MSU expert shares advice on protecting pets from toxins

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – An expert from Michigan State University is warning people about possible dangers pets could face this holiday season.

Dr. John Buchweitz, head of the toxicology section of Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, says there’s more to preventing pet poisonings than making sure your dog doesn’t eat chocolate.

Pet owners should also avoid giving their furry friends anything containing grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, the artificial sweetener xylitol, and any kind of alcohol, including beer.

When it comes to holiday plants, Dr. Buchweitz says poinsettias are thought of as dangerous, but in reality, they are only mildly toxic. Other holiday plants, including lilies, mistletoe, and holly, pose a much bigger toxic threat to pets.

Nearly half of all pet poisonings involve human medications. Pills, even over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen, should be stored in secure containers and out of reach of pets. That includes marijuana since the psychoactive compound THC is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.

Cold weather is returning, and it is important to keep pets away from chemicals like antifreeze and windshield deicing fluid. Even small amounts of those chemicals can be dangerous to animals.

Click here for more information about keeping your pets safe and what to do if your pet may have eaten something dangerous.

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