Pet Poison Prevention Month

a huskie puppy behind houseplants.

There really isn’t a time of year completely free of potential pet hazards. Between all the chocolate-heavy holidays, the toxic blooms all spring, and the ongoing use of household cleaners, medications, and foods, the peril to pets is very real regardless of season. Luckily, March is Pet Poison Prevention Month, and it is the perfect time to raise awareness and promote the prevention of pet poisonings. 

All the Senses

Pets experience the world around through all of their senses, but primarily they sniff and taste things to understand them. Most of the time, this combination of opportunity and curiosity is harmless, but this sensory exploration can land them in some pretty hot water. 

Many pet owners find success in training their pets to ignore items that have fallen from countertops.This allows quick pick up of the potentially harmful item instead of fighting to get it out of a pet’s mouth. This works well for dangerous foods, including:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Anything made with Xylitol 
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes or raisins
  • Bones
  • Fatty meat or buttery items

Household Hazards

There are various pet-safe or pet-friendly cleaning products, but as a general rule, cleaning products should only be used when a pet is outside or in another part of the house that is well-ventilated. Only allow access after surfaces have dried. Store cleaning products inside cabinets, and never on the floor.


It is a good idea to keep all medications behind closed doors or inside a container a pet cannot reach. Backpacks and purses should not be left out for pets to rummage through. Over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription medications can be very dangerous to pets, but the access to cigarettes, vapes or other products can be disastrous as well. 

Beautiful, and Yet Toxic

There are various houseplants that have no place in a home shared with pets. They may go completely ignored by your pet, but they can still pose risks to their health:

  • Jade
  • Asparagus fern
  • Pothos
  • English ivy
  • Amaryllis
  • Aloe
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Caladium
  • Philodendron
  • Snake plant
  • Any type of lily

Additionally, the garden may be brimming with plant varieties known to cause hazardous health problems in pets. If you have any of these common plants, either relocate them or keep them in an area that your pet cannot access:

  • Sago palm
  • Azalea
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Oleander

When walking around the neighborhood, watch for recognizable toxic plants and steer your pet away. This list of plants is very helpful to discern between toxic and non-toxic plants.

Signs of Pet Poisoning

If your pet shows signs of poisoning, including vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, hyperactivity, high blood pressure/temperature, and irregular heartbeat, please seek emergency help. Our team at Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital is always happy to assist you at (615) 646‑7387.