Poison Prevention Week

Mar 21, 2020

Has anybody seen the hand sanitizer??
Credit Mindy Norton

A pet is naturally curious, and explores the world with its nose and sometimes its mouth.  Poison-proofing helps to keep your best friend safe and healthy.  Store medications securely, use only non-toxic houseplants, and choose cleaners and chemicals for use around the house that won't harm your furry buddy.


This is the time of year to do “spring cleaning”. But spring cleaning has taken on a whole new meaning as we all deal with the threat of coronavirus or COVID-19. We are reminded often to “thoroughly wash our hands”, don’t touch our faces, and use hand sanitizer. Bleach and other disinfectants have become popular items in stores as we all look for ways to kill dangerous germs in our homes and keep our families safe.

Be aware that some of the items you may use to protect yourself could pose a danger to your pets, especially pine-based cleaners and caustic ones to clean drains and toilet bowls. Before you use any product, read the label and follow the directions carefully. Strong cleaners are essential, but with proper use your pet will stay safe.

For example, if you use a strong disinfectant on any surface, make sure it is diluted – or rinsed off – and then let the surface dry before allowing a pet access to it.

Hand sanitizer usually contains ethanol (or alcohol), so a pet that consumes enough of it could experience alcohol poisoning, resulting in serious problems such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, even dangerous drops in blood pressure or body temperature. Depending on the animal, it may not take much to cause a dangerous reaction. So - keep all containers of hand sanitizer where your pet cannot get to them. If you think your pet is suffering alcohol poisoning, call your veterinarian immediately.

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, and this week is National Poison Prevention Week – a good reminder that whatever dangers we face from COVID-19 or any other threat, we still need to make sure our best friends stay safe. For more information about using household cleaning products safely around your pet, visit the Pet Poison Helpline website at PetPoisonHelpline.com. And remember that prevention is still be best medicine for all members of the family, including the furry four-footed ones, when we’re all speaking of pets.