Keeping your pet safe from poisons

As a pet owner, you’re most likely aware of keeping toxic substances such as rat poison and snail bait away from your pet. These poisonous products can be just as fatal to your cat or dog as they are to their intended audience.

However, you may be less aware of the dangers of other common household items – did you know that certain flowers and basic cooking ingredients can be just as toxic, and often fatal? These items include very common foods such as garlic and onion, chocolate and the beautiful but dangerous lily flowers in a vase on your coffee table.

To help you become more aware of the dangers of these toxic items, and make sure you stay vigilant about keeping them away from your pets, we’ve outlined some of the most poisonous below.

Please note: if your dog or cat has ingested any of these toxic substances, stop reading and seek immediate veterinary assistance for your pet.


Modern rat poison is extremely potent, only requiring a very little to be ingested by an animal to be toxic.

Used commonly in many households to control rodents, rat bait works by preventing the blood from clotting normally, killing the mouse or rat through internal bleeding. Unfortunately, any other animal who ingests the bait will also suffer the same fate.

To be on the safe side, remove any existing rat poison and rodent baits from your home, garage and outdoor areas – anywhere your pet has access to.


Snail bait, or snail pellets, are used in gardens to control pests – namely, snails and slugs. As a common gardening product, there is, unfortunately, a risk of household pets also ingesting the bait.

Most snail bait contains a toxin called metaldehyde. If ingested by your cat or dog, this toxin can prove deadly.

There is no antidote for metaldehyde toxicity. Treatment involves removing the toxin from the body and controlling the clinical signs, so it’s vital to get your pet to an emergency veterinarian clinic as soon as possible.


Did you know that certain types of lily plants can be extremely toxic, and even fatal, to cats?

Lilies are a flowering plant known for their vibrant beauty, making them very common in bouquets or as indoor houseplants.

It’s not known exactly how or why the lily plant is toxic to cats and cats only – the plant presents no toxicity to dogs or other animals. What we do know is that the poison in these common plants causes severe kidney failure in felines, which can result in chronic kidney illness and even death.

The best thing you can do is prevent cats from being exposed to them in the first place. If you are confused as to which lilies are safe and which are toxic, it may be safer to exclude all lilies from your home and garden.

If a cat does ingest any part of a lily plant, it is best to get them to an emergency veterinarian clinic as soon as possible.


You may be surprised by the amount of common food items in your kitchen and pantry that can be moderately toxic to your pets – you probably use many of these daily.

For example, many pet owners are unaware that chocolate can be extremely harmful to dogs and cats in a number of ways. The following list includes other common household foods that are potentially poisonous to cats and dogs:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Leek
  • Grapes
  • Sultanas
  • Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol
  • Bread dough (anything with yeast)
  • Avocado

Now that you are aware of these common items make sure you keep them away from your pets’ areas and food bowls and don’t ever be tempted to feed them these items as ‘treats’.


If you are not sure about whether or not your pet is displaying signs of toxicity poisoning, the safest thing is always to contact your vet clinic immediately. For emergency veterinarian treatment in Auckland, contact the team at Normanby Road Vet Clinic.

If you have an Emergency with your pet during our closed hours please see under Services  page   for a list Emergency clinics in Auckland.

Please do not go to the emergency clinic if it is not urgent/life threatening. ( Runny eyes/nose , coughing , limping , itching & etc can wait until the morning to be seen by our day vet ) 

If you are very worried or unsure if you are dealing with an emergency about your pet after clinic hours and you are a client with us you can reach Dr Chris on his emergency phone until 10pm or again from 7am each  day 

 - Dr Chris Laurenson - 027 544 4427 


Normanby Road Vet Clinic

Normanby Road Vet Clinic offers a range of friendly and professional vet services for cats, dogs and other animals. From vaccinations to microchipping and even surgeries, we can help your pets remain happy and healthy. Our clinic is easily accessible from all areas of Auckland.