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Prevent Your Dog From Being Poisoned

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March is Poison Prevention Month

Did you know that March is Poison Prevention Month? There’s also a Poison Prevention Week and  I believe even a Poison Prevention Day but since this is such an important topic, we are going big and using Month.  And since this site is about our chihuahuas we calling this Poison Prevention for Pets Month.

We want to keep our fur kids safe and there are so many things out there that can hurt them. Some are things we might not even think about.

An example is when my neighbor told me she had put poison bait out on the fence posts that separate our yards to kill the roof rats that have invaded  our neighborhood. It took all the self control I could muster not to throttle her.

I calmly pointed out that it was a bad idea because not only could the birds (that we both love to watch) get into the toxin and die, but that some might fall into my yard and my dogs might eat it and become poisoned. Or one of the contaminated rats or birds could die in my yard and then my dogs might eat the animal.  She was mortified when she realized the harm the toxic bait could cause and promptly got rid of them. It was just something she hadn’t thought about.

This article will help you to become aware of some of the things to look out for to prevent your precious pups from getting sick or worse from something that could easily been prevented.

Foods that are Poisonous to Dogs

  • Alcohol
  • Avocados
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee (or any caffeine products)
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Cherries (the pits)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Seeds from some fruits such as apple, peach and plum seeds
  • Yeast Dough
  • Xylitol (found in some sugar free foods such as sugar free gum and sugar free peanut butter)

Medicines that are Poisonous to Dogs

Many prescription and over the counter meds can be toxic to dogs so it’s just too much to list all of them. Just keep them all out of the reach of your dog and be careful not to drop them. I have heard more than once of a dog who died because he found a pill on the floor and ate it.

Here are some of the more commons medicines that are dangerous to your dog:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylonel)
  • Anti-Cancer drugs
  • Anti-depressants
  • Aspirin
  • Cold Medicines
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin)
  • Vitamins

Plants that are Poisonous to Dogs

Again there are too many to mention. For a more thorough list, you can check the Humane Society’s list here.

Here are some of the common plants that are toxic to dogs:

  • Azaleas
  • Daffodils
  • Dumbcane
  • Foxglove
  • Holly
  • Hydrangea
  • Lillies
  • Mistletoe
  • Philodendron
  • Poinsettias
  • Sago Palm
  • Tulips
  • Yew

Household things that are Poisonous to Dogs

  • Antifreeze
  • Bait traps that use poison bait for rodents or bugs
  • Bleach
  • Insecticides
  • Cocoa mulch
  • De-Icer salts
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Fertilizers
  • Household cleaners
  • Lawn and Garden chemicals
  • Rodent poison
  • Slug bait

Poisons that Should be Helping our Dogs…but Aren’t

I know you are wondering about that title, huh? Well there are some things we put on our dog, give our dog  or inject into our dog that we think will help them but they can hurt them. Being that chihuahuas are so small, they are more sensitive to some things than larger dogs.

  • Vaccines. I do believe our dogs should be vaccinated but dogs in this country (and in many other countries too) are over vaccinated. They get the vaccines too often and small dogs are getting the same doses as dogs 10 times their size. It’s causing many health problems in our furry companions and many vets are oblivious to the problem or are too stubborn to change. There are some vets who do want the best for their patients so when you go to schedule an appointment to get your dog vaccinated, do ask if the vaccines are size appropriate. You can read more about the major condition caused by over vaccination here: GME
  • Many flea and tick products can cause issues with dogs too. Think about it, you are putting a long lasting toxin on your dog. But of course no one wants fleas either. There are some other more natural flea control options out there. One we like is Wondercide  and you can find them here:  Wondercide.com . You can also read more about natural flea control here: Natural Flea Treatments.

Be Prepared

I know it’s something none of us want to think about but the most loving thing you can do for your pets is to be prepared ahead of time for things like accidental poisonings. Being prepared ahead of time will save you precious minutes that could mean the difference between life and death.

  • Have a pet first aid kit on hand.
  • Keep the phone numbers of your vet and the emergency vet in your area handy. I’d keep them in your phone’s contacts and also put them on paper and leave it in the pet first aid kit.
  • The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has a 24 hour hotline that you can call. Be aware that they do charge a fee of $65 to help you. If you want to keep that with your other phone numbers it’s 1-888-426-4435.

I can speak of pet poisonings first hand as we lost out beloved beagle Tripp about 9 years ago when he stole some large chocolate candy bars off the counter and ate them. We had no idea as he never acted sick. He just dropped dead the next morning. An autopsy revealed the candy wrappers in his stomach. He was only 2.

Have you ever experienced a pet poisoning? I hope not but if you have feel free to share your experience in the comments. Also let me know if there is a common poison that I have forgotten to include on this list.

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