As pet parents, we want to protect our animals and keep them healthy. But did you know that many common foods and plants are toxic to cats and dogs? 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.
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.
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.
WHAT TO AVOID FOR DOGS:
Most pet lovers know that chocolate is dangerous for dogs. Chocolate is harmful because of a toxic agent called theobromine, which can make your pup extremely ill and even lead to death.
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.
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.
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.
WHAT TO AVOID FOR CATS:
Although tuna is the classic delicacy for a cartoon cat, you should only feed your cat tuna when it’s produced in a cat food format. Tuna made for humans can cause digestive problems in your cat if fed as an occasional treat. Feeding them tuna on a more consistent basis can cause a painful condition called steatitis, or inflammation of the body’s fat.
Perhaps as iconic as cats and tuna, cats and milk are also a popular pairing. However, as cats age, they can become lactose intolerant causing them to vomit or have diarrhea after ingesting dairy.
The most common type of lily is toxic to cats only. If your cat eats a lily, it can lead to kidney failure which, if not treated quickly, may result in death.
Many common plants can have negative effects on your beloved pet.
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 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.
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.
While relatively harmless in small quantities, a large consumption of shamrocks can lead to kidney failure in your pet.
Some foods, such as grapes, chocolate, and onions, are dangerous to both cats and dogs. The ASPCA has a detailed list of foods that are poisonous for pets.
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)
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