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☠ PETS ☠ and ☠ POISONS ☠


GoY members have asked me to write a blog which details items possibly toxic to pets, mainly for dogs and cats.

These lists originate from reliable sources, such as the British Veterinary Association.

They are for general guidance, not intended to alarm.

The photos are mine … included just to break up the text and make the blog easier to read …


Yesterday GoY member Marydoll, wrote a blog about her cute little 9 month old Yorkshire Terrier puppy, Zorro, who had suffered after swallowing peanuts intended as garden bird food.

It is probable a nut became lodged in his throat.
Thankfully, lovely Zorro seems well again now.

Then GoY members started asking me about substances dangerous to pets .. hence this blog !



The British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation

Keep all medicines out of reach –
preferably in a locked kitchen cupboard

☠ Keep human and veterinary medicines

☠ Never give animals medicines intended for
human use – only medicines prescribed
by your vet.

☠ Some foods (for example, chocolate,
onions, grapes, raisins, sultanas, avocados,
certain nuts, liquorice, xylitol-sweetened
foods and sweets) can be toxic.

☠ Do not allow animals access to foods intended for
human consumption. Pets should only be
given food and treats formulated for

☠ Some plants are hazardous (for example,
lilies to cats, daffodils) – keep houseplants
and floral displays out of reach of pets.

☠ Restrict access to cleaning, DIY and car
products (for example, fuels, antifreeze,
white spirit and lubricating oils).



☠ Prevent access to gardens where pesticides
or fertilisers have recently been used,
especially slug pellets and rodent baits.
Access to such baits can be reduced by
placing them in narrow tubes etc.

☠ Keep pesticides/herbicides in a safe and
inaccessible place – away from all pets.

☠ Never leave buckets or watering cans
full of mixed chemicals.

☠ Do not allow animals to drink from
ponds/puddles that appear oily or
otherwise polluted.

☠ Be careful not to leave plant bulbs
lying around.


Don’t panic – remember, few cases have fatal
outcomes and few poisons act very rapidly.

☠ Remove your animal(s) from the source of
poison – protecting yourself if necessary.

☠ Contact your vet for advice immediately,
especially if your animal is unwell, and be
ready to provide information on when,
where and how poisoning occurred, as
well as the quantity consumed.

☠ If instructed to go to the practice, take a
sample of the poison and the packaging
with you.

☠ If the skin is contaminated then wash
thoroughly with WATER.

☠ DO NOT try to make your animal vomit –
unless you are instructed to do so by
your vet.



The following is a list of substances that
are frequently eaten by pets. If these are
eaten it can generally be anticipated that
there will be no clinical signs, other than
drooling, vomiting and/or diarrhoea.

☠ Antacid tablets (‘over the counter’)
☠ Blu-tack® or other similar adhesives
☠ Chalk
☠ Charcoal
☠ Coal (real or artificial)
☠ Cotoneaster species
☠ Cut-flower/houseplant food
☠ Expanded polystyrene
☠ Folic acid
☠ Fuchsia species
☠ Holly (Ilex species)
☠ Honeysuckle (Lonicera species)
☠ Matches
☠ Mistletoe (Viscum album)
☠ Oral contraceptives and hormone
replacement therapy (HRT) tablets
☠ Pyracantha species
☠ Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
☠ Silica gel
☠ Wax candles/crayons

Although in many cases treatment may
not be necessary, if you are at all
concerned then contact your vet for
advice. The animal should always have
easy access to drinking water.


The BVA AWF is the veterinary profession’s
charity committed to improving the welfare
of animals through veterinary science,
education and debate. The Foundation is
funded entirely by voluntary contributions.

