Courtesy of ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center
Keeping your pets and livestock safe is one of the most important things you can do for them.
- Be aware of the plants you have in your home and yard. The ingestion of azalea, oleander, castor bean, sago palm, Easter lily or yew plant material by an animal can be fatal.
- Never allow your animals to have access to the areas in which cleaning agents are being used or stored. Cleaning agents have a variety of properties; some may only cause mild stomach upset, but others can cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth and stomach.
- Store all cleaners, pesticides, and medications in a secured area above the counter.
- When using rat, mouse, snail or slug baits, or ant or roach traps, place the products in areas inaccessible to animals. Most baits contain ingredients that can attract your animals.
- Never give your animals medication unless you are directed to do so by a veterinarian. Many medications that are safe for humans can be deadly for animals. For example, one extra strength (500mg) acetaminophen tablet could be fatal to a cat.
- Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of your pets’ reach, preferably in closed cabinets above the counter. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills are all examples of human medications that can be lethal to animals, even in small doses. For example, one 200mg ibuprofen tablet could cause stomach ulcers in a small dog.
- Never leave chocolate unattended.
- Many common household items can be lethal to animals. Mothballs, potpourri oils, coffee grounds, homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets, dishwashing detergent, batteries, cigarettes, alcoholic drinks and hand and foot warmers are potentially toxic.
- Automotive products such as gasoline, oil and antifreeze should be stored in areas that are inaccessible to your animals. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a cat; less than one tablespoon can be lethal to a 20 pound dog. And livestock are equally susceptible.
- Before buying a flea product, consult your veterinarian, especially when treating sick, debilitated or pregnant pets.
- Read all of the information on the label before using a product on your animal or in your home. Always follow the directions.
- If a product is for use only on dogs, it should never be used on cats; if a product is for use only on cats, it should never be used on dogs.
- Make sure your companion animals do not enter areas in which insecticidal foggers or house sprays have been applied for the period of time indicated on the label.
- Make sure your animals do not go on lawns or in gardens treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides until they have dried completely. Always store such products in areas that are inaccessible to your animals.
- If you are uncertain about the proper usage of any product, contact the manufacturer and/or your veterinarian for instructions.