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National Poison Prevention Week: Tips for Keeping Pets Safe

Take it from your trusty pet sitters: we can all do more to protect our pets from poison. It’s National Poison Prevention Week (and National Pet Poison Prevention month), which gives us another reason to share life-saving advice on pet proofing your home and yard in easy ways. Your best bet is to perform a room-by-room inspection of your home for dangerous items. We’ve broken down the most popular areas in our home for our pets below as an introduction to this week’s fact sharing. Come back for more tips, often!

The Kitchen

This is our dogs’ favorite place in our home! Dangers run amok here, from food to chemicals. We’ve recommended that you take care with grapes and raisins, which can be deadly. Other items to keep out of reach of furry children: dark chocolate (worse than milk chocolate), onions, Xylitol (a sweetener which can be found in gums and certain kinds of fruit), caffeinated items, macadamia nuts, and the seeds, leaves, and stems of apples (don’t worry, apple slices are a great treat and you can continue serving them).

Miami pet owners, take heed: avocado seeds, leaves, stems, fruit (and their fat content) make them dangerous to dogs. Same for the seeds, leaves, and stems of apples, and the pits of cherries, peaches, and plums.  Spoiled food is another potential hazard. If your pet eats spoiled food (say from your garbage or even food left in its can in the fridge for just too long), your pets could contract Clostridium botulinum type C preformed neurotoxin (botulism).

The Garden

This is our dogs’ second favorite place, paws-down. Florida lawns are bursting with all kinds of life, including the dreaded Bufo Toad, which releases a toxin when it feels threatened; and we’re just about getting into avocado season, so watch for those in your lawns. Did you know that aloe, amaryllis, oleander, philodendron, and Sago Palm are terrible for your pets? Visit the ASPCA’s site or a complete list of poisonous plants.

If your dog eats a dead animal, he or she could botulism. Also watch out for contaminated water, snake bites, bee and wasp stings… these all make it very important for you to not just let your dog run out by herself. Think of your dogs and cats as toddlers, needing the same care and attention a human child requires so as not to hurt themselves.

Your Bathroom

We have four rescue dogs. That means they want to be with us at all times, including during our own bathroom breaks. So, we make sure all chemicals are safely stored in cupboards and medicines and supplements are out of the way. Many human medicines will make your dog seriously ill or even kill them, including Tylenol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen. There are a few medicines that are safe for pet consumption, but it’s imperative that you consult your vet before you administer them.

The Garage

Ours is off-limits for our pets unless we’re with them. Be wary of bug spray, weed killer, paint, charcoal, and gas. Fumes can affect the more delicate pets. We keep bleach, laundry detergent, and other items in the garage precisely because it is off-limits. Does your pet have access to that room full of “goodies”? Please make sure all of the items are placed in a safe area, and consider switching out harsh chemicals for more natural, environmentally and pet-friendly cleaning products.

Did you know? Our pet sitters are Pet CPR and First Aid certified, so we can help in many cases should anything happen while with your babies. You can get the training, too. Please contact us if you’re interested; it could save your family member’s life! Also check out PoisonPrevention.org for more tips on poison-proofing your home!

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