Keeping your dog safe from toxins and poisons

image I recently attended a webinar called Preventing Poisoned Pets delivered by Tina Wismer of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centre.

Given my pet first aid training, I thought I knew what I needed to know about pets and poisoning. However,  this seminar was offered for free and counts towards the 36 hours of continuing education credits I need to recertify as a Certified Pet Dog Trainer in 2015, so I decided to take it – and I’m really glad I did.

I learned a lot of new things that I bet you didn’t know either so I’ll list the ones that really surprised me.

  • Did you know that  one 200mg Aleve (Naproxen) tablet can cause kidney failure in a 40lb dog?
  • Did you know that aside from causing liver failure, acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause face and paw swelling in dogs which might be mistaken for an allergic reaction?
  • Did you know that just 2 ounces of expanding wood glue (gorilla Glue, Elmer’s Pro Bond) will expand into a mass in your dog’s stomach that will require surgical removal?
  • Did you know that uncooked bread dough can cause bloating and alcohol poisoning in your dog?

Among other things, Dr. Wismer also discusses simple ways to keep our pets safe that I think are worth sharing.

  • Use baby gates, crates, child safety locks to keep your pet away from medicine, food and trash.
  • Take each pet’s size and ability into consideration when pet proofing your home. Remember that your cat can reach places your dog cannot and your greyhound can reach places your Chihuahua cannot)
  • Keep all chemicals (cleaners, fertilizers, rat bait/poison) in their original packaging so that if your dog or cat does ingest something you know what they have ingested and your vet can provide appropriate treatment without having to guess or waste valuable time.
  • We all know most dogs eat first and ask questions later so take any  medications in an area away from pets so that if you do drop a pill on the floor, your dog won’t be able to gulp it down.
  • Remember to pet proof when bringing a new dog into the home – no matter how old. Just because your first dog does not chew plants or eat glue bottles does not mean the second dog will ignore these items if they are left lying around.
  • If you have company, ensure their purses and bags are out of reach (or confine your dog) so that animals cannot get into pills or gum.

Most importantly, get to know your veterinarians emergency protocols.

We all imagine our vets are available for us 24/7 and forget that they have lives too. Know what the after hours numbers are for your vet and if your vet shares on-call duty with other clinics in the area, ensure you know where they are located.

It is always a good idea to keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centre number on hand – it is: 1 (888) 426-4435.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centre also has a great website (http://www.aspca.org/Home/Pet-care/poison-control.aspx) where you can find tons of information on how to prevent poisoning as well as lists of common poisons and toxins.

Stay Safe!

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