March is National Poison Prevention and Awareness month. Here at DERMagic, we take toxins seriously - especially during Spring.
You might be surprised at how many you and your pets are exposed to on a normal day. Some of these we can avoid, others we can’t. Today, we’re focusing on keeping your pet healthy and avoiding common poisons and toxins in your home and yard.
Spring means lots of gardening, hiking, and outdoor fun with our pets. But, there are lots of things to be aware of when we play outdoors with our pets. This is just one more reason why pet poison prevention and awareness month is during this time of year.
According to the Pet Poison Hotline, the top ten poisons for pets during 2021 were:
Herbs and Plants
Herbs, plants, essential oils and fertilizers are not all the same!
At DERMagic, we work with organic herbs and pure essential oils but as our founder is an organic chemist, she knows what animals can tolerate which herbs. Unless you’ve done as much research as we have, we suggest you avoid having them around your pets.
Always pay close attention to the genus of a plant. For example, hibiscus (from the Malvaceae family) is largely considered non-toxic for pets. However, the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is a genus of hibiscus that can be harmful to pets. Consumption of this genus of hibiscus can cause a pet to experience nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Every part of a plant should be evaluated before placing it in your yard and allowing pets access. For example, honeysuckle’s flowers and leaves are very toxic to pets, but the wood of the plant is often used to create cat toys that create a feline response similar to catnip.
The ASPCA has an extensive list of plants that pets should avoid and if you have them in your yard, you need to keep a close eye on your pets. Cats are extremely susceptible to essential oil diffusing and especially application of EOs on their skin and fur.
Rodenticides, Fertilizers, and Pesticides
Remember, most people have rodenticides, pesticides, fertilizers, and more in their sheds. This is another reason to avoid flea collars and especially any cheap flea/tick medication.
Even when using a natural, non-toxic fertilizer like Dr. Earth, you need to understand that your pets will be attracted to the natural ingredients (that often include bone meal) .
Everything (no matter how natural) can be toxic if enough is consumed.
Medications and Vitamins
Vitamin D overdose is one of the most common toxins for both dogs and cats this year. That’s largely due to people increasing their intake of vitamins to boost immunity during the COVID pandemic.
Make sure you treat vitamins and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs the same way you handle prescription drugs. Keep them out of sight and in a secure area that kids or pets cannot access.
Flea and Tick Medication
More pets are treated for reactions to flea and tick medication than you think.
Never choose a “cheap” collar or insecticide for pets. Always check expiration dates and ensure that the high-dollar collar you paid low-dollars for online is manufactured by the company you expect. There have been many cases of animals reacting to knock-off products that are put out by less than scrupulous people. If you’re not sure, call the manufacturer and ask how to spot knock-off products.
We often don’t have control over what our pets encounter on walks or in parks. But, we can do our best to help our pets avoid any toxic plants or chemicals in our yards. We hope that you’ll explore ways to keep your pets safe from these items.