Keeping Dogs Out of Harm’s Way

Spring Tips and Green Ideas
By Claudia Kawczynska, March 2016, Updated June 2021

Spring and spring cleaning days are upon us, and coincidentally, the third week of March is National Poison Prevention Week. An informative notice from Dr. Denise Petryk, on-staff veterinarian at Trupanion (pet insurance), provides insights into the most common pet poisons and other tips to help protect dogs and keep them out of harm’s way.

·Household cleaning products: Soaps, bleach, detergents, specialized cleaners and even sponges can harm a pet by irritating the skin or eyes, as well as damaging and blocking the gastrointestinal system. See better alternatives to these cleaning products.

·Plants: Tulips, daffodils, foxglove and azaleas can all cause symptoms such as vomiting, drooling and even kidney damage when ingested by pets. Lilies are especially toxic to cats—and popular around Easter time—and can cause kidney problems, while the Sago Palm plant causes health problems such as vomiting, diarrhea and liver failure in dogs.

·Fertilizers: The nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc and herbicides that supplement plant growth can cause severe symptoms in pets, such as difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea and intestinal blockage. Be very careful about fertilizing lawn areas where many dogs like to spend time.


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·Yard tools: Rakes, shrub shears and even shovels can be dangerous—even  deadly—for curious pets if they’re not stored properly.

· Pest control substances: Rodenticides and other poisons such as snail and slug bait are toxic to all animals. Avoid their use. If you have any of these products, take special care to keep them away from pets. 

For more green ideas and safety tips see our dog-friendly prepping for spring checklist.