According to the Vet Poisons Information service, it is very common for a pet to be poisoned in their own home. Some common substances which are poisonous to pets include:
Vermin poison: you might be trying to get rid of unwanted rodents or slugs, but these chemicals can cause excessive internal bruising or bleeding in your pet if ingested. The effects might not be immediately obvious, but the results are very serious.
Paracetamol: this drug might relieve you of a headache, but animals are very sensitive to paracetamol and even a small amount can be extremely harmful. Ibuprofen is also particularly dangerous to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, gastric ulceration and kidney failure.
Chocolate: we all love a bit of chocolate, but this sweet treat contains theobromine, a chemical very similar to caffeine, which is not good for your pet to eat. Dark chocolate is very high in theobromine and even a small piece could cause tremors, convulsions and heart problems for your pet.
Lilies: these beautiful flowers are very poisonous to cats and can lead to kidney failure. The whole plant is poisonous, and even a brief exposure to the pollen can be potentially very dangerous to a cat.
Grapes, raisins and sultanas: these dried fruits taste great on cereal. You might not think twice if one dropped on the floor and your dog had a little nibble. However, grapes, raisins and sultanas can cause kidney failure in dogs. Not all dogs are sensitive to this food, but it is better not to take a risk.
If you think your pet has been poisoned, you should contact your local veterinary practice immediately. Time is of the essence! Take a sample of the substance ingested to give to your vet, as this will help them assess and treat your animal. If you have pet insurance, you won't need to worry about vet's bills either. Some insurers will cover you for up to £7,000 in a year if your pet becomes ill or has an accident. You won't even have to be out of pocket if your pet falls ill, as some insurers will pay your vet directly, provided they're set up to receive payments.
Rather than a trip to the vets, however, it's best to just keep your pet out of harms way and make sure they only eat what they're supposed to.
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