Poison Prevention Month

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month. Of course, for pet owners, poison prevention is a year-long issue. It’s easy to forget that not everything that is safe for us is safe for our animal companions! In this article, a Somerville, MA vet lists some things that are toxic to pets.


Many foods we love are toxic to pets! Never give your furry pal anything that contains garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; chocolate; grapes, currants, and raisins; caffeine; alcohol; avocado; or xylitol. Ask your vet for more information.


Many common household chemicals are dangerous to pets. Household cleaning agents, automotive products, furniture polish, paint, lawn/garden products, and drain openers are a few examples. Your pet could get sick just by walking through a puddle and licking their paws!


Human medicines are another huge concern. Keep all medicines—both OTC and prescription—out of paws’ reach. This applies to vitamins as well.


Make sure your home contains only safe, suitable plants. You can find a full list online at the ASPCA site here.

Signs of Poison Ingestion

The signs of poison ingestion can vary, depending on the type of pet you have and what they have ingested. That said, it’s important to know what to look for. Some warning signs include trembling, vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums, rapid heartbeat, and breathing difficulties. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these red flags!


We always advise erring on the side of caution. Print or download a pet first-aid brochure, and keep it with your pet’s first-aid kit. Also, keep the number of your vet or the nearest emergency clinic handy, as well as the Pet Poison Helpline. That number is 800-213-6680. Charges may apply.

In Case Of An Incident

If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested or inhaled poison, immediately remove them from the vicinity, and make sure no other pets or children can access it. Remove the toxic material, but take a small sample with you, if possible. Next, call your vet or the helpline. You’ll need to take your pet to the vet or emergency clinic, but first you’ll need to know what to do for them right away. Do not give charcoal, peroxide, or any other home remedies, and don’t induce vomiting unless directed. 

Please contact us, your Somerville, MA vet clinic, anytime. We’re happy to help!

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