Common pet toxins found in the home

There are many common pet toxins found in our every day household items and plants that pose serious threats to our dogs and cats.

Toxic foods

There are a number of foods that are toxic to dogs and cats.  These include:

Chocolate  – causes vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, and even seizures in dogs and cats. The darker the chocolate the greater the risk.

Onions and garlic belong to the Allium genus, as do Leeks, Shallots and Chives.  Whilst Onions and Leeks – can lead to anemia and gastrointestinal upset, Garlic often gets a bad wrap as well, when a small amount can actually have some health benefits.

It’s important that you know the correct dosage that is safe for your pet, so always talk to your Vet or a pet food nutritionist, but don’t be alarmed if you do see it included in a fresh, complete and balanced pet food towards the end of the ingredients list.

Grapes, raisins, and sultanas – can cause kidney failure in dogs, even in small amounts, so if they eat some raisin bread or hot cross bun, then vomiting still needs to be induced.

Macadamias – can induce weakness, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs.Medications

Ibuprofen is extremely harmful to both dogs and cats, Ingestion can result in stomach ulcers, kidney failure, and even death.

Paracetamol – whilst dogs can have small amounts of paracetamol for pain, cats should not be given it at all, and Asprin should also be avoided.

Click the links for tips on many foods that cause sickness and injury in our dogs at Christmas and Easter.

Garden and pest products

When it comes to common pet toxins Vets see a lot of patients that have eaten Snail and Rat poison and other Insect Bait or Mothballs.  Even those claiming to be pet safe can be toxic.


There are lots of toxic plants commonly found in and around our homes, so if your dog or puppy or kitten likes to chew, which they do, then make sure you do a comprehensive search.

Some of the more common ones are Lilies, Marijuana, Azaleas,Sago palms, Oleander, Peace lilies, Tulips, and Irises are just a few examples.  Visit the Poisons Helpline for a full list HERE.

Symptoms of plant toxicity can range from mild gastrointestinal upset to organ failure, depending on the plant and the amount ingested.

Cleaning products, room sprays & fragrances

Given our pets are so close to the ground, and spend the majority, if not all the time inside the home, studies have found they are absorbing the chemicals from these items at even greater amounts than we aare, leading to illness and disease in not only our pets, but of course impacting our own health.

Products using 100% essential oils can be a great alternative, however, you do need to be aware of what essential oils are harmful to dogs and cats as well, and depending on how concentrated they are.

Lavender is a great all round essential oil to keep the home smelling nice and help pets, and yourself, feel relaxed, whilst white vinegar with water is a fantastic non- toxic home cleaner as are enzyme based non-toxic products.

Smell is very important for dogs and cats, so avoiding strong smelling products is best. 

Emergency Help & First Aid Advice

If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic substance contact your Veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Centre hotline immediately for guidance.

Acting quickly if your pet has been exposed to common pet toxins could literally mean the difference between life and death.

Download the First Aid for Pets app in the apple store.


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