How to prevent pet poisoning and what to do if it happens


You find them in the laundry room, in the cleaning closet or in the bathroom – our homes are full of everyday toxins that can be fatal if accidentally ingested or even inhaled by pets.

Make sure you know the toxic products in your home and know what to do if something goes wrong with these helpful tips from Zoetis South Africa, a global animal health company.

Prevention is the best medicine

Walk around your home and make sure the following are stored in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf to prevent your pet from accidentally coming into contact with these toxic but common household items:

  • Antifreeze
  • Bleach-based or bleach-based cleaners
  • Carpet or Rug Cleaner / Shampoo / Deodorizer
  • Essential oils
  • Plant fertilizer
  • Glue, other adhesives
  • Laundry or dishwasher detergent
  • Paint, solvents, spackle
  • Bait for rats / mice / slugs or other insecticides
  • Vinegar (plain or mixed with water)
  • Window washer

What can I do to prevent a poisoning incident?

  • Let your dogs sleep indoors at night, but not in the garage. If that is not possible, make sure their outdoor sleeping space is not accessible from the perimeter wall to prevent criminals from poisoning your dogs.
  • Regularly check the perimeter of any food that may have been thrown over your wall and throw it out.
  • Start teaching your puppy not to lick or eat anything that has not been given to it by its owner.
  • Check the labels for toxic ingredients such as bleach, ammonia, and benzalkonium chloride.
  • “Natural” products don’t necessarily make them suitable for pets.

How do I know if my pet has been poisoned?

If you suspect poisoning or find evidence that your pet has ingested something toxic, such as chew marks on a bottle of product containing toxins, go to the vet instead of waiting for symptoms to develop. If your pet collapses, loses consciousness, has a seizure, or has difficulty breathing, treat it as an emergency and go to the vet immediately. Do not try to induce vomiting unless you have been advised to do so.

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