SAFE PETS: Great tips for keeping apart your pets from dangerous household items.
SAFE PETS: Great tips for keeping apart your pets from dangerous household items.

Tips to help protect your pet from home dangers

AT ANY time of year, the RSPCA recommends t's wise to keep a watch out for these household dangers and either throw them out or keep them somewhere safe away from your pets.


  • Many human and animal prescription medications are toxic to pets.
  • One of the most common is paracetamol, which is incredibly toxic to cats, even in tiny amounts.
  • Some medications can also be dangerous if they're used incorrectly, such as some flea-prevention treatments for dogs contain ingredients highly toxic to cats.
  • Remember to never medicate your pet without your vet's advice and keep all medications in sealed containers well out of reach of your pet's curious paws.


  • The list may seem long, but it's important to keep these in mind and away from your furry friends - chocolate, onions, and garlic (including the powdered versions, used in - for example - baby food), macadamia nuts, raisins, grapes and foods containing caffeine are all very much off the menu.
  • Forget fat trimmings from meat which can cause pancreatitis, a very painful and dangerous condition.
  • Avocado is toxic to many pets including birds, dogs, mice, rabbits, horses, and livestock.
  • Cooked bones can splinter and cause all kinds of problems in your pets' tummy, and foods such as raw fish, liver, and sugary foods can lead to metabolic diseases. See all the no-go foods for dogs and cats here.


  • Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol which tastes sweet, is attractive to animals and deadly if eaten even in small amounts. 
  • Ethylene glycol poisoning is rarely seen in Australia, however, be conscious of its potential as a poison.


  • Avoid string and similar items such as dental floss, yarn, and rubber bands, which are often loved by cats as play toys, but they can actually cause potentially deadly intestinal obstructions if eaten.
  • Don't risk it, and find your cat a safe toy to enjoy.

Xylitol (sugar substitute)

  • This low-carbohydrate sugar substitute is used as a sweetener in chewing gum, some toothpastes, some low-fat peanut butters and baked goods.  While safe for humans to eat, it is metabolised differently by dogs. 
  • After a dog eats xylitol, they can develop low blood sugar leading to seizures and death, if not treated immediately. 
  • Always check peanut butter for xylitol if you plan on using it as a treat. Xylitol consumption can also cause liver failure and clotting problems in dogs. 

Snail and slug baits

  • This is a relatively common form of poisoning seen in pets and is both distressing and dangerous.
  • Dogs especially can be attracted to baits in pellet form as they look similar to dry dog food.

For more good pet safety tips, go to

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