• Elaina

The Toxins Lurking in Plain Sight Around Your Home

Common Household Items That Could be Fatal to Your Pet

Most pet owners already know that exposure to things like chocolate, bleach, and pesticide can be dangerous for our animal companions. But what about other lesser-known toxins? While we may not give it much thought, our homes are potentially full of toxic products especially for our furry family members. The household cleaners we use every day, the potentially dangerous trash and commonplace items in our garages and even formaldehyde, all pose real health risks to our dogs in the place we call "home.”

Under the weather pup

The Poisons in Your home

Household Cleaners:

Even if they are closed and put away, dangerous vapors (from chlorine, ammonia and bleach) can still linger and put your dog at a higher risk for cancer, liver and kidney damage and anemia, Even licking cleaned surfaces could hurt your dog over time with the chemical residue left behind.


Commonly found in multi-purpose cleaners, disinfecting wipes, mildew removers, toilet bowl cleaners, tile scrubs and dishwashing and laundry detergents can cause serious damage to the skin, eyes, nose and other membranes of your pet.


Yes, formaldehyde; one of the chemicals found in cigarettes and also used to embalm the dead is widely used in manufacturing construction materials, household products and cleaners and even furnishings. The U.S. EPA has determined it can cause cancer in animals.

Trash can be poisonous to your dog

The Poisons in Your Trash

  • Human Foods

  • Alcohol

  • Bones

  • Chocolate.

  • Coffee Grounds

  • Dairy Products

  • Grapes/Raisins/Currants

  • Moldy/Spoiled Foods

  • Mushrooms

  • Onions/Garlic

  • Walnuts/Macadamia

  • Fatty ‘Foods/Grease

  • Medications including prescriptions, Advil, and Tylenol and herbal/natural supplements.

  • Cleaning Products and paper towels, rags or sponges discarded after cleaning.

The Poisons in Your Garage

  • Antifreeze (its sweet smell attracts pets; as little as a 1/2 teaspoon can kill an average sized cat; just 8 ounces can kill a 75-pound dog!

  • Spilled or leaking oils, paints, degreasers or auto fluids

  • Batteries, Fire Logs

  • Broken Glass

  • Insecticides/Pesticides

  • Herbicides/Weed Killers

  • Fertilizers and Mulch

  • Chlorine and Chemicals for pools, hot tubs, etc.

Signs of Pet Poisoning:

The symptoms of a poisoned pet can differ vastly depending on the type of toxin and how much they ingested. While the signs vary from case to case, some of the most common signs of pet poisoning include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea and upset stomach

  • Seizures

  • Lethargy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Drooling

  • Abnormal behavior

  • Excessive thirst or urination

  • Weakness

How to Handle an Emergency: 

  1. If you know or suspect your pet may have ingested something poisonous, immediately contact the National Poison Control Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.

  2. Text “POISON” to 797979 to save the contact information for Poison Control in your smartphone.

  3. Finally, remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you have any reason at all to believe your pet might be poisoned, seek immediate veterinary assistance—the life of your animal companion could depend on it.

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