Everyone is ready to get outside after being held indoors during our dreadfully cold, long winter! Many people are out treating their lawns with chemical or fertilizer treatments. Others are preparing their flower beds, gardens, and compost piles. Some people are cleaning their garages out and changing oil in cars and lawnmowers while others are spring cleaning their homes. Since March has been designated as Poison Prevention Month, All Creatures Veterinary Clinic & Lodge wants to highlight some of the most common household pet poisons to keep your pets safe. Consider the five below, so your four-legged friends can enjoy this season with you!
Many lawn fertilizers contain extra additives, such as pesticides or heavy metals, which can pose a toxic risk to a pet that ingests them. Depending on the amount ingested, fertilizer poisoning symptoms can range from a mild stomach ache to inflammation of the liver. Always read the labels thoroughly on your lawn fertilizer products, and keep your pets off your recently treated lawn for at least 24 hours, until the chemicals have tried. You can also consider using pet-friendly lawn care products.
Many outdoor plants, such as lilies and azaleas, are poisonous to pets and can result in vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, and a number of other symptoms. Make sure your flowers and plant beds are fenced in so your pets can’t dig into the dirt to retrieve your flower bulbs, be exposed to fertilizers, or chew or ingest plant leaves and flowers.
Pets can smell decomposing compost ingredients, such as coffee grounds, bones, and molding food remnants. Your pets are driven by the aromas and are not cognizant of the dangers of ingesting these items. Keep your compost pile behind closed doors or fenced off to protect your pets from compost toxicity, which can result in agitation, vomiting, hyperthermia, and even seizures.
When changing oil and cleaning motorized vehicles, keep all chemicals in labeled containers, and dispose of all chemicals (oil, windshield washer fluid, antifreeze, etc.) in sealed containers as recommended by the manufacturer. Antifreeze is one of the most common of these vehicle chemicals because of its sweet taste, due to the presence of ethylene glycol. This substance is highly toxic if ingested and can result in kidney failure if treatment isn’t sought immediately after ingestion.
When deep cleaning your home, keep all toxic chemicals, such as window cleaning, bleach, carpet shampoos and treatments, furniture polish, and paint out of your pet’s reach. Pets love the new smells and will investigate by sniffing and licking. These chemicals are either toxic or can be extremely irritant to the nasal passage—or both—resulting in vomiting, excessive sneezing, or even chemical burns.
Please keep your pets safe from these household toxins, and give us a call at All Creatures Veterinary Clinic & Lodge if you have any questions.