Pet Hazard Prevention

As a caring and conscientious pet owner, one of your biggest priorities will undoubtedly be keeping your pet safe. There are many potential dangers out there, from diseases and illnesses, to other animals, both domestic and wild. However, there are also other perils, some of which are much closer to home.


March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, and when it comes to hazards facing our beloved pets, poisoning and toxic substances are one of the most dangerous. In many cases, pets who are brought into our offices are suffering from the toxic effects of produce or products that are commonly found in their home environment.


To help you keep your pet safe from the hazards posed by poisonous substances, we have put together this guide to some of the most common poison hazards in and around the home, and what you should do if you think your pet has been affected.

Pet poison hazards – human foods

One of the greatest pet poison hazards comes in the form of human foods and drinks. Unless you know better, it is easy to offer up a little of whatever you are eating or drinking to your furbaby. However, there are many foods that are safe for us to eat, but that could potentially cause our four-legged friends to become seriously unwell. Even if you don’t actively feed the following items to your pet, if they are accessible there is nothing to stop her tucking in when you aren’t looking.


Some of the most common human foods that are toxic to pets include:

-         Chocolate

-         Raw fish, meat and eggs

-         Nuts, especially macadamias

-         Garlic, onion and chive

-         Foods with a high salt content

-         Sugar-free candies and gum

-         Caffeinated drinks

-         Alcohol

-         Grapes and raisins


The best way to prevent your pet from becoming ill as a result of these items is to be very careful with what human foods you offer your pets. You should also ensure that plates are cleared away promptly after meal times and foods are stored securely out of reach. If you leave any of these items in your purse or your child’s lunchbox or backpack, make sure that these too are out of the reach of your pet.

Pet Poison Hazards – Medications

Another serious poison hazard is the presence of medications – both human and pet. Whether prescribed and controlled or basic, medicine should always be securely stored in a locked cabinet out of the reach of small hands and furry paws! Medication mix-ups are also fairly common, so ensure that you keep your pet’s drugs well away from those used by the humans in your family.

Pet Poison Hazards – Household Products

There are a variety of different household products that are known to be toxic to animals, either through ingestion, inhalation or even just through contact. Some of the most common include:

-         Bathroom products such as toothpaste and mouthwash

-         Cleaning products including bleach

-         Home fragrance products – plug-ins, aerosol air fresheners, pot pourri

-         Laundry and dishwasher detergent

-         Paint

-         Glue

-         Insecticides and rodent repellent

-         Vehicle products – antifreeze, washer fluid, brake fluid

-         Fertilizer


Keep all potential hazardous substances locked away and ensure that you clear up any spillages as soon as they occur.

Pet Poison Hazards – Plants

Plants and flowers are a bright and cheerful addition to most homes, but many also pose a poisonous threat to your pet. In addition to eating the greenery, your pet may also become ill if she ingests the flowers, fruit or roots of the plant, or drinks water that the plant is standing in.


The best way to protect your pet from hazardous plants is to check carefully before you bring any houseplants into your home. You should also be aware of what greenery you have on your land. Removing anything toxic is best, but if this is not possible, ensure your furbaby has adequate supervision when she goes outside.


Some of the most dangerous include:

-         Azalea

-         Daffodil

-         Most types of Lily including Lily of the Valley

-         Philodendron

-         Yew

-         Autumn Crocus

-         Oleander

-         Dieffenbachia

-         Tulip

-         Sago Palm


For a full and comprehensive list of poisonous plants, trees, shrubs and more, speak to our veterinarian.

What should I do if I think my pet has been poisoned?

If you think that your pet may have ingested something toxic, you should contact your local veterinarian for advice as soon as possible. The next steps will be determined by the severity of the effects your pet is experiencing, so you should follow the specific guidance given by Nippers Corner Pet Medical Center. Don’t try and make your pet vomit unless expressly told to by our veterinarian.


If you are looking for a highly qualified and experienced vet near you, or further advice on pet poison hazard prevention then look no further - our Nashville veterinary team would be happy to assist you. Give Nippers Corner Pet Medical Center a call today to get your pet registered and receive the best advice around for keeping her happy and healthy for years to come.