A local vet has put together a list of most common, often suprising, hazards which can be toxic to pets to mark March being Pet Poison Awareness Month.

White Cross Vets in Walkden has compiled 10 common hazards for pet owners to be aware of during springtime.

Vet David Hough says that the hazards happen on a regular basis, inside or outside of the home.

He said: “To compound matters, many of these risks are more prevalent during the spring months, which coincides with lots of pets being out and about more as the weather improves.

“Cats and dogs are naturally inquisitive and attracted to all types of foods, plants, flowers and other products.

“It can be a minefield, but we regularly treat pets that have fallen victim to these toxins, so we have a good idea about what pet owners need to be most wary of.”

Top 10 common hazards to look out for:

•           Alcohol – It goes without saying that alcohol in any quantity is bad for pets and it’s also important to think about whether it’s been used in recipes before feeding titbits.

•           Chocolate - This is particularly dangerous to pets because as well as upsetting the intestinal system, it can also affect the heart and neurological systems. Chocolate with a higher cocoa content is generally the worst.

•           Bones - Can cause all types of problems to pets. Once they’re cooked, bones become brittle and splinter easily and should never be given to pets.

•           Seasonal plants and flowers – Everything from lilies to holly and plant bulbs can cause intestinal problems if they are eaten.

•           Weed killers and slug pellets – These can be highly toxic to pets. In most cases the product’s label should contain details about ingredients and whether they’re pet friendly.

•           Sweeteners – Many sweeteners such as xylitol, which is found in lots of foods, is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause blood sugar levels to drop, seizures, liver failure, and even death.

•           Grapes, raisins, sultanas, and currants – These are often found in Easter treats, such as hot cross buns, but even small quantities can cause kidney failure.

•           Onions and garlic – Although pets love titbits, it can be surprising how many foods contain onion and garlic, even in small traces, which is a red flag for pets.

•           Caffeine – Coffee smells good but pets are much more sensitive to caffeine than humans are, and it can severely damage their nervous, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems.

•           Human medications – Everything from anti-depressants to vitamin tablets that are meant for humans can be dangerous to pets. These should always be stored securely and it’s never a good idea to attempt to treat pet ailments with things like anti-inflammatories or paracetamol meant for humans.

David added: “Sometimes it can be difficult to know for sure if a pet has ingested something they shouldn’t have.

“Symptoms to look for can include hypersalivation, gum discoloration or paleness, vomiting, diarrhoea, an accelerated heart rate, gulping water down and signs of lethargy.

“Anyone who suspects that their pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have, or is suffering with any of these symptoms, should seek veterinary advice immediately.”

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.