General advice

If you have a pet, particularly a new puppy or kitten, look around your home and garden and think about what might interest an inquisitive animal.

Potential hazards include:
• Medicines left lying around.
• A bag on the floor – open or otherwise.
• Easy access to food items e.g. chocolate, sweets, etc.
• House plants and cut flowers
• Air freshening devices or pot pourri in an open bowl.
• Dropped or spilt medicines.
• Cigarettes or e-cigarettes (or their refills) lying around.
• Containers of cleaners, decorating products (such as paint, white spirit or mastics) or garden chemicals, especially if open.
• Edible or inedible items delivered through the post.
• Loose batteries left lying around.

Storage

• Store medicines and products in their original containers, out of sight and out of reach of pets.
• Ensure storage cupboard doors are closed securely.
• Replace the tops of containers securely after use.
• If you have medicines in your handbag keep them out of reach of pets.
• Clean up spills promptly.
• Keep the lid of dustbins firmly closed to prevent access.
• Dispose of unwanted medicines safety (ideally return them to your pharmacy).

Take particular care with painkiller patches. Dispose of the used patch carefully by folding it firmly in half so that the sticky side sticks to itself. Place back in the pouch and dispose
of in the household waste or return to your pharmacist. Used patches contain enough drug to be harmful to animals and children if chewed or swallowed.

Using medicines

• Never give your pet a human medicine unless directed to do so by your vet.
• Read the label of any medicine before use and only use as directed by your vet.
• Do not allow your pet to lick your hands or skin after applying a cream or ointment – some human skin preparations are extremely toxic to pets.

Using household and garden products

• Always read the directions of household and garden products before use and use as directed.
• Prevent access to areas of the garden where pesticides, such as weed killers and slug baits, have been used – even if the packaging says ‘pet friendly’.
• Do not leave buckets or watering cans containing garden chemicals unattended.
• When using cleaning products keep pets away to prevent accidental exposure.
• Clean up spills promptly.

EMERGENCY ADVICE
• Call Animal PoisonLine on 01202 509000
• Remove your pet from the source of poison.
• If your pet has vomited, clean it up promptly to prevent your pet(s) or a child from eating it.
• If your pet has skin or fur contamination, wipe off the excess material and, if safe to do so, wash the affected area with detergent such as shampoo.
• If the material is greasy or sticky you could try rubbing butter or margarine on to the fur first and then wash this off with soap and water.
• Do not try to make your pet vomit – NEVER give salt water
• If you are advised to take your pet to the practice, collect a sample of the poison and take it with you. This could be the packaging, the container (if available) or a sample of plant material (e.g. leaves, flowers and berries).