• By: Laura Lynn O’nan Humane Education Coordinator

Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month

As we all know, pets are curious creatures that can’t resist smelling and sometimes even tasting things they find laying around our homes. However, some of these things may be harmful to our pet’s health. The month of March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month. Every year, this reminder encourages all pet owners to go room to room in their homes removing any potentially poisonous items.

It is important to know what common items around the home are dangerous for your pets to be exposed to and what you can do to keep them safe. First, take a look at the plants in and around your home. Common plants such as lilies, daffodils and tulips are very toxic for pets. The safest way to avoid plant toxicity is removing them from your home completely, but an alternative is putting them away in a room that is closed off to your pets.

We all have favorite foods we enjoy indulging in, but what if that small piece you occasionally toss to your pet was causing harm to their health? Fatty foods, chocolate, grapes and alcohol are just a few commonly found foods in homes that are toxic to our pets. As always, keep your trash bin lid secure to keep your pets from getting into it. Pets can find things like coffee grounds, bones, batteries and cigarette butts in trash that can be very harmful if swallowed.

Always keep household cleaners and chemicals locked up and out of reach of pets. Keep pets out of rooms at the time you are using these items and assure the room is well vented while you clean to help keep exposure down to a minimum for both you and your pets. Don’t let pets return to the area you cleaned until area surfaces have dried and the room has had time to air out.

If your pet does get a hold of a toxic item, be sure to contact your veterinarian’s office right away. If you are not sure what your pet could have gotten into, take note of where your pet has been and what is lying in reach. This will help your veterinarian determine the right treatment.

Our pets are part of the family, and we all want to keep them happy and healthy. Take some time this week to read up on poisonous plants, foods, cleaners, medications, and more on the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control website, and make sure your home is pet-safe. To learn more, visit aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control or get in touch with us: 859-873-5491 or manager@woodfordhumane.org.

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