ASPCA NATIONAL ANIMAL POISON CONTROL CENTER COMMEMORATES
"NATIONAL POISON PREVENTION WEEK"
March 19 - 25 marks National Poison Prevention Week and the American Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals/National Animal Poison Control
Center (ASPCA/NAPCC) has an objective to educate pet owners about the
importance of poison safety.
The Center is the first and only 24-hour poison control hotline for
animals in North America. Our professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7
days a week, 365 days a year. Veterinarians and pet owners needing advice
reach a staff of 20 veterinarians (including five board-certified
toxicologists) and seven certified veterinary technicians.
To celebrate "National Poison Prevention Week," the ASPCA/NAPCC is reminding
pet owners of the importance of poison prevention. In order to educate pet
owners about ways to establish a poison-safe pet environment, the ASPCA/NAPCC
presents the following tips for pet owners.
PET POISON PREVENTION TIPS
- Be aware of the plants you have in your home and yard. The ingestion of
azalea, oleander, caster bean, sago palm, Easter lily (in cats only), or yew
plant material by an animal can be fatal.
- Never allow your pets to have access to the areas in which cleaning agents
are being used or stored. Cleaning agents have a variety of properties; some
may only cause mild stomach upset, but others can cause severe burns of the
tongue, mouth, and stomach.
- Store all cleaners, pesticides, and medications in a secured area.
- Most baits contain ingredients that can attract your pets. When using rat,
mouse, snail or slug baits, or ant or roach traps, place the products in
areas that are inaccessible to your companion animals. (Editor's note: most
of us pet rat and mouse lovers would never consider using rat and mouse
- Never give your companion animals medication unless you are directed to do
so by a veterinarian. Many medications that are safe for humans can be deadly
for animals. For example, one extra strength (500 mg) acetaminophen tablet
could be fatal to a cat. (Editor's note: In treating your pet rats and mice,
always consult a veterinarian or refer to the Gazette drug chart.)
- Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of your pets' reach,
preferably in closed cabinets. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer
drugs, antidepressants, vitamins, and diet pills are all examples of human
medications that can be lethal to animals, even in small doses. For example,
one 200 mg ibuprofen tablet could cause stomach ulcers in a small dog.
- Never leave chocolate unattended. (Editor's note: small quantities are fine
- Many common household items can be lethal to animals. Mothballs, potpourri
oils, coffee grounds, homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets,
dishwashing detergent, batteries, cigarettes, alcoholic drinks, and hand and
foot warmers are potentially toxic.
- Automotive products such as gasoline, oil, and antifreeze should be stored
in areas that are inaccessible to your pets. As little as one teaspoon of
antifreeze can be deadly to a cat; less than one tablespoon can be lethal to
a 20-pound dog.
- Before buying a flea product, consult your veterinarian, especially when
treating sick, debilitated, or pregnant pets.
- Read all of the information on the label before using a product on your
pet or in your home. Always follow the directions.
- If a product is for use only on dogs, it should never be used on cats.
(Editor's note: In general, products for dogs are too strong for rats, but
cat and kitten products are normally fine.)
- Make sure your companion animals do not enter areas in which insecticidal
foggers or house sprays have been applied for the period indicated on the
- If you are uncertain about the proper usage of any product, contact the
manufacturer and/or your veterinarian for instructions.
FOR CONSULTATION SERVICES
Contact ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center at
For online information about the ASPCA/NAPCC visit the web site at
For online Pet TIPS visit the web site at