Household Safety
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Household Safety

Human pain relief such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are the most common causes of toxicity in dogs and cats.


The house should be a safe place for pets. It should be secure so that they cannot escape and free of harmful items. The house can contain a lot of poisons for people and pets. Items that are poisonous include bug sprays, cleaning products, and gardening chemicals. Pets that get bored can start looking around for household items to play with.

If a pet is unwell, it needs to be taken to the vet. Human medications like pain or allergy remedies should not be used on pets. Any medication should be safely stored in a locked cabinet.

Garbage is also toxic to pets. It’s important to secure the trash to prevent pets from getting into it and prevent wildlife from trying to get into your home. Garbage contains toxic bacteria and other food scraps that are not good for pets.


General signs of poisoning:

  • Salivating
  • Twitching or tremors
  • Agitation
  • Panting
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Skin burns
  • Weakness
  • Loss of balance


Common food poisons:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Tomato leaves or stems
  • Mushrooms
  • Macadamia nuts

The is not an exhaustive list. If you are unsure, contact your veterinarian.

Common household poisons:

  • Ant Poisons
  • Antifreeze
  • Battery acid
  • Bleach
  • Brake fluid
  • Cleaning products
  • Crayons
  • Deodorants
  • Drain cleaner
  • Dye
  • Fertiliser
  • Flea products
  • Heavy metals (lead, zinc)
  • Insecticides
  • Matches
  • Paint remover and thinner
  • Perfume
  • Rat bait

The is not an exhaustive list. If you are unsure, contact your veterinarian.

Common plant poisons:

  • Algae
  • Bird of paradise
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Daffodil
  • Daisy
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ferns
  • Iris
  • Ivy
  • Lilly
  • Mushrooms
  • Nettles
  • Peach
  • Rhododendrons

The is not an exhaustive list. If you are unsure, contact your veterinarian.

When pets are outside and do not have toys or someone to play with, they can start messing around in the garden. So always monitor your pets when outside.


With the rise in DIY house renovations, it is important to highlight the common hazards that come with it.

Lead paint

For houses build before 1978, lead paint can be an issue. If you are unsure, always purchase a lead-testing kit from your local hardware store before starting. Lead paint is extremely toxic. It only takes a small amount of lead paint dust to cause tremors, seizures and death.

Water-based products

When using water-based products such as paint, stains or varnishes, ingestion can cause minor symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea. If your pet accidentally gets these products on their coat, always remove it immediately with a liquid detergent in a water solution.

Oil-based products

Some stains and paints are oil-based. If an oil-based product gets on the coat, let it dry and remove it with clippers or scissors along with the fur. Never use paint thinner, turpentine or spirits to remove paint as it can cause chemical burns.


Crack sealants are a major hazard to our pets. Dogs seem to eat it wet or dry and can cause an intestinal obstruction when eaten in large amounts. Some sealant products contain ethylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze. Antifreeze can cause severe poisoning with vomiting being an early sign of toxicity. Urgent care is needed in these cases.


Insulation batts are made of fibreglass fibres and when inhaled can cause mouth and skin irritation. If your pet comes into contact with insulation batts, handle them with gloves and wash them immediately.

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