Poison Prevention Week – Learn About Protecting Your Pets


This week is National Poison Prevention Week, an important time to learn more about keeping your cat or dog safe from toxic substances in their environment. “Poison prevention is very important to know about as a pet owner,” says Dr. Kyoko Yoshida, owner of Hudson Animal Hospital in New York’s Upper West Side. “There are many substances that are perfectly fine for humans but are actually toxic for cats and dogs. Awareness of what is harmful to your pets when ingested will go a long way toward keeping them safe.”

Here are some categories of potential poisons to be aware of:

  • Plants: Do you have plants inside your home? Learn which ones are harmful and which are safe. Also make sure to check plants in your yard if your pet goes outside. Visit this ASPCA web article for more information “Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants.”
  • Candy/Gum: Xylitol is a type of artificial sweetener that can be found in candy and in many types of gum; xylitol is highly toxic for dogs and should always be avoided. Chocolate is also a problem for both cats and dogs.
  • Human Food: Though it may be tempting to feed your pet scraps from your own meals, some foods can cause digestive distress and other health problems in cats and dogs. Visit this ASPCA web article for more information “People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets.”
  • Cleaning Products: All cleaning products should be stored where your pet cannot access them. Any cleaning agent sprayed on a surface should be allowed to dry before permitting your pet to go near it. Visit this ASPCA web article for more information “Poisonous Household Products.”
  • Pesticides/Insecticides: Your pet should never be exposed to products designed to kill plants, insects, or rodents. Even when packaged, these chemicals can cause serious problems if your pet chews the packaging and ingests any of the contents.
  • Automotive Liquids: Car maintenance fluids such as oil, windshield wiper solution, brake fluid, and more should be kept well out of reach for your pet. Do not allow your pet to come near whenever you are changing fluids in your vehicle.

If your pet ingests something labeled on one of these lists as toxic, you should call your vet right away for further instructions on what to do. If your pet eats or drinks something you are not sure is poisonous, you can call the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. This hotline, open 24/7, offers professional advice on pet poisoning. A consultation fee may apply.

“When thinking about keeping your pet safe from poisoning, make sure to be alert when away from home, too,” reminds Dr. Yoshida. “When visiting someone else’s home, riding in someone else’s car, or enjoying the park, be aware of your surroundings to keep your pet safe and happy.”

If you live in the Upper West Side and need veterinary care for either emergency or non-emergency situations, call Dr. Yoshida or Dr. Christopher Angiello at the Hudson Animal Hospital: (212) 706-4088 or visit the website HudsonAHnyc.com.