THE TOP 10
MOST COMMON PET POISONS IN YOUR HOME
by Miriam Kerins
article is written as a guideline and as an education/
information source only. It is in no way intended to be
used, nor should it ever be used, as a substitute for
professional veterinary and/or dog training advice. If you
have any concerns regarding your animal's health or
behaviour, please contact your local veterinarian, who is a
professional; without delay.
here and you’re on a health kick. Good for you! You’re
avoiding those nasty toxins found in processed foods and
deodorants; even your cooking utensils have been modified to
reflect the more organic, fabulous you! Think you’re great,
don’t you? And you are! But what about your pet? Let 'em ask
you this. Did you know that on any given day your cat or dog
is only a mouthful away from possible death? Surprised?
explain. Human medications, including dropped pills, have
topped the list of pet toxins for the third year in a row,
according to latest research; with over the counter
medications containing ibuprofen and acetaminophen,
anti-depressant medication and attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder prescriptions topping the list.
year vets receive frantic ‘phone calls from pet owners
who’ve left their own medication on a table, only to return
some time later to find an agitated and extremely ill
animal, and several pills missing from the container.
also the emergency calls that vets receive from those pet
parents desperate for reassurance, when the always curious
family cat or dog jumps into the wheelie bin containing a
smorgasbord of household waste including batteries, broken
glass, paper towels soaked in bleach used for cleaning the
worktops etc., I mean, did you know, household waste poses a
very large threat to any pet’s health. Animals are
naturally drawn to smelly rubbish; always in search of
delicious scraps of human food. You see, if you’re a dog,
even a well fed one; anything that smells good gets munched.
order to try and help you keep your pet safe; please take a
look at my list of just some of the most common poisons that
have affected our four legged friends during the last year.
Insecticides: Commonly used on pets for flea control and
often left around the house, readily available for dogs/cats
Rodenticides: Grain based bait used to destroy mice and
rats. If ingested by cats and dogs, these can cause
seizures, internal bleeding and kidney failure.
Human Food: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure
in dogs while onions and garlic can cause anaemia if enough
is ingested. Some sweeteners and sugar free gum and mints
can cause low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs.
Chewable Veterinary Medications: Common ones are
medications for arthritis and incontinence; often flavoured
for ease of administration but this means animals may ingest
the entire bottle. Always read the label!
Chocolate: This contains methylxanthines which act as a
stimulant to your pet and can cause agitation, vomiting,
diarrhea, muscle tremors, seizures and even death! Remember,
the darker the chocolate, the more methylxanthines it
Bisphenol A (BPA).
plastic pet toys and feeding bowls can contain bisphenol A (BPA):
This is a chemical that's possibly harmful to your own
health and the health of your animals. Try using ceramic or
stainless steel instead.
Plants: House and outdoor plants can be ingested by
pets. Lillies are lethal for causing life threatening
kidney failure in cats while Sago Palms cause liver failure
in both cats and dogs. If you’re lucky enough to receive a
bouquet…keep it away from your dogs.
Outdoor Toxins: Keep anti-freeze and fertilizers locked
away in securely locked sheds. I wouldn’t even recommend
keeping them on high shelves, because, er, cats can climb!
Herbicides; or weed killers to you and me: These usually
have a salty taste and pets love salt and will commonly
ingest them. Follow the instructions on the label and keep
pets away from treated areas in your garden until they are
thoroughly dried out.
Household Products: If you’re like me and sterilise
everything till it’s pristine, then keep that bleach out of
reach! Also, alkalis, acids and other detergents can cause
corrosive injury to your pet’s mouth and stomach. Then
there’s the liquid pot pourri; a huge offender, so open a
window and let some fresh air in if you want to kill those
said, the list above represents just a few of the unknown
dangers lurking in our homes. If you suspect your pet has
swallowed or come into contact with something poisonous,
then ring your vet immediately.
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