If you wish to have a copy of this
BVA AWF Pets and Poisons leaflet,
click here

… or you can request copies by contacting
the Foundation at the following address:

7 Mansfield Street
London, W1G 9NQ
Tel: 020 7636 6541
Fax: 020 7436 2970

BVA AWF is a registered charity (287118)


The VPIS is a specialist 24-hour emergency
service, which is only available to
veterinary professionals and animal welfare
organisations, providing information and
advice on the optimum management of
actual and suspected acute poisoning in


Published 15th July 2010

Vets warn dog owners about dangers of artificial sweeteners … a cake or muffin eaten by a dog can cause liver damage.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is warning dog owners of the danger that the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, can pose to their pets.

Xylitol is not considered harmful to humans, but if ingested by a dog the substance is dangerous because it triggers a sudden release of insulin which causes a dramatic drop in blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) and can lead to liver damage.

Xylitol is increasingly used as a sweetener in sugar-free chewing gum and other confectionery; it is used in dental hygiene products and is also found as an excipient in many medicines.

Of particular concern are the sugar substitute products that contain Xylitol which are used in home baking as well as in manufactured goods. Cakes, biscuits and other goodies made with it are toxic to dogs. Owners may not be aware of these dangers and may not associate clinical deterioration with ingestion of these foodstuffs.

Other animals such as ferrets and cats may be similarly affected and the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) is monitoring all referred cases.

BVA Past President Nicky Paull commented:

“While most dog owners are now aware that foods such as chocolate and grapes can be toxic to their pets few are aware of the dangers if their dog eats a cake or muffin containing Xylitol.”

“If you think your dog may have eaten chewing gum or a sweet or cake containing Xylitol and appears unwell, perhaps vomiting or lacking coordination, then contact your vet for advice immediately and be ready to provide information on what’s been consumed.”

The BVA Animal Welfare Foundation and the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) have produced an easy reference guide to keeping pets safe from harmful substances.

The ‘Pets and poisons: keeping your animal safe’ leaflet can be easily downloaded from the BVA AWF website or you can request a copy from the Foundation.

Alexander Campbell, Head of Service at VPIS, added:

“With the increasing number of products containing Xylitol on the market the VPIS recognises the extreme importance of raising awareness of the danger to dogs of ingesting this substance, particularly in the light of a case we handled the other evening which involved a dog eating a muffin made with this sugar substitute.”

“This is yet another instance where a food or food additive deemed safe for human consumption proves to be dangerous for other species. Pets should really only be given foodstuffs formulated for them.”

“It is possible that other animals such as ferrets or cats might be affected similarly, but few cases are yet documented. The VPIS continues to monitor all referred cases in all animals with the aim of clarifying the situation in other species as and when more data become available.”

“The VPIS would like to see manufacturers of these products provide some visible warnings and information on the packaging and to inform the retail outlets they supply of the potential risks to dogs.”


From Daventry Dog Training Club …

"This list is a work in progress to alert dog owners to ingestible items that can be harmful to dogs.

This information is based on DDTC research and observations, and is not a medically-endorsed document.

In all cases, if you are unsure about anything your dog may have ingested do contact your vet as soon as possible."

Please note this list is WORK IN PROGRESS from DDTC.

☠ Grapes and items including raisins (which are in fact dried grapes)

☠ Mince pies and fruit cake – these may contain raisins

☠ Lilies including pollen and bulbs ( inc. Onions and Garlic )

☠ Chocolate especially any with high cocoa content

☠ Antifreeze – Urgent contact vet

☠ Sugar-free foods, particularly those containing Xylitol – Urgent contact vet

☠ Anything containing macadamia nuts

☠ Onions

☠ Garlic

☠ The seeds/stones of apples, apricots, cherries, peaches and plums

☠ Avocados

☠ Broccoli

☠ Anything containing caffeine

☠ Hops

☠ Nutmeg

☠ Rhubarb leaves

☠ Salt

☠ Tomatoes

☠ Yeast/bread dough

☠ Garden bark derived from cocoa

☠ Slug pellets

☠ Potato peelings and green potatoes

☠ Human vitamins (especially any containing iron)

☠ Fertilisers

☠ Cleaning agents

☠ Detergents

☠ Moth balls

☠ Any non-canine medications


I hope the above information will be of use to GoY members … published as guidance only …

I would be interested to know if the blog is of help.

