By Dr. Becker
Picture this. You walk into your bathroom and see a bottle of Tylenol or Motrin uncapped, laying on its side … and telltale signs your cat has at the very least been licking the spilled pills.
Or … you return home from shopping and drop your coat and other personal items on a chair by the door. When you return to put away your things, you discover your dog has sampled several pieces of sugar-free gum he pilfered from your purse.
Sadly, way too many dogs and cats are accidently poisoned every year by toxic substances in or around their own homes. Ingesting human medications accounts for the largest number of pet poisonings by far.
And it’s difficult for pet owners to be aware of every single thing that might pose a health hazard.
New Lifesaving Tool for Pet Owners
Fortunately, now it’s possible for pet parents who suspect a furry family member has ingested something dangerous to quickly grab their iPhone and check the Pet Poison Help app for more information.
The app, created by Pet Poison Helpline, was released on March 29, 2012 and has already been downloaded by thousands of pet owners. The Helpline is a 24/7 animal control center in Minneapolis, MN. The center receives over 100,000 calls a year about pet poisonings. Their app helps pet owners and other caretakers quickly identify potential poisons, recognize symptoms of a potential poisoning, and it also provides one-touch direct dialing to the poison helpline.
The Pet Poison Help app also provides:
- A searchable database -- including photos -- of over 250 toxic plants, foods, drugs and household items. You can search by toxin using either the common or scientific name, by category of toxins, or by type of pet (dog or cat).
- Descriptions of how specific poisons affect pets, alternate common names for poisons, and symptoms to watch for.
- Instructions on what to do if a pet has been exposed to a poison, for example, inducing vomiting, or taking your pet to an emergency veterinary clinic right away.
The Pet Poison Help app is always available with or without Internet access or cell phone service and is only $0.99 to download from iTunes.
If Your Smartphone Isn’t an iPhone …
Pet Poison Helpline has also mobile-enabled their website, so when the site is accessed with a smartphone, the information is optimized for mobile environments. Optimization includes concise information, easy-to-navigate screens, a simple layout and large fonts. Like the iPhone app, the mobile-enabled site also provides a direct dial feature to the Pet Poison Helpline.
Instructions for adding Pet Poison Helpline’s mobile app to your smartphone home screen can be found here.