Poisons and Hazards Week 2

This week we’ll highlight just some of the common hazards around the environments our pets live in.

  • Toys – It’s important to never leave a dog unsupervised with toys as they could be chewed or swallowed whole leading to blockages of their stomach or intestines. This can require life-saving surgery but prevention is much better than cure. Signs of a foreign body or blockage can be vomiting, reduced appetite or a lack of faeces being passed.
  • Medications – Any human medications could pose a risk to our pets. Whilst it may look the same or sound like a similar drug, our pets can react very differently to us if given our medications. Never give your pet medication that has not been prescribed by your vet.
  • Batteries – Batteries can cause issues if eaten, either by leaking if punctured causing chemical burns or by getting blocked in your pet’s intestines. Urgent veterinary care should be sought if you suspect your dog may have ingested a battery. Vets may need to administer treatment to cause them to vomit it back up or surgery to remove the battery.
  • Silica Gel – These sachets can be in toys, shoe boxes or other packaging. They are labelled as “Do Not Eat” but pose a low toxic risk to your pets. Whilst this is the case, if eaten they could lead to a blockage so avoid your pets getting to these if at all possible.
  • Antifreeze – Ethylene glycol is the active ingredient within antifreeze which sadly is highly toxic to our pets. Cats and dogs may be attracted to its sweet taste but if ingested it can quickly lead to acute kidney failure which can be fatal. It is best to avoid contact and keep in a secured location well away from your pets. If you suspect that your pet could have ingested antifreeze then seek urgent veterinary attention.
  • Rat poison – Any rodenticide will have a severe effect on our pets. As the name suggests these are poisons and commonly will lead to damage to our pet’s clotting pathways meaning they can bleed severely or have internal haemorrhage. Keep these well away from your pets and if you suspect ingestion, call your vet immediately.
  • Blue Green Algae – This is one we are seeing more commonly in the UK. Always look for signs if your pet is drinking or swimming in water. Normally there will be clumps and when blooming there will be a blue-green colour to the water surface. This can potentially be a very serious toxin for our dogs so avoid if you have any concerns.
  • Plants and bulbs – There are many plants, bulbs or flowers that can be toxic to our pets. Common toxins are lilies, rhododendrons, yew or daffodil bulbs. Lilies are ones to avoid as ingestion of any part of the plant can lead to kidney damage.


Although we would like to cover all of the potential toxins or hazards, our pets can always surprise us by finding new ones. If you suspect your pet has come into contact with something that may be toxic or your pet is exhibiting abnormal behaviour, always call your vet immediately. Quick action may save your pet’s life.

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