Laura Nativo's Tips on Creating a Poison Proof Home
The Fairy Dogmother Says: “Make sure you know where your closest emergency animal hospital is, and have your pet’s medical history within easy reach in case of an emergency. If you think your pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.”
Signs that your pet may have been poisoned: Same as in humans: vomiting, diarrhea, drooling/hyper salivating, nausea, coughing of blood, vomiting blood, pale gums, a racing heart rate, weakness or lethargy, collapse, excessive thirst or urination, absence or decreased urination. For a complete list visit www.petpoisonhelpline.com. You know your pet. If you know there is something wrong, get them to an emergency clinic immediately.
Another resource for all First Aid needs for your pet is The American Red Cross Pet First Aid App. It puts lifesaving information right in the hands of dog and cat owners so they can provide emergency care until veterinary assistance is available. Look for it on the Red Cross website, RedCross.org.
Laura Nativo’s Tips on Keeping Your Home Poison Proofed for Your Pets In the Kitchen: The kitchen is a hotbed of poisons that we don’t think about. Most people store their cleansers under their sink. Just like a parent would baby proof the cabinets to reduce the chance of their child getting a hold of cleansers, you can do that for your pet, as well. I suggest installing a baby-proofing latch on cabinets where dogs can get into dishwashing detergents, powdered industrial cleansers, or oven cleaners.
The Laundry Room: Think about all of those chemicals. You have laundry detergent, fabric softener, stain removal, and bleach! Many of these items are scented to be appealing to us. They will be appealing to pets, too! If you have your chemicals above in a cabinet you are half way there. If you have a set up like we do, where the chemicals are pet level, make sure the most harmful ones are on the highest rack. Regardless of where you store your chemicals, you need to make sure your pet cant get into the containers. Liquids will usually has a tighter seal, so that if a bottle happens to fall, it’s less likely that there will be a spill. For the cardboard powdered detergents, if the cardboard box falls, the opening is usually just punched in, detergent will spill out. I recommend storing them in Plastic Storage Containers.
The Garage: It is one of the more dangerous rooms. There is motor oil, antifreeze, rat poisons, snail poisons, and fertilizer. You car can leak any of its fluids. Make sure your car is in tiptop shape to avoid leakage. Store all of your chemicals on shelving out of access to your pet. For liquids, secure them with a plastic bag. If the packaging starts to leak or gets knocked over, the liquid will stay in the plastic covering. Lastly, think about your pest control. Aside from chemicals, there are traps that can hurt your pet. If you set a rattrap, make sure it is out of the reach of paws. If you have chemical cockroach motels, keep it out of reach as well.
Teach Your Dog "Leave It": There are many dogs that just go right after whatever is dropped before their owner can keep it from them. That could be dangerous when it comes to dropping a poisonous substance like, for example, medications. That’s why it’s important to use the “Leave It” command. The ASPCA has a fantastic tutorial that I recommend: www.aspca.org.