Pet owners beware: The toxic household items that could be hazardous to your pet

A UK Vet has described the five household items that could be hazardous for your pet. Source: Getty Images.

As much-loved members of our families, especially during the retirement years, pets bring immense joy and companionship into our homes. However, amidst the comfort and familiarity, hidden dangers could pose serious risks to their health.

A UK-based vet, Ben, has shared a video online warning pet owners about the five little-known household items that could be hazardous to their pets. If your pet ingests any of these toxic substances contact your vet ASAP – treatment is much more likely to be a success with early intervention #learnontiktok #veterinary #cat #dog #benthevet #poisonous ♬ original sound – Ben The Vet

“Here are five poisons or toxins that pet owners often don’t know about but really should,” Ben said.

“If your pet ingests any of these toxic substances, contact your vet ASAP.

“Treatment is much more likely to be a success with early intervention.”

1. Food that has gone mouldy 

Ben highlighted that mouldy food posed a concern for pets, noting it was predominantly an issue for dogs rather than cats.

“I once saw a little terrier, who presented with severe tremors, and we didn’t know what was originally causing it. It wasn’t until the owners looked in their garden and found that the dog had got into that compost bin,” he explained.

“We then worked out it was because of exposure to mould toxins which are called tremorgenic mycotoxins and they interfere with nerve function and can even cause seizures.”

Ben said the dog made a miraculous recovery despite being in bad shape after his compost snack.

2. Human painkillers

While owners may be acting in their pet’s best interests, Ben urged them to “please never self-medicate” cats or dogs.

“Painkillers are particularly toxic for cats,” he explained.

“Ibuprofen and paracetamol, even small quantities, can cause kidney failure and severe stomach ulceration and gastrointestinal signs.

“Likewise, Ibuprofen and paracetamol is also very toxic to dogs and paracetamol. Although the medication can be used as a painkiller, it’s very easy to overdose small dogs in particular so never give your dog paracetamol without veterinary advice.”

3. Car products

Good for your car’s engine but definitely not for your beloved pet, Ben urged owners to keep anti-freeze products such as engine coolant, car wash and windscreen products containing ethylene glycol locked away.

“When it’s ingested by a dog or a cat, it can cause crystals forming in different organs like the brain and the kidneys and this can lead to neurological signs and again kidney failure,” he warned.

“Interestingly no joke one of the treatment options for ethylene glycol toxicity is intravenous vodka.”

4. Xylitol

Seemingly innocuous, Ben said Xylitol, which can be found in products such as chewing gum, mouthwash and gummy bears, can be dangerous for your pet.

“This is an artificial sweetener that’s fine for humans to eat but can be very dangerous to cats and dogs,” he explained.

“It’s usually dogs with this one and there’s a sort of glitch in the system where the dog’s body recognises the xylitol as if it’s sugar.”

The veterinarian cautioned that the sweetener could trigger insulin release, causing a rapid decrease in the animal’s blood sugar levels, potentially resulting in severe seizures or fatal outcomes.

5. Lilies

Fragrant and beautiful, Lilies look so lovely in a vase at the front door but Ben says it is not worth having these flowers in your home.

“Please don’t have lilies in your house ever,” he said.

“I know it is really hard to throw lilies out if someone gives you a bunch… but please it is not worth taking the risk.

“I’ve seen several cats die of lily toxicity.”

Ben explained that lilies can cause kidney failure which could be fatal.  According to the vet, all parts of these plants are toxic but pollen is often the worst culprit.

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