Prevention & Resources
Most of my pet memories are the type of memories that give me the warm fuzzies. But there is one memory that makes me cringe; my first dog (my Rottie puppy) had his way with a bottle of prescription medicine. I found a cracked open bottle and pills all over the bathroom floor. Since I couldn’t be sure I could account for all the pills, off to the emergency vet we went. I am certain my rickety little GEO Metro broke speed barriers that night. Some wonderful vets took care of Hercules and everything turned out fine. I, however, was horrified with myself for letting the incident happen and decided I needed to take a hard look at properly pet proofing my home. Accidental pet poisonings are all too common and one of the main culprits is prescription and OTC drugs. The best thing I can do as a caregiver to my pets is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Preventing a pet poisoning starts with knowing what is toxic to our pets. When I brought the first pets in to my home I had a huge learning curve in “all things pet” but I was a complete “goose egg” when it came to knowing how seriously dangerous some common household items are to my pets.
I also underestimated my pets’ (especially a puppy’s) ability to get into cupboards, closets and hidden corners that granted access to things that should be off limits. I learned very quickly that pet proofing my home was more than closing cupboards and clearing counters and it has since become part of our household management on a daily basis. “Proofing” the home for the pets isn’t really much different from proofing a home for a child. Over the years I have found that maintaining a pet proof home keeps my house neat because it requires being diligent about putting things away – medicines, vitamins, chewing gum, salty snacks, raisins, batteries…nothing gets left outs.
In some cases there are things that we have just parted ways with for the sake of our pets; we don’t put any presents under the Christmas tree ahead of “opening day” and you won’t find items like grapes, Easter Lillies or Poinsettia plants in our house.
Following is a summary of lessons learned for protecting our pets from poisoning that we have gathered over the years. I hope you find it helpful.