could this app save your pet's life?

man using pet poison app
Posted by Dr. Kim Smyth on Feb 16 2018

Have you ever seen your dog or cat munching on a plant and thought, “Hmmm…could that be toxic?” I have good news—there’s an app for that.

Pet poison app

The ASPCA has thoughtfully planned an amazing app called APCC by ASPCA, which helps owners identify the potential threats of common hazards and explains what to do if a pet has been exposed. The best part is that the app is free!

You probably know about common toxins, like chocolate or raisins or antifreeze, but so many more hazards lurk out there for your pets – from the food we eat to the medications we take to the landscaping choices we make. This simple app aims to educate you (and your vet!) about the potential for accidental poisoning and what to do about it.

Because not all toxins affect all pets the same way, the app starts by asking you to choose a species: dog, cat, horse or bird. From there, you can choose the category of your potential threat, including household hazards, foods, plants, medications and warm/cold weather related hazards. Then, just find your pet’s poison and read all about its effects and the steps you should take if he’s accidentally been exposed.

Your vet knows a lot about a lot of things, but we can’t know EVERYTHING. We often get calls about whether or not a particular substance is toxic to pets, and the truth is, although we may have learned about it in school, we simply can’t be expected to remember the toxic effects of every houseplant out there. That’s why we love this app as much as you will!

Pet poison hotline

Another fabulous resource that the ASPCA provides is a 24-hour pet poison hotline. If you think your pet may have ingested a poison and it’s after hours at your vet’s office, you can call the experts at (888) 426-4435, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A word of warning: this service isn’t free. A $65 consultation fee will be charged to your credit card.

I love this service so much that I’ve used it for patients in the clinic on several occasions. This goes back to the idea that your veterinarian can’t know everything. In this case, the best way I can help your pet is to consult with veterinary toxicologists about how to treat your poisoned pet, from which drugs to use to combat negative effects to how long I should administer said mediations.

Now, you may not sit around browsing the hazards like I do (yes, I know I’m nerdy), but it may get you and your pet out of a poison pickle.