Toxic Household Dangers for Pets


Common household products can be dangerous, toxic and/or deadly to our pets. Holiday foods with grapes, currants and raisins pose a risk for dogs.  Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs and cats.  Sugarless gum and candies are toxic and ingesting alcohol can lead to seizures and respiratory failure.  Read more.

While Christmas tree tinsel is not toxic its attractive shine appeals to cats.  If swallowed it can cause severe damage to your cat’s intestinal tract.

But more dangers lurk in other places in your house.

Garages hold a variety of chemicals and pesticides. Save labels until you dispose of the product in the event you need to take your pet to the hospital take the label to identify the active ingredient.

Antifreeze has a sweet appealing taste which appeals to pets. Store containers out of reach, preferably behind a locked cabinet door.  If you spill antifreeze clean it up immediately.  If possible, choose propylene glycol-based antifreeze as a safer alternative.

Windshield cleaner and brake fluid may contain methanol which is a toxic alcohol like ethylene glycol antifreeze.

Don’t leave discarded auto batteries lying around.  If the battery leaks and your pet steps in it then cleans its paw – ingesting battery acid is very severe.  With chemical poisons inducing vomiting can cause more damage coming back up.  Seek vet help immediately-minutes matter!

Storing oil and gasoline which leak is the most common way pets become exposed to these products.  Breathing vapors or skin contact can be enough to do damage.  Inhaling turpentine or benzene can give your pet chemical pneumonitis as the chemical coats the lungs causing inflammation and trouble breathing.

Store car waxes and paint in a locked cabinet.

Lawn fertilizers often have a warning to keep pets off for 72 hours and are low risk when used properly. The real danger is being ingested from the bag resulting in tremors and seizures.

Weedkillers vary in toxicity.  Poisoning occurs in dogs that brush up against, chew or lick recently treated plants, or playing with or drinking from containers.

Mulch is typically benign but if eaten can result in a foreign body.

Rodenticides many contain a clot-preventive substance which can cause internal bleeding.

Slug bait pellets containing metaldehyde is highly toxic to dogs.

For all poisons it is not always safe to induce vomiting or administer other home remedies. Take immediate action:

  • Call your vet or AHOW Ph 909-594-1737.
  • Go to your emergency hospital.
  • Visit Pet Poison Hotline or Ph 855-764-7661 (fees apply)
  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Ph 888-426-4435