March 2, 2023

Can My Cat, Dog or Horse Eat This?

As we enter Poison Prevention Month, it's important to take a moment to think about the potential hazards in our homes and our farms that can be harmful to our animals. Our furry friends are curious creatures, and they love to explore their environment with their nose and mouth, which can put them at risk of accidental poisoning by ingesting toxic substances.

Common Pet Poisons

As animal owners, it's our responsibility to take preventative measures to ensure our animals are safe from accidental poisonings.

Here are some tips to help keep your cats, dogs and horses safe:

1.    Keep all household chemicals and cleaning supplies out of reach.This includes things like antifreeze, pesticides, cleaning solutions, and medications. Make sure they are stored in a secure location, such as a locked cabinet.

2.    Don't let your animals eat human food that is toxic to them. This includes chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, and avocado.

3.    Make sure your trash can is secured and inaccessible to your animals. They may be tempted to eat things that could be harmful, like spoiled food or bones.

4.    Be cautious when using flea and tick products on your pets. Follow the instructions carefully, and never use products meant for dogs on cats (or vice versa).

5.    Know the signs of poisoning in pets, including vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and seizures. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, seek veterinary care immediately. 

As a responsible pet owner, it's essential to know what things are poisonous to your animals, so you can take preventative measures to keep your furry friend safe.

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Common items that are poisonous to cats:

1.     Lilies: Lilies are highly toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure. All parts of the plant, including the petals, leaves, and pollen, are poisonous.

2.    Household cleaners: Many household cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful to cats. Keep cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet, and make sure the area is well-ventilated when using them.

3.    Medications: Over-the-counter and prescription medications, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and antidepressants, can be toxic to cats. Always keep medications out of reach and call your veterinarian if you suspect your cat has ingested any.

4.    Essential oils: Some essential oils, such as tea tree oil, can be toxic to cats. Make sure to use essential oils in a well-ventilated area,and keep them out of reach.

5.    Human food: Some human foods, such as onions, garlic, and chocolate, are toxic to cats. Avoid feeding your cat human food, and make sureto store food out of reach.

6.    Plants: Some common household plants, such as aloe vera, ivy, and azaleas, are toxic to cats. Keep plants out of reach or consider switchingto pet-friendly alternatives.

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Items that are poisonous to dogs

Common items that are poisonous to dogs:

1.   Chocolate: Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which can be toxic to dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, so even a small amount of dark chocolate can be dangerous for your dog.

2.   Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, and it's best to avoid feeding them to your pet altogether.

3.   Onions, garlic, chives, shallots and leeks: They contain compounds that can damage dogs' red blood cells, leading to anemia.

4.   Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in many sugar-free gums, candies, and other products. It can cause a rapid insulin release in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, and liver failure.

5.   Medications:Over-the-counter and prescription medications, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and antidepressants, can be toxic to dogs. Always keep medications out of reach and call your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has ingested any.

6.   Cleaning supplies: Many household cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful to dogs. Keep cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet, and make sure the area is well-ventilated when using them.

7.   Plants: Some common household plants, such as lilies, azaleas, and sago palms, are toxic to dogs.Keep plants out of reach or consider switching to pet-friendly alternatives.

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Common items that are poisonous to horses

Common items that are poisonous to horses:

1.     Certain plants: Many common plants, such as red maple leaves, oak leaves, and black walnut, are toxic to horses. Other toxic plants include hemlock, nightshade, and foxglove.It's important to be aware of the plants growing in and around your horse's pasture and remove any that are toxic.

2.    Moldy feed: Moldy hay or feed can contain mycotoxins, which can be toxic to horses. Make sure to inspect hay and feed carefully for signs of mold, and throw away any that is moldy.

3.    Certain medications: Some medications that are safe for humans or other animals can be toxic to horses. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your horse any medication, and make sure to follow dosage instructions carefully.

4.    Insecticides and pesticides: Insecticides and pesticides can be harmful to horses. Avoid using these products in areas where horses graze, and make sure to follow the instructions carefully.

5.    Lead and other heavy metals: Horses can accidentally ingest lead or other heavy metals, which can be toxic. Make sure to remove any sources oflead or heavy metals from your horse's environment.

6.    Chemicals: Chemicals such as paint thinner, gasoline, and cleaning products can be harmful to horses. Keep these products out of reach ofhorses, and store them in a locked cabinet.

7.    Certain trees: Certain types of trees, such as yew and oleander, are toxic to horses. Make sure to remove these trees from your horse's pastureor keep your horse away from them.

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It's important to remember that this is not an exhaustive list, and there may be other items that are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. If you suspect your animal has ingested something poisonous, call your veterinarian immediately. With prompt treatment, many cases of poisoning can be successfully treated, but time is of the essence. As always, prevention is the best medicine, so this Poison Prevention Month, take the time to make sure your home and/or farm are safe for your animals. By being proactive and taking preventative measures, you can help ensure that your furry friend stays happy and healthy. Our experienced veterinarians are here to help answer any questions you may have about poison prevention, and to provide care in case of an emergency.