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Pet Toxins to Look Out for This Winter

January 15, 2020

Winter is here! The cold weather is only one danger for your pet this time of year. It turns out that there are several wintertime pet toxins that animal owners should watch out for! Learn more below from a vet in Bourne, MA.

Ice Melt

Many ice melts are made with sodium chloride, which can cause an upset stomach or skin irritation if your pet comes in contact with it. If they manage to ingest a large amount, sodium poisoning can occur! Your pet might come across ice melt when walking outdoors, or they can get into the container while it’s inside your home. Avoid ice patches outdoors, and store the ice melt carefully where pets can’t reach.

Antifreeze

Car owners add antifreeze to their engines during the cooler months to keep the engine running properly. Unfortunately, antifreeze is a dangerous pet toxin. That’s because it contains ethylene glycol, a toxic alcohol that can poison pets easily. To make matters worse, ethylene glycol can attract pets with its sweet smell and taste! Use the product carefully and store it where pets don’t have access.

Pesticides and Rodenticides

When it gets cold outside, small pests like insects and rodents venture indoors to seek warmth. You might use pesticides or rodenticides to fend them off, but keep in mind that these products are poisonous, designed to kill what comes in contact with them. Place pesticides carefully, and try to purchase pet-safe pesticide products whenever possible.

Winter Plants

We usually think of plant poisoning as more of a summertime problem, but the fact is that many plants active during the winter can harm pets as well. The list includes Amaryllis, certain aloe plants, lilies, Autumn crocus, Christmas cactus, mistletoe and holly, daffodils, and more! Additionally, poinsettias can cause drooling, mouth and stomach irritation, and vomiting. Take care to keep any plant life out of your pet’s reach this winter.

Human Medicine

Cold and flu season means you’re stocking up on medications. But many of those medicines can hurt your pet if they manage to ingest them. NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are especially dangerous, as are cough syrup and other painkillers. Keep human medications stored safely in the medicine cabinet so that your pet can’t get their paws on anything dangerous.

Want even more tips on keeping your pet safe this season? Contact your Bourne, MA veterinary clinic. We’re always here to help!


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