Safety Tips for Poison Prevention Month

March is Poison Prevention Month—did you know that there are several items you probably already have in your home that could prove toxic to pets? The trick is knowing what to look out for so that you can keep your dog or cat safe. Learn more here from a vet in Portage, MI.

Human Food

There are plenty of human foods that aren’t safe for your pet to eat. Onions, garlic, chives, leeks, shallots, scallions, grapes and raisins, chocolate, candy, gum, fatty foods, salt and salty snacks like chips and pretzels, certain types of nuts, and much more can cause harm. Alcohol is another big no-no for pets; it affects animals the same way it affects us, except that very small amounts can lead to alcohol poisoning. Keep your companion away from all harmful foods and beverages!

Cleaning Supplies

While your pet isn’t likely to seek out cleaning chemicals to drink, it’s important to keep your cat or dog safe nonetheless. If you’re using chemicals that give off strong fumes, keep your pet elsewhere until fumes have dissipated. Store cleaning supplies safely in a shut and locked cabinet or closet where pets can’t reach them.


Did you know that many medications can poison a pet if they manage to ingest them? NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, are especially dangerous—they can harm kidney function and lead to serious health trouble if your pet eats too much. Other medications like cough syrup, antidepressants, and a variety of prescription drugs are also dangerous. Keep all medications safely stored in the medicine cabinet where your pet can’t get at them, and keep your pet’s own medication in a separate area entirely.

Toxic Plants

There’s a long list of toxic plants and flowers. Some common offenders include philodendron, rhododendron or azalea, lilies, tulips, ivy, dieffenbachia, elephant ear, and the sago palm, among many others. Don’t keep harmful plant life inside your home!


Do you use pesticide or rodenticide products inside your home to ward off insects and small rodents intruding into your living space? It’s an especially common pet hazard in the colder months, because pesticide products can poison companion animals just as easily as the pests they’re made to kill off! Place pesticides very carefully in areas that pets don’t go, and consider using pet-safe pest-control methods whenever possible.

Call your Portage, MI vet clinic to learn more.

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