Common Household Poisons

It always amazes us to see what animals find tasty! Whether it’s a cat eating ear plugs, or a dog eating smelly garlic, we see it all. 


Many common items in our households are surprisingly poisonous to our pets! Below are the most common, however it is important to always check with your Vet if you even suspect that your pet has eaten something other than their normal food.  


Chocolate: can cause seizures and death in cats and dogs – the darker the chocolate, the worse the symptoms. Owners do not always notice the cardiac response until it is severe in their pet and any amount of chocolate can be potentially dangerous. 

Caffeine: Found in coffee and tea, as well as stimulant foods/products. Causes hyperactivity, cardiac problems, liver and kidney damage. 

Grapes & Raisins: Causes moderate to severe kidney disease, much of which is chronic requiring life-long medication and monitoring to support the kidneys. 

Onions, Garlic and subsidiaries: causes anaemia, which is not always seen by the owner as it may be internal, as well as gastrointestinal problems. Be wary of left-over human meals. 

Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, flavoured anti-inflammatories: Severe gastrointestinal bloody vomiting and diarrhoea, anaemia, and kidney failure. 

Baits (Snail, Rat, Ant & Strychnine): Causes bleeding, seizures and kidney failure from mild to severe with many fatalities if not caught early. 

Batteries: Causes severe ulceration of the mouth, esophagus and stomach. 

Certain plants: There are hundreds of plants that can cause mild to severe reactions when ingested. If you are concerned about plants in your garden, contact your local Vet clinic to find out if they will cause an issue for your pet. Common plants that cause problems are Lillies, Palms and Macadamia nuts and leaves. 


Early intervention is key in neutralising any toxins in your pets body – if you even suspect that your pet may ingested a potential poison, get them to your Vet ASAP. Waiting to see if your pet will show symptoms means that the toxin has already taken effect and often caused irreversible damage to your pet. 


  • Contact your local or Emergency Vet ASAP 

  • Do not feed your pet, or offer them water as this speeds up the absorption in the stomach. 

  • Do not induce vomiting without Veterinary advice – this can speed up absorption if the toxin is not neutralised soon after. 

  • Keep your pet quiet – keeping their blood pressure low is important to slow absorption. 

  • Go to your Vet immediately, even if you are not sure they have ingested a poison – better safe than sorry!