Common household hazards for your pets

If you own animals, it’s important to make sure that your home is not just safe for you and any other people living there, but your pets as well. There are many potential pet risks lying around your home that you may not even know about.
Household risks for your pets.

Human Food

Many foods edible by humans are toxic, or even deadly to household pets such as cats and dogs. This includes: chocolate, onions, garlic, avocado, tomatoes (in the case of cats), macadamia nuts, raisins and grapes, and products containing caffeine. Find out more about other food risks here.

Household Poisons

Rat poison throw-packs are also a big no-no – you may think they’re in hard to reach places, but your pet only needs to make their way to one to ingest fatal poison. Only use these and similar products like insecticides if they’re in a place you can guarantee is inaccessible by your pets.

Other dangerous household products for dogs and cats include fertilisers and anti-freeze. These are common household hazards for pets, and should be kept in secured locations where your pets can’t reach them.

Anything Dangerous to Children is Also Dangerous For Your Pet

Brisbane-based veterinary surgeon and owner of The Glen Veterinary Surgery, Jennifer White, cautions parents that anything dangerous for their young children can also be dangerous for their pet.

“Batteries, cleaning fluids, dishwasher powder, small toys – anything that you would be wary of your child putting in their mouth can also be a danger for your pets,” she said. “So anything that you would keep out of reach of your children should also be kept out of reach of your pets.

“I have attended to a dog with a marble stuck in its stomach, and in one case, a Great Dane that had swallowed a bath mat!

“Socks are popular; anything stretchy that your dog might swallow can be very dangerous so keep things such as rubber bands, hair elastics and scrunchies off the floor.”


Some hazards are less obvious. Many prescription and over the counter medications can be toxic to animals, including paracetamol. In addition, some medications for one type of pet can be toxic to another – for example, certain flea treatments for dogs are toxic to cats.

Should You be Considering Pet Insurance?

If you have a pet, it’s worth going over the contents of your home and/or garden and checking for things which could be potential household hazards for pets, and dealing with them by either removing them or making them inaccessible.

But for those times when you’ve rid your home of as many “pet dangers” as you can think of, and your Great Dane still swallows the bath mat, there’s pet insurance. Pet insurance helps to cover the cost of visiting a vet and obtaining treatment – things like an X-ray to find the bath mat, and surgery to remove it if necessary.

You can read about what you should consider when choosing a pet insurance policy on our homepage for Pet Insurance:

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