Tag Archives: pet toxins

Winter Pet Toxins

When winter weather hits, it’s important to keep your pet’s safety in mind. There are several toxins that present a real hazard this time of year! Here, your Roanoke, VA veterinarian tells you about the most common winter pet poisons and how to have your pet avoid them.

Ice Melt

Most ice melt products are made with sodium chloride, otherwise known as salt. You don’t want your pet ingesting it! Small amounts of salt can lead to an upset stomach and skin irritation, while large amounts can result in a serious case of poisoning. Don’t allow pets to track ice melt indoors on the paws; avoid ice patches when outdoors, and store ice melt carefully where pets can’t reach.

Antifreeze

Episodes of antifreeze poisoning rise in the wintertime, as car owners use the substance to keep their engines running smoothly. Antifreeze is often made with ethylene glycol, an alcoholic substance that can poison pets in very small amounts. It even smells and tastes sweet, which could attract pets! Don’t use antifreeze with your pet nearby, and clean up any spills right away.

Holiday Plants

Holly and mistletoe, common around the holidays, can poison a pet who ingests too much. Poinsettia plants aren’t likely to cause serious poisoning, but they can upset your pet’s stomach and cause mouth and throat irritation. Other common wintertime plants like lilies, Autumn crocus, and Amaryllis also present a hazard. Make sure your pet stays far away from harmful plant life!

Pesticides

Small rodents and insects like to invade our homes in the winter in an effort to seek shelter from the cold weather outside. You might use pesticide or rodenticide products to ward them off. Remember that these products are poisons, designed to kill! Place pesticides very carefully, or choose non-toxic alternatives like traps, so that your pet stays safe.

Medicine

Cold and flu season will be upon us before you know it. Remember that a variety of human medications—cough syrup, aspirin, prescription drugs, and much more—can poison your pet! NSAIDs like ibuprofen are an especially common pet poison, and can cause reduced blood flow to your pet’s kidneys and damage to the intestinal lining. Keep the medicine cabinet shut tightly so that your pet can’t reach any harmful pills!

Want more tips for keeping your pet safe as the winter weather rolls on? We’re here for you. Call your Roanoke, VA vet.

Are These Pet Toxins Already in Your Home?

Believe it or not, you most likely already have a variety of potential pet toxins inside your home. Don’t worry, though—with a few simple precautions, you can keep your animal companion safe and sound! Learn more here from your vet in Roanoke, VA.

Pesticides

Do you use pesticides or rodenticides around your home to ward off pesky intruders? Remember that pesticide products are poisons, designed to kill the critters that come in contact with them. That’s why it’s important to choose pet-proof pesticides or go with alternative pest-control options that aren’t toxic to pets, like traps. Ask your vet for further advice.

Dangerous Foods

A great many human foods can prove harmful to a pet. The list includes grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, chives, leeks, scallions, shallots, avocado, chocolate, candy, salty items like chips and pretzels, fatty or rich foods, and alcoholic beverages, among others. To protect your pet, don’t leave foods out on the kitchen table or countertops where pets may be able to reach them. Instead, store foods in cabinets or the refrigerator where they belong.

Human Medication

Various human medicines—standard painkillers like Advil or Motrin, antidepressants, cough syrup, all sorts of prescription drugs, and more—can prove toxic to a pet who manages to get their paws on them! A determined pet may even be able to chew right through a child-proof plastic bottle cap. Store all medicines inside a closed cabinet or drawer where your pet won’t be able to reach, and store your pet’s own medicine in a separate area from human medications so the two don’t get mixed up.

Poisonous Plant Life

Plenty of plants and flowers can harm a pet who ingests them. Oleander, dieffenbachia, elephant ear, philodendron, rhododendron (also called azalea), lilies, tulips, the sago palm, a variety of aloe plants, and ivy are just a few examples. Inside and outside your home, make sure you’re not harboring a harmful plant variety. Ask your vet what kinds of toxic plants are most common in the area where you live.

Cleaning Products

While a pet isn’t likely to seek out a cleaning solution to ingest, you’ll want to play it safe. Everything from household disinfectants and air fresheners to bleach-based products and carpet cleaner could cause serious problems! Keep the supply closet shut tightly at all times.

To learn more about pet toxins at home, call your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic.