Welcome Spring--and an awareness of potential pet poisons!

pet-dangersMarch is the official start of spring as well as Poison Prevention Awareness Month for animals. If cleaning your house and yard is on your spring to-do list, make sure that you do so in a way that is safe for your dog, cat, or other household pet. By following the suggestions below, you can enjoy the satisfaction of completing your spring cleaning while keeping your pet safe at the same time.

Indoor Spring Cleaning Dangers for Animals

Many household cleaners that you don't think twice about using are actually quite harmful for your pet. Items that pose especially high risks if your dog or cat ingests them include toilet bowl cleaner, laundry detergent, ammonia, chlorine, and drain cleaners. If possible, switch to a non-toxic version of these cleaning agents.  When you can't purchase green products, be extra vigilant about keeping these chemicals locked up and out of the path of your curious pet. 

Sometimes spring cleaning means discovering that ants or other pests have infested your home. Since insecticides and mouse poisons and traps are so dangerous for dogs and cats, use them sparingly and supervise your pet around them at all times.

Outdoor Spring Cleaning Dangers for Animals

According to the National Pet Poison Hotline, the following outdoor items can be highly poisonous to dogs and cats:

  • Mulch: The product you use as a soil covering might be made from the shells and hulls of cocoa beans. Both of these are by-products of chocolate, which is highly toxic to dogs in particular.
  • Compost: Mold often grows in the organic materials of compost once it has deteriorated. If you don't keep a rope around the mulch, you run the risk of your pet eating mold and becoming very ill.
  • Fertilizers and Soil Additives:  When these items contain iron, feather meal, bone meal, or blood meal, they are dangerous to animals due to the risk of obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract. 
  • Slug and snail baits: These pellets to keep pests out of your garden are highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion can be fatal to your pet if not treated for several days.

Plants to Keep Away from Pets

The National Pet Poison Hotline states that several indoor and outdoor plants are potentially dangerous for animals. To keep your four-legged friend safe, avoid getting or planting the following:

Aloe Vera




Morning Glory


Emerald Fern






Sago Palm

Lily of the Valley



If you do suspect that your pet has swallowed something toxic, contact Cedar Pet Clinic 651-770-3250 or afterhours the National Pet Poison Hotline at 1-855-764-7661.(available 24 hours a day, every day of the year)


Photo credit:  karandeav | Thinkstock.com

After-Hours Emergencies

After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
(Inside Como Park Animal Hospital just north of downtown St. Paul)
24-hour care for multiple species

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1163 Helmo Avenue N
Oakdale, MN 55128


Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)