Have fun with your pets :o)

More blog posts by terratoonie

Previous post: ♪♪♪ THANK HEAVEN ... for little bulbs ... ♪♪♪




Thanks for all that effort, TT, there are several items you have listed that I wasn't aware could cause problems. The one that surprised me was onions. I occasionally make onion gravy and if there is any leftovers I have used it to moisten the dog food. Fortunately it has been in very, very low quantities so no harm done but I will make sure I don't use it again.

24 Jan, 2011


Terra...a HUGE THANK YOU, for passing on this info...I can see just how much work you have put into it, plus research. It is so easy to be ignorant of the dangers out there, for our pets, and they look to us to keep them safe...A heartfelt thank you for this blog my friend. xxx

24 Jan, 2011


Thankyou Terra, you have worked hard and its very much appreciated, most is common sense but a few surprises I would never think of, sweetener for instance, also surprised to see toms and broccoli.
Apples we had first hand experience of year last autumn when Morgan became very ill after scrumpimg in our own garden, obviously we are very careful now although have to say he refuses to eat them now, thank goodness, he was very ill at the time and apples were the only thing he`d had apart from his own food so even the vet thinks that was the cause........

24 Jan, 2011


Brilliant blog Terratoonie with the Lilies if the pollen I was told gets on to the fur then cat licks their fur cleaning it self that too will poison him. Love the photos of Conker and Truffles

24 Jan, 2011


Forgot to say lovely choice of photo`s.....

24 Jan, 2011


Thanks everyone...
good to know the blog is useful....
I didn't want to alarm anyone,
but helpful to have this information :o)

24 Jan, 2011


A big thank you from me and my 4 legged friends x

24 Jan, 2011


Nice photos and very informative- thank you!

24 Jan, 2011


Hi Lulu and Red aly ...
I'm pleased you like my photos ... :o)

24 Jan, 2011


Thank you for the information TT. It's nice to be reminded not to give pets human food.
I think wild animals shouldn't be given it either - like a neighbour of mine gives bread and cake crumbs to birds.
I've been lucky with all my cats. None of them are/were interested in sweet food/bread etc. But I do give them a bit of fish or chicken occasionally, and Blodyn likes cheese.
In my mother's garden there was an Arum lily and I have brought it up here, but I'm going to keep it in a pot and out of Blodyn's reach.

24 Jan, 2011


What a great blog a big effort and time gone into this blog for everyone - the pictures were great too - thanks for the info - have the prob with what to give hamster - she loves leaves of runner beans - but don't give her anything else - good info there T.T

24 Jan, 2011


Hello Hywel and Paul ...
I'm pleased this blog is useful for you...
I could have listed poisons for cage birds etc, but I kept mainly to those which would affect dogs and cats ...

If the blog saves even one pet from becoming ill ... or worse... then it was well worth all the effort of collating and writing the text ... :o)

24 Jan, 2011


What an interesting blog - re the chicken etc, in the past I have been asked by my vet to give my cats some chicken when they have been ill and also some cooked rice, so it's not all human food that must be avoided - it's a case of common sense really isn't it ?

24 Jan, 2011


Very sound advice TT~

Recently Henry ate~ or we think he did~ a couple of Cocodomol pills.~we found him with some still in the wrapping.Vet had closed so rang my son in law who is manager of the local RSPCA centre and his advice was to make him sick asap~ he recommends a good squirt of Fairy liquid and salt water to drink~ we had to give two lots and my son took him out for a quick walk at which point he brought everything up.
If something is very toxic you need to act quickly but if the dog is very small contact your vet before making your pet sick~ afterwards give lots of drinking water and possibly some plain yoghurt to settle the stomach.
Henry was as right as rain thank goodness!!!

