As in years past, a week in March has been set aside as Poison Prevention Week. This is a good time to review what potential poisons we may have in our homes, garages, and outdoors, and make sure they are safely out of reach of children and pets.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to educate pet owners and veterinarians across the Nation during National Poison Prevention Week (the third week in March) to Read the Label First! when using household cleaners, flea preparations and other products in the home and on their companion animal. This campaign is part of the Consumer Labeling Initiative (CLI), an ongoing voluntary partnership to improve label information and to help the public purchase, use and dispose of products safely and responsibly in and around their homes.
More manufacturers are voluntarily changing their labels to make them easier-to-read and understand. According to Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior Vice-President of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, “We receive a large number of calls related to inappropriate usage of products such as flea and tick preparations on pets. In many cases, problems would not have occurred if the pet owner had taken the time to carefully read and follow the label instructions and precautions.”
Helpful tips for using flea and tick or other products safely in the home and on a pet:
- Never use insecticides on very young, pregnant, debilitated, or elderly animals without consulting your veterinarian.
- Observe your pet closely after using flea products. If your pet exhibits unusual behavior, or becomes depressed, weak or uncoordinated you should seek veterinary advice immediately.
- When using a fogger or spray in your home, make sure to remove all pets from the house for the time period specified on the container. Food and water bowls should be removed from the area. Allow time for the product to dry completely before returning your animals to your home. Open windows or use fans to “air out” the household before returning your pets to the treated area. Strong fumes can be irritating to your animal’s eyes and upper respiratory system.
- Birds are more sensitive to fumes and usually require more time than other pets before their return to the treated home. Contact your veterinary health professional for advice on product usage around your birds.
- Be sure to keep products in their original containers to avoid leakage, accidental mix-ups, and loss of important label information should an accidental exposure occur.
- Never keep pesticide, cleaning or other household products near pet food or water bowls, and store products such as these in a secure cabinet above countertop level out of your pet’s reach.
Once again, ALWAYS “Read the Label First!” This could save the life of your pet!
© 2013 Foster & Smith, Inc. Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from PetEducation.com (http://www.PetEducation.com) On-line store at http://www.DrsFosterSmith.com Free pet supply catalog: 1-800-323-4208