March may be a month for luck and good fortune, but did you know that the iconic shamrock is actually toxic to cats and dogs? You may be surprised by how many common household plants and human foods are poisonous to pets. As pet parents, our hearts break when our furry loved ones get sick. While most instances of poison result in mild to moderate symptoms like discomfort, diarrhea or vomiting, some foods and plants can cause major health issues and even death. March 18 - 24 is National Animal Poison Prevention Week and our friends at Petcurean have important tips for protecting your pet and avoiding hazardous materials.
What to avoid for dogs:
- Chocolate – Most pet lovers know that chocolate is a big no-no for Fido. Chocolate is harmful because of a toxic agent called theobromine, which can make your pup extremely ill and even lead to death.
- Grapes – A lesser known fact, grapes can lead to kidney failure in dogs. If you want to give your pup a sweet and healthy treat, opt for blueberries instead.
- Mushrooms – If you have a dog that spends a lot of time outside, it’s crucial to check your yard for mushrooms. There are many species of mushroom that are toxic to pets, such as the Amanita phalloides or ‘Death Cap’ mushroom, a potent poison at only 3 grams. Since there’s a multitude of other species that can harm your pet, it’s best to keep your lawn clean of any mushrooms just to be safe.
- NOTE: If you suspect your pet has ingested a poisonous mushroom, take them to the vet and bring the mushroom so the clinic can identify what type of toxin or poison they are dealing with.
Harmful plants: Many common household plants can have negative effects on your beloved pet. Check your home and make sure you don’t have any of these around!
- Aloe – There are more than 500 species of aloe vera, all of which are poisonous to your pet. Its toxin, saponin, acts as a defense mechanism and will harm your pet if ingested.
- English Ivy – English Ivy is one of the most common forms of ivy to grow along the sides of walls and fences, making them easily accessible by outdoor pets and therefore, especially dangerous.
- Sago Palm – This plant is also a common landscape feature, but a little more difficult for your pet to eat. However, Sago Palm is highly poisonous to pets and can even be fatal.
- Shamrocks – While relatively harmless in small quantities, a large consumption of shamrocks can lead to kidney failure in your pet.
If your pet is exhibiting any of the below behavior, they may be reacting to something poisonous and should be taken to a vet for immediate attention. You can also call the Animal Poison Control Center 24/7 at 855-764-7661 for less urgent concerns or questions.
- Vomiting or Diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Weakness or Lethargy
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
- Uncoordinated movements
- Excessive drooling (ptyalism)
Get to know the facts about poison prevention. Here's to a safe and happy home for our pets!