Poisons – prevention is better than cure

We all know the risks to dogs and cats of eating grapes, chocolate and many more human foods.  Here are a few tips to avoid your dog or cat ingesting something they really shouldn’t:

  • Store medicines safely – NEVER give your medication to your pet.  Keep handbags and rucksacks well away from animals and keep medicine chests and boxes out of reach of inquisitive paws.
  • Anti-inflammatory creams can represent a risk if your pet licks your skin once you have applied the cream
  • NEVER feed grapes, raisins or onions to animals and ensure chocolate supplies including drinking chocolate and cocoa powder are well out of reach.
  • Dispose of leftovers or take-away food quickly and into a bin that cannot be accessed by your pet.  Likewise, ensure your recycling kitchen caddy is securely shut to prevent your pets accessing mouldy food which is potentially toxic.  This also applies to dustbins.
  • Lilies are extremely toxic to cats so it is advisable to keep them well away from your feline friends.
  • Store cleaning and DIY products securely out of reach of your pets and mop up any spillages quickly.  NEVER decant into different containers.
  • The new laundry capsules are highly concentrated and can cause problems when ingested or when spilt on to the fur.
  • Fit letter boxes with a cage or a guard so that any trial samples edible or otherwise that are delivered to your home are not swiftly eaten by your pets.  There have been tragic cases of chewing gums containing xylitol that have been delivered as mailshot samples but have caused fatalities in pets who have got to them before their owner.  For example – a 27kg labrador chewed a bag of pure xylitol that was delivered through the post – within 15 minutes he was vomiting and then developed severe convulsions.
  • Slug and snail pellets that contain Meteldehyde are highly toxic to animals.  Keep them well out of reach and never let your pet in the garden if you are using them.  Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle tremors and twitches and can sometimes cause convulsions.  Prompt treatment is essential.
  • NEVER leave diluted gardening products in unattended watering cans or buckets and always dispose safely of any left-over solutions.
  • Antifreeze is highly toxic, a tiny amount can kill both cats and dogs, so keep it safely locked away from prying paws.

If you think your pet has ingested anything that could be poisonous, contact us immediately – we are always here for you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


  Written by Paula Grant – Communications Manager