Pet Poison Prevention

March 21st-27th is National Pet Poison Prevention Week!

Did your pet just eat something poisonous? Call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. The sooner a pet poisoning is addressed, the easier, less expensive, and safer it is to treat.

“Every year, we receive thousands of phone calls from pet owners, veterinarians and veterinary technicians about potentially poisoned pets,” said Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC and Associate Director of Veterinary Services for Pet Poison Helpline. “Fifty percent of the calls are for pets that have been accidentally poisoned by something that is safe for humans, but toxic to pets. It only takes a few minutes to educate yourself on how to avoid these situations. Appropriate pet-proofing and awareness of what to do in the event of a pet poisoning situation could spare you and your pet trips to the veterinarian for expensive, but life-saving treatments.”
Visit for more great information on pet safety!

Learn from the Pet Poison Helpline to Learn how to make your OWN Pet First Aid Kit :

Pet Supplies and Resources: In the event of an emergency

  • Notebook or index card with phone numbers and addresses, stored in sealable sandwich bag to keep dry
    • Your local veterinarian clinic phone number
    • The nearest emergency-veterinary clinic (along with directions!)
    • The number for Pet Poison Helpline: 1-855-764-7661
    • Microchip ID number and company phone #
    • Updated vaccine records, especially proof of rabies vaccination
    • List of dog/cat normal values (respiration rate, heart rate and rectal temperature)
    • List of temporary evacuation centers/shelters, which are pet friendly

Basic First-Aid Supplies: May be kept in a large tackle box for easy transport

  • Kennel/pet carrier or nylon leash for safe transport and confinement of pet
  • Nylon leash or used pair of nylons may replace a conventional muzzle. Assess the pet first before placing on a muzzle, to ensure the pet is not at risk for vomiting, choking, or respiratory distress.
  • Large towel/blanket- to assist in moving an injured, sick pet or to avoid possible bite from scared or injured pet.

Basic first-aid supplies

  • Artificial tears, ophthalmic saline solution and sterile saline solution
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Bandage material: absorbent gauze pads, adhesive tape, gauze rolls, sterile non-stick gauze pads, splints and tongue depressors.
  • Corn syrup/table syrup (~1/8 cup in case of hypoglycemia)
  • Diphenhydramine (e.g., Benadryl®) 25 mg tablets or liquid 12.5 mg/tsp (5mL) concentration (with NO other combination ingredients)
  • Ear-cleaning solution
  • Food: Can of tuna packed in water or tasty canned pet food. Supply of dry/canned pet food and treats.
  • Hydrogen peroxide 3% (within the expiration date) for inducing vomiting in dogs. Do not give to cats or brachycephalic dogs. Always check to see if inducing emesis is indicated or safe for the possible ingestion or health status of the dog or species.
  • Ice pack- instant, one time use, with small hand towel to wrap around pack
  • Liquid hand dish washing detergent (e.g., Dawn) without a bleach additive
  • Nail clippers and styptic powder or pencil
  • Oral dosing syringe, bulb syringe or turkey baster (for administering hydrogen peroxide or medication)
  • Penlight or flashlight
  • Rectal thermometer and lubricant
  • Rubber gloves and/or Latex-free exam gloves
  • Scissors (with blunt ends)
  • Tablespoon/teaspoon set (to calculate the appropriate amount of hydrogen peroxide to give)
  • Triple antibiotic ointment (with NO other combination ingredients – NOT for use in CATS!)
  • Tweezers
  • Vegetable oil to assist in removal of sticky substances

Before you attempt anything with your new first aid kit, always make sure to speak with a poison control specialist prior to initiating any therapies at home. Never administer hydrogen peroxide to any pet without checking with a veterinary professional first, as sometimes it’s not appropriate to induce vomiting at home. Never initiate first aid or administer any over-the-counter human medications to animals without speaking to a toxicologist or veterinary professional first! If you have any questions regarding the veterinary toxicology first aid kit recommendations, please call Pet Poison Helpline.

Another important thing to keep in mind is home remedies. When it comes to our pets and poisons, we don’t want to chance endangering our pet’s lives with some made up, Internet-discovered, erroneous home remedies! We hear it all – owners who use milk, peanut butter, vegetable oil, or salt…and these remedies are all WRONG! Please know that these products should NEVER be administered as they don’t work! Consult your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline to find out:

  1. if the product ingested was poisonous to begin with,
  2. what the true antidote is, and
  3. if emesis (inducing vomiting) is warranted or medically indicated.

Remember, there’s a lot of good AND bad information out there on the Web, and you must be able to separate the wheat from the chaff!

*Information taken from The Pet Poison Helpline

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