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Pet Poison Awareness 

March 1, 2023

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month. This is a pretty important topic for people with pets. Poisonings are one of the most common types of pet emergencies. Unfortunately, those numbers are on the rise. To look at some fairly recent statistics, the ASPCA logged 401,550 cases in 2021. Even worse: the Pet Poison Helpline saw an increase of a whopping  51% call volume increase from 2020 to 2021. Yikes! A Lakewood Ranch, FL vet lists some household pet poisons below.


Both OTC and prescription medicines can be highly toxic—and even deadly—to our furry friends. Some of the most dangerous ones include painkillers, such as Tylenol, and anti-inflammatories, such as Advil, Aleve, and Motrin. However, antidepressants, ADHD medications, and many other medicines are poisonous to pets. Keep all medications out of paws’ reach!


Food is another area of concern. Chocolate is one of the main culprits here. It contains a substance called theobromine, which pets are unable to properly metabolize, and can be deadly at just one ounce per pound of body weight. Other unsafe foods include xylitol, avocado, alcohol, nuts, garlic and onions, and caffeine. Grapes and raisins are also extremely toxic to Fido and Fluffy. Ask your vet for more information.


Many pets just can’t help nibbling on plants. While some may only cause minor stomach upset, others can be deadly. Lilies, for example, are extremely toxic to cats. Fluffy could get very sick even from drinking a little of the water! Check the ASPCA site here for a full directory.

Household Products

The average household contains many chemicals and products that are toxic to pets. Some of these include pesticides, fungicides, drain cleaners, laundry detergent, dish soap, fertilizer, and rodenticides. Automotive products are also a concern. Antifreeze, for instance, is extremely toxic to pets. However, many brands have a taste that animals find appealing. Choose non-toxic products as much as possible.

Warning Signs

Watch for signs that your pet may have ingested something unsafe. These vary depending on the type and amount of the substance involved, but include things like drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and trembling. If you notice anything amiss, contact your vet or a pet poison hotline immediately. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is (888) 426-4435. (Charges may apply.)

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Lakewood Ranch, FL animal clinic, today!