smell beautiful, but sometimes, dogs just can’t help themselves to a nibble or two … or twelve. Lilies, poinsettias, oleander and daffodils are all potentially poisonous if ingested, so keep temptation at bay by nixing the table floral decorations. For a more complete list of plants poisonous to dogs, click here>>
6. Yard Matters
Poison safety doesn’t end once you step outside the house!
- Landscape chemicals: Keep lawn and garden chemicals, such as fertilizer and weed killer, stored in a secure bin with a lid when you’re finished using them.
- Garage chemicals: Bug spray, lighter fluid, gasoline, charcoal — if it’s in the garage or shed, it’s probably not suitable for your dog. The sweet smell and taste of anti-freeze is often enticing to most pets, but it can be fatal if ingested. Make it a habit to put all chemicals away before you leave the garage (in an out-of-the-way cabinet, if possible).
- Trash: Invest in a tamper-proof garbage can that your pet can’t open. Trash bins are treasure (read: poison) troves for curious dogs. The potential for your dog to find and eat something he shouldn’t is too great with an unattended trash can.