Spring is finally here - it's time to stow away those winter coats and break out the jogging shorts. Every year, spring brings cleaning, great weather and healthy living. Although important year-round, making sure you and your dogs are in good health is especially significant during this season, when pups might be feeling especially curious on frequent outings.
National Poison Prevention Week takes place every third week in March. With the following tips, you can ensure that you have a pet-safe environment that will prevent toxic risks to dogs for happier, healthier living this spring, and throughout the rest of the year!
The best offense is a good defense; that applies to protecting your pups, too. Placing plants, fragrance products and cigarettes and ashtrays out of your dogs' reach will put you at ease. If ingested, these chemicals in the products will cause poisoning in your pets.
If your pup rummages through your bag, be wary of him or her swallowing gum, especially kinds with xylitol. Sugar-free gum in particular has been shown to be poisonous to dogs.
You should take just as much caution in other areas of your home as well. Raisins, grapes, onions and other foods suitable for human consumption are toxic to dogs. Having garbage containers, dog waste cans and dog waste composters in areas that your dog can't reach is a good solution to keep your dogs safe. Cleaning products, alcoholic beverages and over-the-counter medications should also be put away. The combined chemicals are enough to sicken any previously healthy dog.
You should especially be careful of rat poison around your dogs. Because they need to be accessible to rats, and rats can carry the poison onto places your dog might touch, special attention and care must be used. Rodenticides are particularly harmful in addition to all the aforementioned household objects and foods.
In many cases, your pup may not show signs of poisoning right away, so always keep an eye on your dog to see if its behavior has shifted. Your dog's waste might also be a good clue as to the health of your pup, so it's important to pay attention to it on your walks before you dispose of it at a DOGIPOT® dog waste removal station. If your dog has ingested something potentially harmful, have a handy list of numbers to contact and remain calm. Your local poison control centers and veterinarian emergency hospitals should be among the first places you contact. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline at (888) 426-4435 may be called for advice as well. If your dog is showing severe signs of distress, difficulty breathing or other irregular symptoms, phone ahead and take your dog to the nearest clinic.
The tips and precautions above will keep your pet safe and your mind clear during this all-important week and month of National Poison Prevention Awareness.