As Old Man Winter barrels down on much of the United States, snow and ice build up on sidewalks and driveways. To rid our walkways of the dangers of icy conditions, which can lead to falls and broken bones, we often put down ice melt. However, those can have their own hazards, especially for our pets.
The primary ingredient in most ice melt products can be sodium chloride or calcium chloride. These substances can irritate the paws of pets and can also be harmful, even deadly, if ingested. A dog or cat that’s been outside and picks up salt or ice melt on its feet then licks its paw after coming indoors could experience vomiting or diarrhea. Even just a few ounces of sodium chloride or calcium chloride in a small dog or cat can be deadly.
There are two positive solutions to ice melt concerns.
Crystals from salt and ice melt can get between your pet’s pads, causing irritation and potential burns. Take time to clean your dogs’ feet after a walk and your cats’ paws if they venture outdoors during winter. Paying close attention to your animals’ feet will help keep them more safe and healthy during these snowy months.
For some references on ice melts, visit these websites:
If your pet ingests ice melt, contact your vet, the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680), or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).
According to the calendar, spring is here. In my neck of the woods, that appears true, as we've enjoyed temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s the past several days. Daffodils, tulips, and crocus burst forth in early spring, and people are getting the itch to dig in the dirt and plant stuff. Easter’s arrival next month also adds to the scratch. But, if you have pets, there are some flowers and plants a gardener (or potential gardener) should avoid.
This week (March 19 to 25) is Poison Prevention Week. The company ProFlowers has created a helpful guide to plants and their toxicity level. ProFlowers Community Manager Taylor Poppmeier adds to this week’s blog with information and a link to the guide, which can help you determine what you should plant and what you should avoid if you’re a pet owner.
We all want to enjoy spring’s beauty but also protect our furry friends. Therefore, look over this helpful guide and keep your pets safe while also enjoying the colorful beauty of the season.
Did you know that March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month? While March brings warm weather and lots of beautiful flowers, it also means that you should be extra aware of which plants are healthy for your pet to eat and which could be toxic. To help you familiarize yourself with the plants to keep your pets away from, ProFlowers created this visual on 199 poisonous plants. It ranks plants from 1 (majorly toxic) to 4, and notes which parts of the plants are essential to avoid.
Should you suspect your pet has been poisoned, by eating a plant or getting into a household cleaner, contact this hotline number operated by the American Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): 888-426-4435. On the website, you’ll also find a listing of human foods that can negatively impact your pet’s health and a listing of household products which are harmful to animals.
Although autumn has lasted much longer in the Rocky Mountain states than usual, including some highs in the 50s during Thanksgiving, we all know winter is on its way – and in some places has already blasted in. The cold season brings potentially harmful issues for our pets, from frostbite to poisoning.
Below are ten ideas to help keep your pet warmer and safer during the winter months:
Putting these guidelines into action will help keep your four-footed companion warmer and safer during these chilly winter months.
The spookiest night of the year is just around the corner. Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls will be roaming about, and such scary sights and sounds can frighten and harm our beloved pets. Take some time to ensure your pet’s safety during Halloween by following a few simple tips:
For more tips on keeping your furry friend safe this Halloween, visit this website: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/halloween-safety.html.
March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, and this week is National Poison Prevention Week. Not only can humans, especially children, become poisoned due to chemicals, prescription drugs, and other substances, but so, too, can our pets. Antifreeze, weed killer, and other household products can be harmful, even deadly for dogs and cats.
Plants can also be dangerous, and with the Easter season upon us, it's a good time to remember that some species of lilies, including the Easter Lily, are toxic to cats, according to experts at the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The Easter Rose is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. The organization maintains a website showcasing the various plants which are poisonous to pets: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control
Did you know that some human foods can also be dangerous to our four-footed friends? Items such as grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, and yeast dough can be harmful to our companion animals, and other types of human food can hurt livestock, such as goats and horses.
Consumer Affairs, an online free resource of consumer news and interactive tools, has partnered with the ASPCA and Dr. Justine Lee to create a special guide to help dog owners understand and learn more about the different, potentially dangerous human foods.
I spoke with Danielle Thompson, Content Marketing Specialist with Consumer Affairs, about the guide.
“It's a free resource.... (that) demonstrates what happens when your dog eats something it shouldn't and when you should worry and possibly call your vet,” she said. “It's an animated infographic.”
People who visit the site can select a certain food, click on it, and click through the site to better understand if the dog has consumed something that may be toxic; the information given can help the pet parent determine if this is an emergency situation.
“It's time saving, money saving,” she said.
Find this interactive tool at https://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/pet-food/#dangerous-foods.
Consumer Affairs worked with the ASPCA to compile the top 10 most dangerous human foods for dogs, the ones the ASPCA receives the most calls about. The tool helps “de-mystify” the danger, Thompson said.
According to the ASPCA, nearly half of Americans have dogs as part of their household.
“We wanted to put together this tool in one place (to help pet parents),” Thompson said. “We are a leader in consumer advocacy – our mission is... to give consumers piece of mind. We love our pets and we want for them to be well... so we partnered with Dr. Lee to create this tool.”
Other pet-related information on the Consumer Affairs website includes a pet insurance guide and information about various pet foods. People may also find pet food and treat recalls on the site, Thompson said. Currently, the dangerous food guide is about those items that affect dogs. Content about foods harmful to cats may be forthcoming, Thompson said.
Between the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control website and the Consumer Affairs Dangerous Foods guide, we as pet guardians have wonderful resources at our fingertips to help protect our furry friends. If you're concerned that your pet has been poisoned, visit the two websites, contact your local veterinarian, or call the ASPCA's animal poison control hotline: 1-888-426-4435.
Again, the two websites are:
Consumer Affairs: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/pet-food/#dangerous-foods
ASPCA Animal Poison Control: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.