March is recognized as Poison Prevention Awareness Month and National Poison Prevention Week is globally observed the third week of March. This year it falls on March 18-24 and the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) encourages all pet owners to make your homes pet safe.

Please be aware of what can pose as dangers to your pets:

• Dangerous foods for dogs and cats- Chocolate, coffee, alcohol, avocado, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, yeast dough, raw/uncooked meat, eggs, Xylitol (found in sweeteners, gum, candy, toothpaste), onions, garlic, milk, and salt.

• Household plants- Be aware of the plants you have in your home and yard. Indigestion of some plant materials by an animals can be fatal.

• Cleaning agents- Never allow pets access to areas in which cleaning agents are being stored. Some may cause mild upset stomach or severe burns to the tongue, mouth, and stomach.

• Baits/Traps- Place baits (for rats, mice, or snails) or traps (for ants or roaches) in areas that are inaccessible to pets.

Never give your pet medication unless you are directed to do so by a veterinarian. Keep in mind, National Poison Week is only one week a year, but poison safety is very important all year long.

If you suspect your pet has eaten any of the dangerous items, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.