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Poison ivy and your pet

by | Jun 3, 2014 | Blog

If you have a pet that loves the outdoors, you probably wonder about how poison ivy could affect Fido if he gets into a patch without knowing.  The good news is your dog or cat will most likely not have a reaction to the poison ivy because the oil tends to stay on animal’s fur rather than make its way to their skin.  However, since the oil does tend to stay on pets’ fur, they can spread it to you causing a reaction on your own skin.

If you have ever had poison ivy, you know it is not a pleasant experience in the least.  It can land you in the doctor’s office or emergency room quite easily if it is not controlled.  To avoid all the annoyance of itch, doctor’s office visits, and health insurance claims, wash your pet after you suspect he has been exposed to poison ivy.

You might be wondering how in the world you will be able to wash you dog or cat without touching the poison ivy oil in the process.  First, cover your skin with a protective barrier cream, ointment or lotion that can help keep the oil off.  Wear full gloves and clothes with long sleeves.  Shower your pet with cool water and rub in some oil-drying soap.  Dish detergent with grease fighters can be really helpful for this step.  Rinse your pet thoroughly.

When your pet is cleaned, make sure you thoroughly rinse the area where you did the cleaning.  Wash your clothes and yourself to remove any remaining oil.  If you know where the poison ivy patch is, remove it so your pet won’t make his way back there again.  For tips on how to safely remove poison ivy, check out www.CDC.gov!