Mar 01, 2022 | By, For Pet's Sake

March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month. Is your pet safe in your home?

Pets can get into anything at any time. If you have a particularly curious pet who likes to sniff and explore, you know that just a momentary aversion of the eyes can lead to disaster. Even if your pet keeps to themselves most of the time, items on or near the floor are low-hanging fruit for an animal to investigate.

It’s always a good idea to keep cleaning chemicals and foods that are commonly known to be toxic to pets, such as chocolate, out of reach. There are so many other potentially poisonous things that are found in and around homes that could endanger your pet. Use Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month to evaluate your home and how you store certain items. 

Foods often are sources of pet poisoning because they smell enticing to animals and they are often easily accessible in the home. Beware of leaving onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and walnuts out on countertops or on low tables. Of course, chocolate is known to be toxic for pets, so be sure to guard your sweets carefully. 

Fruit pits can release cyanide when they are crushed by your pet’s teeth, and they can choke your pet if swallowed whole. Products containing yeast, caffeine, tobacco, or xylitol are also dangerous. Keep an eye on the salt, too. If you spill it while making a recipe or feed your dog table scraps that are high in sodium, they may experience vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, or more serious symptoms like seizures.

If you have a yard and allow your dog to play in it unsupervised, make sure you know which plants are toxic to them. Maintain a short leash on nature hikes too because there are plenty of plants along trails that are okay to sniff but perilous to eat. Fertilizer should also be kept out of reach of pets. Even if it’s in a bag, make sure it is sealed securely.

 Finally, not everything you see on the rack at pet stores is necessarily safe for your pet. The same can be said of department stores that sell pet toys and supplies. If you see an ingredient that looks or sounds chemical, or you don’t know and trust the brand, it’s probably safer to leave the product on the shelf. The same goes for children’s toys you might have laying around the house. Certain materials may be considered safe for humans but not for pets.

 Just because you hide poisonous items and keep them out of your pet’s reach doesn’t mean you’re done with your due diligence. Animals are notorious for digging through the trash and finding items they shouldn’t eat. Invest in a trash can that has a lid your pet cannot lift, or store the trash bin inside a cabinet. This will prevent your pet from eating the scraps you’ve thoughtfully discarded, especially when you leave them home alone.

 The Pet Poison Helpline provides an A-Z guide for potentially poisonous substances online. If you know what your pet accidentally ate, you can look it up in this guide and see what to expect. The best course of action is to call your veterinarian or an emergency hospital in case you need to transport your pet there immediately. 

Have a question about pet health? Want to become the best possible pet parent? Find helpful tips, reminders, and insight to giving your furry friend the best possible care with For Pet’s Sake! Learn more at