Pet Poison Prevention Week

It’s officially Pet Poison Prevention Week! This week, take a moment to see your home through the eyes of your pet, and be aware of potential dangers that lurk in unsuspected places. We’ve commonly discussed seasonal poisoning dangers, and here are few of the most common toxic substances, especially as we officially enter spring this week:

Prescriptions and Over-the-Counter Medications

It’s so easily to forget about a handbag containing medication being thrown on the back of a chair, or a medication left out on a coffee table. However, these substances can cause kidney failure, liver failure, and serious poisoning in our pets. Always keep human medications stored in their properly labeled containers, up high and out of reach of inquisitive pets. Additionally, never give your pet human medications unless specifically under consultation with our veterinarians.

Spring Cleaning Chemicals

Our pets are incredibly sensitive to the smells in our home. But, did you know that many of the cleaning chemicals we use also present poisoning dangers? As you’re giving your home an extra-good spring cleaning, keep dishwashing products, oven cleaners, drain obstruction chemicals, toilet bowl cleaners, and any counter sprays secured behind a cabinet door out of your pet’s reach. These items can cause skin irritation, tissue damage or even be fatal to your unsuspecting pet.


None of us want to share our home with unwanted rodents. Mouse and rat poisons are good at their job - killing unwelcome pests; however, these same toxic chemicals can be fatal to your dog or cat, too. When ingested, your pet will need immediate treatment. It’s important to be educated on the impact of these toxins, and pet-proof your home with other, less lethal, options. For example, ultrasonic repellents or scent repellents have proven both effective and safer.

Garden Preparation

In our Lake Elmo area, we go a little crazy at the first signs of spring! However, as you’re preparing to get your lawn and gardens ready, note that cocoa bean mulch and insecticides both present toxic hazards to our pets. Cocoa bean mulch contains a chemical called “theobromine”, which is toxic to dogs when ingested. Insecticides, even when consumed in small amounts, can be life-threatening. Be particularly mindful of bait stations, garden/lawn sprays, or sprinkled granules that may peak the interest of a curious pet. As you’re planning for thriving spring greenery, opt for pet safe pest control instead.

Our pets are quick, and they may ingest a toxic substance without us realizing it immediately. Be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Lethargy
  • Irritation to skin, eyes, mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding
  • Increased thirst
  • Stumbling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis

If you note any of the above symptoms, please call Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo immediately at 651.770.3250.

We wish you and your pets a very enjoyable and SAFE spring!

Photo Credit: Zbynek Pospisil / iStock / Getty Images Plus

After-Hours Emergencies

After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
(Inside Como Park Animal Hospital just north of downtown St. Paul)
24-hour care for multiple species

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1163 Helmo Avenue N
Oakdale, MN 55128


Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)