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Things that are dangerous to your precious pet!

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

There are several common household items that may seem harmless but can pose significant dangers to our precious pets. It is essential for pet owners to be aware of these potential hazards to ensure the safety and well-being of their furry friends.

The aim of this handout is to provide a quick guide on things that are dangerous to your pet, so that if accidental exposure occurs, you can take immediate action and seek medical attention. Prompt and appropriate care can potentially save your pet’s life.

Here are some common household items that can be harmful to pets:

Grapes family such as raisins or Sultanas

Grapes are sweet and a vast majority of us and our pets like them. Unfortunately, if grapes are ingested by dogs and cats they can cause: depress, vomiting, decreased appetite, pain, diarrhoea, and increased drinking and urination due to harmful effects on the kidneys.

Yeast Dough

After ingestion of raw dough, the heat in your pet’s stomach will make the dough proof and expand. During this process, alcohol is produced in your pet’s system which can cause: abdominal pain, bloating, difficulty walking, depression, coma and even death.


Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in sugar free gums and other sugar free foods, can lead to serious health issues if eaten by your pets. If ingested it can lead to vomiting, depression, difficulty standing and walking, seizures and possible liver failure in as little as 30 minutes.


The entirety of the lilly plant family is toxic especially in cats. It can cause vomiting and kidney disease which may lead to your pet showing signs of decreased appetite, depression, vomiting and inability to urinate.

Wild mushroom

Wild mushrooms are dangerous to both humans and animals due to the vast majority containing unknown toxins. Your pet can display a variety of symptoms based on the type of mushroom ingested including depression, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased tear production, poor coordination, inappropriate toileting and can cause your pet to collapse. In the most severe cases eating the wrong mushroom can lead to liver failure, kidney failure and even death.


***Extremely toxic to cats.

An overdose of paracetamol in animals can lead to destruction of red blood cells. Signs that your animal may have ingested paracetamol include bright red gums, laboured breathing, swelling of the face, depression, vomiting, weakness, coma and death.


Aspirin works as a dangerous blood thinner in your pets with the animal displaying symptoms between 4 hours and several days after ingestion. Signs include depression, vomiting (possibly with blood), disinterest in food, rapid breathing, weakness, seizures, coma and death. In addition, your pet may be left with lasting liver and kidney failure.


Snail pellets contain one of two chemical compounds, either methaldehyde methiocarb or iron EDTA. Ingestion of this poison can lead to signs such as depression, drool, poor coordination, diarrhoea, black or blood stools, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tremors, seizures and possible death. Please note that even products that state they are safe for pets may lead to toxicity.

Rat Poison

There are many different types of rat poisons on the market with many different active ingredients. All of them are dangerous to your pets. If your animal does eat the poison signs will occur generally within 1 to 7 days. Signs include loss of appetite, coughing, depression, weakness, pale gums, black tarry stool, bloody nose, vomiting blood, bleeding from the gums, difficulty breathing, lameness or excessive bleeding from wounds.

Cigarettes or Nicotine products

Ingestion of nicotine containing products can cause signs within 15-45 minutes which include excitation, fast breathing, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, twitching, depression, a fast heart rate, shallowing breathing. These symptoms can progress to your pet collapsing, go into a coma or even death.

Macadamia Nuts

As Australians, we tend to love macadamia nuts, however these tasty treats contain an unknown toxin that can cause the following signs in your pet: weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, pain, inability to stand and a pale gum colour.


Mothballs contain naphthalene, which is a poison to both moths and your pets. Ingestion can lead to vomiting, pale gums, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, depression, weakness, red coloured urine, and seizures. In severe cases, it can lead to liver and kidney failure.

Antifreeze or Coolant

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol which has a sweet flavour. Ingestion of this chemical is dangerous to humans and animals and can lead to nausea, vomiting, depression, poor coordination, seizures, diarrhoea, dehydration, kidney failure, coma and possible death.


The two main components present in chocolate that we want our pets to avoid are theobromine and caffeine. In darker, more intense chocolate, the amount of theobromine and caffeine increases leading to higher toxicity if ingested. Signs your animal might have gotten into your chocolate drawer include excitability, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizure and possible death.

Garlic and Onion

Both garlic and onions contain disulfides which lead to damage of red blood cells in animals. Signs your animal loves Italian food a bit too much include pale gums, fast heart rate, breathing distress, weakness, blood in urine and diarrhoea


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