Tips for Protecting Your Pets from Accidental Poisoning

The month of March marks Poison Prevention Awareness month for pet owners to raise awareness of potentially lethal items in the house. The purpose of the awareness action is to get pet owners to go through the house to find and secure items that could potentially poison pets. Sometimes all you need is to take a few minutes of time to identify dangerous items and plants and get them out of the way of curious noses. Here’s a look at things you might have in your home that can be dangerous for your pets.

The Importance of Poison Prevention Awareness Month for Pets

Animals are curious and inquisitive. They use their noses and mouths to investigate the world around them, something that increases the risk of accidental ingestion of poison. Something that smells interesting or tasty can wind up in the mouth of a dog or cat when you least expect it. You could lose your pet if you’re not careful or aware of the signs of poisoning and don’t take action quickly. The month of March is your time to detox your home and make it safe for you and your animals.

Poisonous Items for Cats and Dogs

Dogs and cats are both known to chew on random things in the home much to an owner’s dismay. It’s important for a pet owner to keep these items secure and out of the reach of pets at all times to prevent a fatality. Make sure to keep these following items out of reach of your pets:

  • Medications of all types
  • Bleach
  • Antifreeze
  • Rodent and insect bait
  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Chocolate (especially dark and baking varieties)
  • Tobacco
  • Liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes
  • Detergent
  • Plants and foods in the lily family

These items are toxic for cats and dogs alike. Always make sure to keep these items out of reach and secure. Check cabinets for secure latching and that shelves are level. Keep track of poisonous things that are in regular use and be in the habit of putting them down where they can’t get knocked down or accessed.

Recognizing Signs of Poisoning

The signs of poisoning are the same in dogs and cats. If you see any of the following behaviors or symptoms in your pet, you should call your vet immediately.

Gastrointestinal Distress

Signs of gastrointestinal distress include loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. You may see one or a combination of these symptoms after poisoning.


Seizures in an otherwise healthy animal are signs of an ingested neurotoxin.


Blood in the stool or nose is the result of ingesting rodent poison, onions or garlic.


Ingestion of any poison can cause an animal to act like they’re tired and move slowly.

Excessive Thirst and/or Urination

Some poisons cause kidney failure which can result in excessive water consumption and urination. Alternatively, the kidneys can shut down and the pet stops urinating altogether.

If you see your pet exhibiting any of these symptoms, you should call your veterinarian immediately. A poison control hotline can also be of assistance for immediate care before you transport your pet to the veterinarian.