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Pet poisonings are an entirely preventable cause of death and suffering in our patients.

March is Pet Poison Awareness Month. This all-too-common topic is one to be highlighted – via social media, on practice displays, and via additional channels, such as waiting room TVs.

We have brought together pet-saving advice for owners in three succinct videos covering a range of common poisons for your waiting room and to download for your social media channels.

Common Pet Poisons

The first in a trio of videos gives an overview of common poisons around the home. There are, sadly, many owners who don’t realise where danger is lurking. With plants, detergents, fertilisers, and rodenticides mentioned (amongst others). This video demonstrates to owners that poisons are not elusive or unobtainable. They are every-day and accessible to pets in many homes. Hopefully reiterating this message will save lives.

Poisonous Food and Drink

A second video focuses on poisonous foods and drinks – perhaps one of the most common reasons for poison cases to present in the consulting room. A quick-fire list of dangerous foods gives a short and engaging summary of why we should only feed our pets food that is intended for them, and why we should be cautious about straying from that.


To focus in one stage further, our third video details the reasons that xylitol is such a dangerous ingredient for our pets and found in many of our foods. The video demonstrates it’s not just chewy sweets that are the issue here. Xylitol is found in many foods including cakes, biscuits, and low-calorie varieties. Xylitol also features in medicines, toothpaste, and mouthwashes. Increasing awareness of this ingredient, its widespread use, and its effect is an important message this Pet Poison Awareness Month.

Advice for Avoiding Poisonings

The overall theme of the three videos is avoidance and early intervention. The best cure for pet poisonings is keeping anything risky out of reach of pets – full stop. But mistakes can happen – sometimes through ignorance and that’s what we’re trying to avoid – but also just misfortune.

If the worst happens, it’s so important for owners to call a vet straight away – and we make this very clear. A ‘better safe than sorry’ mantra is entirely appropriate. Waiting for illness to reveal itself can cost lives.

Sometimes owners don’t realise their pet has accessed a poison, so recognising clinical signs is important too. In the xylitol video, clinical signs are listed to help owners understand when urgent help is required.

Clinical Benefits

It’s useful for us if owners consider poisons as a possible cause for their pet’s ill health. They will then be forthcoming with the relevant information to help us make our diagnosis. A dog that has vomited once and is bright may not always cause immediate clinical concern.  A dog that has done this and recently raided the sweetie cupboard, chewed the leaves from a favourite houseplant, or licked up the spilt mouthwash half an hour prior – an entirely different scenario.

The more information we can share with our clients about household items that risk their pets’ health, the better prepared we can all be, and the benefits to pets of this awareness are inevitable. Get on board with Pet Poison Awareness Month. As a subscriber to The Vet Channel add these videos to your waiting room playlist and onto your social media channels today. Simply login to your account where you’ll find these in the latest videos or by clicking here.

Waiting Room TV for your practice

The Vet Channel is an innovative waiting room TV system. It will help educate waiting clients. The average waiting time is around 15 minutes in a UK veterinary practice waiting room. Make the most of your captive audience and help them understand pet healthcare issues as well us signposting them toward useful clincs and promotions running at your practice. To find out more please vist The Vet Channel.