What items in my house/garden could be dangerous to my pet?

Garden toxin blog May 2017 - image

The most common poison cases we see here in City Vet are as a result of exposure to household items. These could include:

  • common foods (e.g. chocolate, coffee, grapes/raisins, nuts, yeast dough),
  • human/animal medicines
  • garden plants e.g. lilies and cats (very toxic and can cause kidney damage)
  • garden pesticides,
  • animal insecticides,
  • rotting rubbish or compost (Coffee, mouldy food and some fruit/veg)
  • recreational drugs.

While gardens are lovely for relaxing, they can also prove dangerous for our animal companions. We recommend you watch out for the following:

  • garden mulch (may contain cocoa pods, a by-product of chocolate manufacture) which can lead to signs such as vomiting, diarrhoea and muscle tremors to elevated heart rate, hyperactivity and even seizures. Consider using a less toxic alternative, such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark, but always supervise curious canines in gardens where mulch is spread.
  • pesticides (e.g. rat poison, slug bait),
  • antifreeze,
  • white spirit/barbecue lighter fluid, fire-lighters
  • bleach,
  • creosote,
  • plant fertiliser: ingesting large amounts of fertilizer can give your pet a good case of stomach upset and may result in life-threatening gastrointestinal obstruction. Be sure to follow instructions carefully and observe the appropriate waiting period before letting your pet run wild outside.

Unattended garden tools may cause trauma to paws, noses or other parts of a curious pet’s body. Rusty, sharp tools caked in dirt may also pose a risk for tetanus if they puncture skin. Although rare, tetanus occurs in dogs and cats don’t appear to be as susceptible as dogs, care should be taken by storing all unused tools in a safe area, not haphazardly strewn on the ground.

Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can even cause life-threatening anaphylactic shock if the reaction is severe. If you do suspect your pet has an allergy, please don’t give him any medication that isn’t prescribed by your vet.  Inappropriate medication can lead to serious clinical signs and sometimes death.

If you suspect your pet may have ingested a poison, contact City Vet on 061-419760 immediately for advice and/or to arrange an appointment.

For a list of common potentially poisonous household and garden substances – as supplied by Dog’s Trust – click on the following link: