National Poison Prevention Week

National Poison Prevention WeekSince 1961, National Poison Prevention Week has been celebrated during the third week in March.  This third week in March is a great time to help raise awareness for pet parents everywhere.  However, as responsible pet parents, we should keep poison prevention at the forefront of our mind every day.

You should always be aware of the signs of poisoning in your pet.  Sometimes, you might think your pet is just having a bad day or has an upset tummy when he really has ingested something or come in contact with something that has poisoned him.  As always, education is your first line of defense.   While not all inclusive, here are some symptoms of poisoning in your pet:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Racing heart
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive drooling
  • Excessive urination
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing or vomiting of blood
  • Jaundice
  • Tarry stool
  • Pale gums

According to the Pet Poison Help line, in 2012 91% of all calls received by the help line were due to poisoning symptoms in dogs.  You’ve heard that saying “curiosity killed the cat”?   Well, that holds true for dogs too and many dogs really will chew on just about anything.  The Pet Poison Help line goes on to cite that nearly half of those calls were directly related to the dog’s consumption of human medications (particularly antidepressants).

Here are some more staggering statistics according to the Pet Poison Help line for the year 2012. 

16% of those calls were directly related to the dog’s consumption of human foods.

  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
  • Chocolate
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Dough
  • Salt
  • Macadamia nuts

6.5 percent of those calls were directly related to the dog’s ingestion of rat or mouse poisons.  This is serious business.  Although, some rat poisons are relatively tolerable to dogs others can cause severe symptoms and even death.

If you think you think your dog or cat has been poisoned, or has ingested something that is potentially poisonous, seek immediate medical attention.  If it is after hours, you can always call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. This Helpline does charge a fee of $39 but it may include follow-up consults and is just another option to keep your pet safe if you have any concerns in regards to poisoning.   You may learn more about poisons and your pets by visiting the Pet Poison Helpline.


  1. This is such great information!

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