Common Household Items That Are Surprisingly Poisonous for Pets

Your home is full of potential dangers for your beloved pets, some of which are not as obvious as you might think. It’s a sad fact that thousands of pets are poisoned each year by common household items and human food. Some animals are even poisoned by loving owners who unwittingly feed them food that is safe for human consumption but harmful for cats and dogs. Here are the common household items that are dangerous for pets:

Dangerous Household Products

Home Improvement Supplies

Lead is especially injurious. Pets are exposed to it over many sources that include linoleum, paint chips, consumer products and lead dust formed when surfaces at homes are sanded or scraped.

Chemical Hazards

Harmful items such as spa or pool chemicals, drain cleaners, paint thinner, , gases and acids which are found in ethylene glycol antifreeze, alcohols and volatile petroleum-based products.

Household Cleaners

Secure any cleaning agents such as disinfectants, detergents and bleaches. Once inhaled by your pets, it can lead to severe gastrointestinal irritation and distress to their respiratory tract.


Mouse and rat poisons can cause kidney damage, seizures or internal bleeding.

Veterinary Medications

Misapplication by earnest pet owners involving animal-related preparations such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, heartworm preventatives, dewormers, antibiotics, vaccines and nutritional supplements can be poisonous to dogs. Only give medications when your veterinarian specifically prescribes or recommends them.


Pet poisonings related to insecticides and products used to kill fleas, ticks and other insects are on the rise. One major concern is the application of the wrong topical treatment for the animal’s species (e.g., livestock medications for a cat or dog). It is best to talk to your veterinarian before embarking on any flea prevention program.

Human Medications

Common human drugs such as dietary supplements, antidepressants, cold medications and painkillers are poisonous to dogs and cats. Pets snatch pill vials from easily accessible counters or medication accidentally dropped on the floor. Make sure that you keep all medication out of reach. (Note: Some human medications, such as Benadryl, may be safely administered to pets – just be sure to consult your vet beforehand).

Human Food/Drinks That Are Dangerous for Pets

  • Yeast dough
  • Tomato plant leaves or stems
  • Tobacco
  • Tea bags or leaves
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions
  • Moldy food
  • Milk
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Garlic
  • Fruit pits
  • Coffee beans
  • Chocolate of any variety
  • Broccoli
  • Avocados
  • Alcohol

Pet-UNfriendly Items in the Bathroom and Kitchen

  • Suntan lotion
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Nail Polish
  • Mothballs
  • Human Medications
  • Disinfectants
  • Laundry or dish detergent
  • Deodorant
  • Bleach

Understand the Signs of Poisoning

If you suspect that your pet may have eaten or come into contact with any poisonous material, contact your veterinarian right away. Don’t wait and see if it gets better, some poisons act very quickly and any delay could cost your pet’s life. Some symptoms that can point to poisoning include:

  • Seizures
  • Abnormal muscle twitching
  • Unusual Restlessness (this depends on your pet’s typical behavior)
  • Noticeable, unexplained increase in urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Before your dog or cat might ever need help due to ingestion of any harmful household items, decide which poison control helpline you want to contact and include the number in your phone’s contacts list.

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