animal shelter

Did you know that March is Pet Poison Awareness Month?

We want to help you keep your pet safe and out of potentially life-threatening objects that can be in your backyard or around your home.

  1. Sago Palms & Lilies
  2. Certain Seasonings- Garlic & Salt
  3. Alcohol & caffeine drinks
  4. Tea Tree Oil
  5. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, (NSAID), Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc.

Keeping your animals’ safe starts with knowing what substances are harmful to them. Below is a short description of common unknown pet poisons.

  1. Sago Palms & Lilies

Sago Palms

Sago Palms are EXTREMELY poisonous to dogs & cats.

The Sago Palm is a common plant that is used for landscaping for many homes and is often found in yards & on medians. Sago Palm’s leaves & seeds (nuts) are extremely toxic when ingested by dogs, cats, horses & humans.

When these seeds are ingested by your pet, symptoms of poisoning can appear 15 minutes after ingestion or 12 hours after. The toxin in Sago Palms can cause gastrointestinal irritation, liver failure & death if not treated properly.

What to look for with initial signs of poisoning: Depression, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea.

Without treatment, Sago Palm toxins may have more serious effects of neurologic signs and liver failure 2-3 days after ingestion.

Neurologic issues & signs of liver failure to look out for: Weakness, tremors, seizures, dark urine, lethargy & more (for a complete list visit

If your pet ingests any part of a Sago Palm, seek emergency medical treatment IMMEDIATELY. Poisoning & serious effects take place quickly (as little as 15 minutes) & death can occur within 24 hours.

Even with aggressive treatment, the survival rate for your pet is only 50%.

The only way to keep your pet safe is to remove Sago Palms from your yards & you should also be vigilant on walks, in dog parks, & wherever you take your pet to ensure accidental consumption does not occur.


While Lilies aren’t safe for dogs or cats, lilies are most harmful to cats. Even the smallest ingestion of petals/leaves, pollen, or water from the pot it is planted in can cause serious side effects.

More serious reactions to ingesting lilies are: life threatening cardiac arrhythmia, multiple system organ failure, and death.

Less serious side effects from lilies can irritate the mouth and esophagus. These side effects can include drooling, foaming at the mouth, vomiting, & vocalization.

Pet owners should seek immediate veterinary care to be treated immediately.


  1. Garlic, & Salt


Garlic is a popular cooking item and can usually be found in households in forms of powder, jarred, or whole cloves. Did you know that garlic is more toxic than onions & leeks and is toxic to dogs, cats, horses, goats, & more? Garlic can take up to 24 hours for owners to see signs of poisoning, and up to one week if only a small amount is ingested.

Signs to look out for: Lethargy, increased heart rate, weakness, nausea, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, & more.

Seek immediate veterinary care if you think your pet may have ingested garlic.


Salt can be extremely harmful to dogs & cats. Many sources of salt can come from things other than table salt such as homemade playdough, de-icers, sea water, & paintballs.

Salt can cause excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, increased appetite, seizures, coma, & death.

It is not recommended to use salt as a vomit inducer.

Seek immediate veterinary care if you think your pet may have ingested salt.


  1. Alcohol & Caffeine


Alcohol is a deadly and easily accessible to your pets when spilled or at outdoor venues. Be cautious when bringing your pet along to restaurants, bars, & dog friendly venues that sell alcohol.

When your pet ingests alcohol, their blood sugar, blood pressure, & body temperature can drop into dangerously low levels.

Animals that ingest an excessive amount can experience seizures & respiratory failure.

Keep an eye out for: Drooling, vomiting, depression/lethargy, weakness & collapse.

Seek immediate veterinary care if you think your pet may have ingested alcohol.


Both dogs & cats are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than humans are. Drinks such as coffee, soda, tea, energy drinks, and some supplements. Caffeine can be extremely toxic to your pets and can cause hyperactivity, tremors, restlessness & in severe cases seizures & death is possible.

Seek immediate veterinary care if you think your pet may have ingested caffeine.


  1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that can help keep a humans’ skin, hair, & nails healthy but can be very harmful for dogs & cats. Tea tree oil should never be used on your pet because in a little as 7 drops of 100% tea tree oil can lead to severe poisoning. Signs to look out for: low body temperature, weakness, wobbling walk, tremors, coma & even death.

Seek immediate veterinary care if you think your pet may have been exposed to tea tree oil.


  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, (NSAID), Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc.

Common human NSAID’s include ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc. While they may be helpful for relieving inflammation & controlling pain in humans, this medication can be extremely toxic to your pets. Signs to look out for: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, & death. Be sure to seek treatment for NSAID & other medication poisoning to ensure a smooth recovery.


We want to keep your pet safe from these common unknown household pet poisons. Please consider reading the entire list of pet poisons here to ensure you are fully aware of how to keep your pets safe.


Common poison list. Pet Poison Helpline. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2022, from