It’s time for National Animal Poison Prevention Week starting March 17th this year. This annual observance serves as a stark reminder of the hidden dangers in our homes. Poisonings can quickly escalate into veterinary emergencies, but there’s hope! Your friendly neighborhood Wichita, KS vet offers practical tips to protect your furry companion in this enlightening article.


How Many Pets Experience Poisoning Yearly?


It’s concerning to see these statistics. Each year, over 401,500 cases of pet poisoning are reported in the U.S.


Which Food Items Can Be Poisonous to Pets?


It’s important to know that many common foods can pose a threat to our pets, including those mentioned here.


  • Grapes
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Junk Food
  • Caffeine
  • Many nuts, such as macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol
  • Currants
  • Raisins
  • Chives
  • Anything That Contains Xylitol (Birch Sugar)


Your Wichita, KS veterinarian can provide you with more information about this upon request.


Which Everyday Items Found at Home Can Be Harmful to Dogs and Cats Due to Toxicity?


You could be taken aback by the sheer number of common household items that can be deadly to your furry pal.


Cleaning Agents: It is fairly safe to assume that all household cleaning agents are toxic to pets. Bleach, disinfectants, furniture polish and oil, detergent, drain openers, mold killers, and other chemicals are each potential toxic products.


Automotive Products: Antifreeze presents a grave danger to pets, especially with its enticing flavors in certain brands. While opting for a pet-safe choice is preferable, it doesn’t eliminate all risks. Gasoline, oils, paints, cleaners, and wiper fluids pose significant threats as well. Ensure pets stay away from chemical zones and promptly address any antifreeze or chemical spills.


Lawn/Garden Products: These instances are troubling because pets can consume them so easily. Slug bait or snail bait is extremely dangerous to dogs because of Metaldehyde, which is commonly found in various brands.


Be cautious with fertilizers, fungicides, weed killers, and herbicides. Pets can easily collect these chemicals on their fur when walking through treated areas.


Which Plants Carry Poisonous Dangers for Pets?


A lot of animals enjoy munching on plants. While endearing at times, such poses serious safety risks. Because it would take too much space to include the entire list of poisonous plants, we will focus on the most common ones. For cats, lilies are the most significant. Even in extremely small amounts, they can be lethal to cats. A little nibble of a leaf or a sip of plant water is all it takes for Fluffy to get sick. One of the most hazardous plants for Fido to encounter is the Sago palm.


Listed below are some of the poisonous ones:


  • Oleander
  • Azalea
  • Peonies
  • Foxglove
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Crocus
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Irises
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Daffodils
  • Widow’s-thrill
  • Birds of Paradise
  • Sago palm
  • Hydrangea
  • Amaryllis
  • Hyacinth
  • Aloë
  • Tulips
  • Ivy
  • Common daisy
  • Lilies
  • Cyclamen
  • Holly
  • Rhododendron


As a general guideline, anything with a bulb is considered unsafe for pets. This includes tulips, daffodils, onions, and garlic. To learn more about safe and unsafe plants, consult the ASPCA website.


Keep in mind that non-toxic plants can still present dangers. Roses, for instance, feature sharp thorns that could lead to significant internal injuries if ingested. Reach out to your Wichita, KS vet for more insights.


Which Household Items Carry Poisonous Hazards for Pets?


Furthermore, here are some more:


Pesticides: Exercise caution with bug spray, rodenticides, and mouse or rat bait—substances intended to eradicate pests—as they can be harmful to your furry friend. Many rodenticides contain warfarin, an anticoagulant that may cause severe, potentially fatal internal bleeding.


Flea and tick medications are also mentioned and considered safe when used according to instructions. However, using an excessive amount or giving an incorrect dose could result in poisoning for your pet.


Medication: Ensuring medications are kept well out of your pet’s reach is paramount. Among the most hazardous are aspirin, acetaminophen, and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen. Safely store both over-the-counter and prescription medications away from Fido and Fluffy.


Can Salt Lamps Endanger Pets?


Surprisingly, yes! Some pets are drawn to the saltiness. Fluffy and Fido may become fixated on licking the lamp, potentially resulting in salt poisoning. Nonetheless, you can still have a salt lamp; just ensure it’s positioned in a place where your pets can’t get to it.


Are the Poison Concerns of Cats and Dogs Comparable?


In some ways, yes, and in some ways, no. Broadly speaking, both cats and dogs are prone to the same toxic substances. However, Fido and Fluffy have distinct instincts and behaviors. Cats, notably, might face heightened sickness risks from substances spilling on or touching their fur. Fluffy’s tender skin and grooming practices render her susceptible to toxins. Cats can fall ill from walking through pesticide-treated areas and ingesting toxins during grooming. This concern also applies to dogs; Fido may ingest hazardous substances by licking his paws.


Yet another difference? Dogs tend to indulge in eating or chewing on anything they come across. While some canines outgrow this behavior after teething, others remain committed chewers well into their mature years.


What Symptoms Point to Pet Poisoning?


The symptoms will vary depending on the type and quantity of poison consumed. However, there are some general indicators to keep in mind. These may include:


  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Coma
  • Twitching
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Drooling
  • Shock
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Seizure
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Weakness
  • Excessive Urination
  • Wobbling/Lurching Gait
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Collapse


When cats don’t feel well, they often withdraw, while dogs may show signs of being sad. You may also notice unusual behaviors, from grumpiness to clinginess.


Keep in mind that these symptoms could be signs of various problems. If you notice anything unusual, contact your Wichita, KS vet right away.


Can Pets Use Essential Oils Without Risk?


Aromatherapy is frequently integrated into health and wellness routines by many individuals. While pets can also benefit, caution is necessary. The high concentration of oils can be hazardous. Cats, in particular, are sensitive to chemicals, heightening their risk.


Presented are some of the unsafe ones:


  • Pine
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Wintergreen
  • Wintergreen
  • Clove
  • Pennyroyal
  • Cinnamon
  • Sweet Birch
  • Peppermint
  • Anise
  • Juniper
  • Citrus Oils


Exercise caution; ensure perfumes and oils are inaccessible to your furry buddy.


What Can Be Harmful to Birds?


Bird guardians need to be extra cautious. Polly’s sensitive respiratory system is incredibly fragile. Even fumes that seem safe or pleasant to us can harm your feathered companion. This includes scented candles, incense, perfume, and air fresheners. Cooking fumes and aerosols are equally hazardous for birds.


If My Pet Has Been Poisoned, What Should I Do?


Rapid response is necessary; your pet’s life could be in danger, so postponing action is not acceptable.


The initial step involves contacting your Wichita, KS veterinarian. If it’s after hours, consider reaching out to an emergency clinic. You can also utilize a pet poison hotline for assistance. Among available options, you can contact the ASPCA at (888) 426-4435. (Note: charges may apply.) Fido or Fluffy will need prompt veterinary care, but it’s recommended to call ahead for preparation. You might also receive guidance on performing first aid, such as using hydrogen peroxide.


Follow instructions meticulously and abstain from giving anything unless directed by your vet or a poison helpline expert. Making incorrect decisions might be riskier than refraining from action.


Seeking guidance on your pet’s safety, health, or care? Don’t hesitate to contact us! Reach out to us at Hodes Veterinary Health Center today.