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Tick Talk

March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month and acts as a great reminder to review all the necessary steps we can take to keep our pets safe and healthy! Pets are curious by nature which is part of what makes them special but it can also lead them into harm's way if we don’t properly prevent them from getting into dangerous pet toxins. Accidents happen even with the best trained pets and that’s why prevention is the best defense against harm from pet poison.

Most Common Pet Poisons


  • Grapes & Raisins: This fruit can lead to acute and sudden kidney failure in dogs and cats. Keep grapes and raisins out of reach and if you want to offer fruit as a snack, choose pet safe fruit like blueberries (included in TLC Whole Life Pet Food formulas).
  • Garlic & Onions: Both garlic and onions are members of the Allium Plant Family which are toxic to pets and can cause red blood cell damage.
  • Xylitol: This sweetener is often found in sugar-free gums, candies, and sauces. Pets who get a hold of even small amounts are at risk of seizures, low blood sugar, and liver failure.
  • Macadamia nuts: Although it is not known what causes these nuts to be toxic for pets it is important to keep them out of sight. They can cause upset stomach, hypothermia, and weakness in pets.
  • Chocolate: The darker and more pure a chocolate is, the more toxic it can be for your pet. Chocolate contains theobromine which when consumed in large amounts by pets can’t be metabolized and can cause them to suffer painful effects.


  • Human medications are not meant for consumption by pets and should not be given to pets unless prescribed by a veterinarian. It is important to remember pet specific medication should also only be administered as prescribed and can be harmful when taken in large unprescribed quantities. Keep these out of reach from your pet, a plastic bottle is no match for their sharp teeth!


There are many common house plants that can be toxic to pets so it is important to do your research before introducing a new plant to your home. Always take a look outside of your home and around your neighborhood to see what type of plants your pet may cross paths with. Common plants toxic to pets are:

  • Azaleas
  • Lilies
  • Poinsettias
  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Sago Palms


Remember if it is not safe for you, it won’t be safe for them. Toxic items and cleaners should be safely secured in a location your pet can’t access:

  • Batteries
  • Fertilizers and pest control products
  • Cleaning products
  • Heavy Metals

Please note that these are only a few common pet poisons and many other foods, flowers, and items can be toxic to pets.

Prevention Tips:

Up & Away: Once you have identified the potentially dangerous or toxic items in your household make sure you have them stored in a safe place that is up and away from your pet. If you are eating or using items toxic to pets be sure to keep your pet away and clean up as soon as you are done.

Childproof Locks: If your pup or cat has a habit of getting into rooms or cupboards they shouldn’t, it may be a good idea to have childproof locks on the doors that hold your non pet friendly items for times you can’t be around to watch them.

Pet Gates: If you tend to store your cleaning products, fertilizers, or other toxic items in one area or room, you can add a gate or barrier that will block access to your pet. Ensuring your pet cannot access areas where their curiosity may get them into trouble is a great way to prevent unwanted situations.

Tick Talk

Common Signs and Symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness & loss of coordination
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual breathing patterns
  • Tremors & seizures

Please note that these are only a few common signs and symptoms and that there are a wide variety of symptoms for pet poisons.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Pet Has Ingested a Poison

If you have concerns your pet may have gotten into a poison or toxin it is important to act fast and call your nearest emergency veterinarian right away. They will be able to suggest the correct next actions to take. It is always better to be safe than sorry and call for help immediately. If your emergency veterinarian is not available you can call the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 (fees may apply).

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