March Is Designated as Pet Poison Awareness Month.
Since March is “Pet Poison Awareness Month,” we wanted to help you understand the potentially harmful pet poisons that are in your house or yard. Pet Poison Awareness can help keep your dogs safe and healthy. While some pet poisons may seem obvious, like antifreeze, some are less obvious and may be something new learned by reading this post.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, here are the Top 10 Pet Poisons for dogs:
- Mouse and Rat Poisons (rodenticides)
- Vitamins and Minerals (e.g., Vitamin D3, iron, etc.)
- NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
- Cardiac Medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, etc.)
- Cold and Allergy Medications (e.g., pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, etc.)
- Antidepressants (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
- Xylitol (common in toothpaste and chewing gum, read labels)
- Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
- Caffeine Pills
Approximately 50% of calls made to the Pet Poison Helpline concern dogs that have swallowed over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications. So, clearly humans need to be more diligent in how we manage our medications. Also, if you have a big dog or a dog that can jump and more easily get to medications on your night stand, make sure to place them out of reach.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Been Poised
If you think your dog may have gotten into something poisonous, remove him or her from the area. Make sure to check that your dog is safe, and is breathing and acting normally. Never give your dog a home antidote, or induce vomiting, unless directed by your veterinarian or someone from the Pet Poison Helpline (PPH). Call the PPH at 855.764.7661 and discuss what your dog got into, and what steps to take. Should your dog require emergent help, do not hesitate to go directly to the closest emergency vet clinic.
Special Concerns for Shiba Inus
Of course, with our special breed of dog, there comes some unique things we should consider as ‘toxic.’
Allium Family Vegetables
These include garlic, onions, leeks and chives. Japanese breeds of dogs, including our beloved Shiba Inus, are particularly sensitive to these types of vegetables. Toxic doses of allium veggies can cause serious damage to our pups red blood cells, as well as bring about gastroenteritis that includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These types of veggies may have a delayed onset effect on our precious pups, allowing enough time to pass to cause anemia. This is a very serious condition that can lead to respiratory failure. Please keep garlic, onions, leeks and chives out of your Shiba Inus’ reach, as well as food and treat recipes.
While all dogs need to be kept safe from pesticides, it’s of particular interest to Shiba Inu owners. Our breed can be prone to idiopathic seizures. Research indicates that mammals with epilepsy or idiopathic seizures should work toward a pesticide-free life. You can often find pesticides in or around your home or garage, as well as gardens and parks, and even some spot-on flea treatments. While you can control the type and amount of pesticides you use around your house, you can’t control everything. Be cognizant when you take your pup for a walk, as inhaling treated grass or flower bed debris can be problematic. Here are some general guidelines for pesticides:
- Don’t apply them while your pet, or any associated toys or feeding bowls, are in the area.
- Pellet-based can be mistaken for food, best not to use.
- Don’t mix with organic fertilizer, as dogs love the taste.
- Store out of reach and locked in a cabinet.
When March rolls around, we use it as a time to take stock of what items are in our house. If we find anything that could be potentially poisonous to our dogs we decide what to toss, what to store in a higher location, or which items need to be moved outside of the house. This way we keep our pups safe, and our house clean!
You might also be interested in our Planning for Springtime article.