24 Jan, 2011


Hi Marie ....
Human food ... I interpret that as food which is meant for people ... chocolate, pizzas etc.....

... items such as chicken and rice are okay... just watch for small bones when feeding poultry to cats and dogs...

Hello Arlene ...
... glad to know Henry was fine after that episode ! ...

24 Jan, 2011


great advice Terra and well explained and written out,i never give casper human foods except a bit of chicken or lamb, never sweet stuff, keep to his own foods and treats,:o)

24 Jan, 2011


Hi Milky~ Henry will eat anything that isn't nailed down so we have to be super careful not to leave anything within reach, and he climbs like a cat!!~ apparently potato peelings are not good either ~not sure what Henry was in his previous life but he is very very curious and almost stands in the way to see what you are doing~ very interested in computers,electronics,woodwork cookery.......

24 Jan, 2011


Hi Sandra... Thanks...
you sound like a very sensible cat-owner ! :o)

24 Jan, 2011


Thank you, thank you Terra, This information is so useful and I will be printing it off and keeping it at hand. I hope I`ll never need it but with Perry being a greedy dog it could prove invaluable.

24 Jan, 2011


Hi Sandra... Thanks..
Yes, I hope you never need to use any of this blog info... but Perry is a Labrador Retriever... Lol..

24 Jan, 2011


Useful info, thanks!

24 Jan, 2011


Hello Karen...
Glad this is useful info. for you ... :o)

24 Jan, 2011


Thanks for the very handy blog Tt, there's very useful infomation there. Thanks for sharing with us all. :o))

25 Jan, 2011


Hi Lin...
I'm pleased you found this helpful. :o))

25 Jan, 2011


very helpful blog thankyou...can i just say about another danger mainly for cats...water butts which do not have a lid on, i read recently about a cat that had fallen into a water butt & drowned...

25 Jan, 2011


Hello Elsiemay... Thanks ...
That's a point worth noting ...
Water butts should have lids on to be safe ...

25 Jan, 2011


interesting blog TT

25 Jan, 2011


Thankssssss Holly :o)

25 Jan, 2011


Brilliant info TT, funny i was only thinking one day last week, that i was going to take my lilles out, they where ok with Smokey as he never went in my pots, but these two little rascals, especially Tilly she gets up to alsorts.

25 Jan, 2011


Hi Clarice... Thanks ..
Yes, you need eyes in the back of your head with your two young mischievous cats !
... good idea to make the garden as safe as you can...

25 Jan, 2011


Thank You Terra for this list!! I'm going to print it and stick it on the fridge.

28 Jan, 2011


Great blog TT, very good list. There are many berries dogs will eat but it's the seeds inside that do most damage. I have seen pigs poisoned with rhubarb leaves, a valuable horse die from eating Yew leaves causing colic, it's stomach blew up to twice the size of the horse. Eating dung and bird droppings and squirrels urine on bird food can kill.

31 Jan, 2011


My cat just stole a piece of pizza crust from me! And then I came here to read something and stumbled upon this great blog. Coincidence? Thanks, TT for all the info. I am frustrated but the cat is very happy.

2 Feb, 2011


Thanks a million TT or this exceptional blog re the things we wouldnt normally think would be harmful to our pets! Its amazing what they can get up to and eat on their own without us helping by GIVING them somethings!
Yes Zorro is fine although he definately is a bit more timid when in the garden I am amazed that he seems to remember. Although the other night he came in shaking and I panicked a bit and wrapped him in a lovely blanket and nursed him for ages! and guess what ... yes same again last night so wonering if he is playing up slightly!
It is only bed time he is like this daytime he is his normal self.
Thanks again for all the time you put into this wonderful blog.

8 Feb, 2011


Thanks Pip, Bob, Tate and Marydoll...
Yes, it's useful to be aware of which items are toxic for animals ...

13 Feb, 2011

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