Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2023 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WAPR is operating at limited power. Thank you for your patience while we look into the issue.

Goodbye Kisses

Goodbye Kisses
Smiths Station Animal Hospital - by permission
Jennifer Williams
Goodbye Kisses

This coming week is Pet Poison Prevention week, always the third full week in March.  It’s a good reminder to consider ways to protect your furry buddy from things that could cause discomfort or even death.

     Pets don’t have hands, so they explore things with their mouths, which can get them into trouble.  Fertilizers on your lawn or flowers may contain chemicals harmful to an animal’s digestive tract.  The same is true with pest control products, which can be very toxic.  If you think your best friend has ingested any of these products, call your veterinarian right away.  Or you can call the Pet Poison Helpline.  There is a fee to call but it just might save the life of your faithful companion.

     Probably the two most common substances that cause toxic problems in pets are their owners’ medications, either prescription or over-the-counter.  Whether it’s pain meds, cold and flu remedies, or specific pills for your heart or asthma or other health issues, keep all people medications out of reach of your four-footed family members.

     Most pets love sweets – don’t we all? – but one popular artificial sweetener, Xylitol, is extremely toxic to dogs.  Just a small amount can cause heart or liver problems, even death.  And Xylitol is showing up in baked goods, gum, mints, candies.  Read the label before giving anything to your canine buddy.

     Chocolate is also toxic, especially to dogs, and the darker the chocolate the greater its toxicity.  Keep all chocolate away from pets, especially dogs.   

     However, a veterinary hospital in Smiths Station, Alabama, keeps a jar of Hershey’s Kisses on hand just for dogs – but they save the treats for euthanasia appointments.  Their thought is that “no dog should go to Heaven without tasting chocolate.”  They call the treats “Goodbye Kisses”.  I have to admit, that is a pretty special way to say goodbye, when you’re speaking of pets.

Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.