5 steps to take, if a pet is poisoned

Accidental poisons can be perilous for pets.

Curious pets can find potential poisons and face serious illness or even death as a result. A dog or cat may stumble onto some toxic substance, which has likely been unintentionally left within the animal’s reach. In a moment, the pet may consume or even simply roll in the poisonous matter and become very ill without warning.

NOTE: Written by this author, this copyrighted material originally appeared on another publisher’s site. That site no longer exists. This author holds all rights to this content. No republication is allowed without permission.

Common pet poisons include alcoholic beverages, antifreeze, artificial sweeteners, chemicals, chocolate, cosmetics, fertilizers, garlic, grapes, household cleaners, medications (human or veterinary), onions, perfumes, and pesticides. Certain house plants, garden flowers, and other vegetation can also be lethal for pets.

Adapted by this user from public domain photo.

What ought a pet owner to do, if pet poisoning is suspected?

A few common-sense steps are in order.

1. Don’t panic.

This is critical. Seeing a pet in distress can be remarkably unsettling, but it’s essential to keep a clear head to save the animal.

2. Eliminate the toxic substance.

Immediately, the pet must be removed from the vicinity of the possible poison. If possible, it’s important to check the animal’s mouth and pull out any remaining bits of whatever he or she consumed.

3. Check the pet’s health and behavior.

Certain symptoms are common with pet poisoning. These may include accelerated heart rate, coughing blood, diarrhea, dizziness, energy loss, excessive drooling, excessive thirst, loss of appetite, loss of coordination, mouth sores, pale gums, panting, seizures, tremors, vomiting (especially bloody), and more.

4. Call a veterinarian immediately.

Causing a pet to vomit in the hopes of expelling the poison is not always smart or safe. The best bet is to contact a veterinary professional immediately. The vet will likely want to know which of the telltale symptoms have been already displayed.

If possible, it can be extremely helpful to have a sample of the poison the pet seems to have eaten. Saving the bottle or product packaging is ideal, if the substance had one.

If a veterinarian is not available, it’s possible to call a pet helpline like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (1-800-213-6680). Both of these generally charge consultation fees.

5. Follow the veterinarian’s instructions exactly.

Pet poisoning treatments vary. Some require hospitalization, while others may be treated at home. Different toxins are addressed in diverse ways, such as administering antacids, dosing with activated charcoal, hydrating orally or intravenously, inducing vomiting, oxygen support, and stomach pumping.

How can pet poisoning be prevented?

The best way to minimize the possibility of a pet’s poisoning is to remove all potentially hazardous substances from the animal’s reach. If the cat or dog or other pet is unable to come into contact with a toxin, he or she is unlikely to face a risk from it.


Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.


Pet love: 5 steps for making a long-lasting pet memory box

Pet memories can last long after beloved animal companions are no longer with us. A dog may live for six to 20 years, depending upon his breed. An indoor cat may survive for 15 to 18 years. A hamster may live only two or three years.

How can pet owners preserve pet memories?

Many animal lovers create pet memory boxes to enjoy their furry friends during their life spans and to honor them afterwards. The process is simple.

Public domain photo / Pixabay

NOTE: Written by this author, this copyrighted material originally appeared on another publisher’s site. That site no longer exists. This author holds all rights to this content. No republication is allowed without permission.

1. Pick a sturdy container.

A waterproof plastic box with a tight-fitting lid serves well as a pet memory box. The transparent varieties offer easy identification in storage areas of the home. Some pet owners pick fancier receptacles, such as hand-carved wooden boxes or decorative lidded tins.

Ideally, a separate box contains mementos for each pet.

2. Collect significant stuff to save.

What pet reminders are most meaningful to you? Suggested souvenirs might include copies of a pet’s medical records, breeding or adoption papers, training certificates, show awards, identification tags, and his or her baby collar.

Pet photographs are a must, of course.

A pet lover might clip a bit of fur and tuck it into a small zippered plastic bag for safekeeping as well.

