Keeping poisons away from pets

Adults typically make sure to keep household articles that might be poisonous out of reach of children. But dogs and cats can be just as vulnerable to the toxic effects of some everyday items.

  • Did you know that anti-freeze can taste like a treat to your dog or cat? It’s sugar-sweet, but is extremely poisonous to pets. Be careful not to spill any when you top off your car, and don’t leave containers around the house where your pet could chew through them.

  • The poinsettia plant is just one of many that can be very dangerous — even fatal — to pets. Don’t let your pet chew on any plants. You’ll safeguard your pet’s health, and your neighbour with the flower garden will thank you.

  • When using chemicals, watch for any puddles you may have left on the floor or ground. Pets can walk in these substances and then lick them off their feet. Among the substances to take care with: tar, cleaning fluids, polishes, insecticides, weed killers, fertilizers, paints, and solvents.

  • Pets can also inhale poisons when they’re exposed to fumes from substances such as cleaning fluids, gasoline, kerosene, and lacquer thinner. Keep pets away when you’re work with these substances.

  • Mixing drugs is just as dangerous with pets as with humans. Follow directions on all medications your pet is taking, and make sure that your veterinarian knows what medications your pet has used lately.

  • Keep your pet under control at all times. Wandering pets can develop bad habits, and you may not know the trouble your pet has gotten into until it’s too late.

  • Learn to observe the signs of poisonings. They vary widely, but in general, take note of: spilled, opened, or chewed containers of medicine, chemicals, garbage, or spoiled food; material on the animal’s body that might be toxic; an abnormal odour on the pet’s breath or body; burns or painful areas on the skin or around the mouth; or a sudden change in bodily functions (e.g. vomiting, diarrhea, or trouble breathing).

  • If your pet seems to have ingested, inhaled, absorbed, or been injected with (e.g. snake or insect bites) a poison, contact your veterinarian immediately for direction.


    Courtesy The McLennan Group