At the emergency vet hospital our team never ceases to be amazed at what pets find attractive to eat. While it is not always obvious to us humans exactly what is so appealing, this article highlights some of the common dangers along with some tips for reducing the risk of danger.
Chocolate, coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans), mouldy or spoiled foods, compost, onions, onion powder, fatty foods, salt, sultanas, string wrappings around rolled roast, absorbent pad found under meat when wrapped on trays. They find going through the bin particularly attractive so a strategy here is useful.
Try to keep prescription, over-the-counter and all drugs out of the reach of your pets, they have great reach so perhaps in a high cupboard. Particularly at this year, a reminder for guests staying with you to store their medications safely away is useful. All painkillers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, anti-depressants, vitamins, and diet pills are common examples of our medication that could be potentially lethal even in surprisingly small dosages. Many medications that are used safely in humans can be deadly, for example: less than one regular strength paracetamol tablet can be fatal to a cat. One regular strength ibuprofen tablet can cause stomach ulcers in a 5kg dog.
Pets have been known to drink a variety of alcohols, ranging from methanol found in windshield washing solutions to alcohol at your party. Tobacco products may also be attractive to dogs and cats. These contain varying amounts of nicotine and butts have about 25% of the total nicotine content.
Poisons designed to kill insects, rats and foliage can be poisonous. Dogs and cats often end up at the after hours vet when they have eaten ant and roach bait, weed killers, moth balls, rat and snail baits.
Other items in the house which are particularly attractive to dogs and cats include pieces of cloth such as socks, underwear, ribbons, tampons, sanitary pads, condoms, batteries, cleaning products, fertilizers, glow in the dark jewellery, liquid potpourri, painting products, varnishing products, turpentine, methylated spirits and silica gel – this is the small rectangular desiccant found in new purchases such as clothing, shoes and purses.
If your pet has eaten something that you are concerned about, contact your local veterinarian or after hours emergency centre as soon as possible to see whether treatment is required. Some clues about what they might have eaten, what they were last fed and where they have been will be most helpful to understand the associated risks.