Why not toss a favorite old chew toy, a ball, or a plush animal that resembles the pet into the pet memory box? Perishable items, such as dog bones or catnip treats, should be skipped.

3. Identify each item.

A fine-point permanent marker is handy for jotting down names, dates, and other details on each item going into the pet memory box.

4. Pack carefully.

Bubble wrap or packing popcorn help to keep treasured pet artifacts safe. Papers can be stowed in a folder or large envelope, placed neatly on the bottom of the container. Fragile items should be wrapped.

5. Store the pet memory box securely.

For safekeeping, the entire parcel should be stowed in a cool and dry spot and checked periodically for memory’s sake and possible updating.

A pet memory box takes little time to prepare, but it can lead to many hours of happy memories after a pet has passed away.

Product photo – fair use

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.


Pet product review: Outward Hound Hands Free Hipster with Dog Leash

Here’s a handy hands-free storage belt for runners, hikers, and walkers who like to take their dogs along. The Outward Hound Hands Free Hipster (which comes with a dog leash) has three zippered pockets (including one that fits a standard-sized water bottle) and two open mesh ones for holding all sorts of take-alongs.

Product publicity photo - fair use

I purchased the Outward Hound Hands Free Hipster with Dog Leash in lime green. The product (labeled as item 23004), which is made in China, also comes in light blue. It retails for about $30, but it can be found on Amazon for less than $20. There’s also a matching collapsible bowl (in 24- and 48-ounce size options) that can clip on easily for use on hikes or longer walks and runs.

Product publicity photo - fair use
This product reviewer purchased the product described and evaluated here, and the reviewer has no prior or existing relationship (either familial or professional) with the creator, manufacturer or marketer of the product.

The product design makes the Outward Hound Hands Free Hipster comfortable to wear.

It’s lightweight and breathable. The webbed belting is adjustable (although it doesn’t stay snug enough during running or other movement, particularly on a slimmer person. Instead, the belt shifts and slides and spins around the waist, especially if the dog is a tugger or a puller.

Product publicity photo - fair use

The fit, though changeable, isn’t perfect for everyone.

The belt adjustment may fit a wide variety of wearers (even over bulkier seasonal apparel), but I found it does not go tight enough to fit snugly on a smaller person. Personally, I find that the whole thing slips lower and lower, the longer I wear it, requiring frequent adjustment. I wish the product were available in various sizes. It’s also quite wide for a shorter wearer.

The leash attachment is easy, but is it sufficiently sturdy?

Metal D-rings are attached to both sides of the Outward Hound Hands Free Hipster, so a dog leash may be fastened to either one, or two dogs may be walked (with one on each side). This arrangement may be sturdy enough for a small- to medium-sized dog who does not yank or pull hard, but I have heard of multiple users who have experienced breakage of this feature, in which their D-rings have torn off of the belt.

Disclaimer: The product packaging includes a disclaimer that says, "Caution: Not intended to restrain dogs that pull heavily. Intended for dog use only."

During each run, I tend to switch my dog's leash from one D-ring to the other, as my direction shifts and as the belt seems to slide back and forth on my waist.

Gotta love a lotta pockets!

The pockets are more-than ample for storing a cell phone, a set of keys, a pair of glasses, and other essentials. The zippered cargo pockets are not ideal for carrying loose treats or small items, however, as the zippers begin around the five-o’clock spot (if you think of the front of the pockets as clock faces), so items tend to fall out while the wearer is accessing them.

The center pocket opens and folds down to become a water bottle carrier, including a toggled drawstring at the top. This is handy, although the water bottle tends to be carried in the center of the wearer’s own back, if a dog is attached to one of the belt rings in front.

Let’s lose the leash.

Immediately, I discarded the five-foot lightweight webbed leash that came in the package. Although it sported handy snap clips on both ends, it was simply too flimsy for running with my medium-sized Lab Mix dog. I use this storage belt often for cani-cross, which sort of demands a stretchy bungee-style leash. Plus, I think a five-foot leash is a little short for trail running with an energetic dog.

Product photos – fair use

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.