There are a number of animal appreciation days and weeks throughout the month of March. The American Veterinary Medical Association (www.avma.org) reminds us of the following dates of which to be aware and to recognize:
The week of March 13 to 17 is National Wildlife Week – a good time to remember that here in Vermont we can be grateful that wildlife abounds! March 23 is National Puppy Day. If you’re planning on adding a puppy to your family, remember to adopt; don’t shop! March 29 is Manatee Appreciation Day – certainly a day for Floridians to celebrate!
For animal shelters, however, perhaps the most significant of the March awareness weeks is March 19 – 25 – Poison Prevention Week. While the emphasis may well focus on raising awareness about household items that are poisonous to children, it’s important to remember that many things in the home are also poisonous to our pets – cats, dogs and yes, even birds and other pets. The AVMA advises that raisins and grapes can be fatal to our canine family members and some plants, such as lilies are poisonous for our feline friends. Some kinds of nuts, such as macadamia nuts can cause paralysis in dogs and sadly, the most potent poisons for our pets are human pain killers. It’s important to know that many items commonly found in our homes can cause our loyal and beloved animal friends to become critically and perhaps even fatally ill. These items range from foods that they may enjoy eating, but shouldn’t, to cleaning chemicals and prescription drugs.
The AVMA has posted a very informative and helpful brochure on their website, and we have also made it accessible to our readers as well. Please take a few minutes to review this information and make the changes needed in your own home to keep your animals safe from harmful products. Then give your furry friends a hug, knowing you’ve taken important steps in helping them enjoy long, happy and healthy lives!