Common Household Dangers for Pets

It is important to be aware of what household items are dangerous to your pets. Here is a list of common items around the home that could cause a pet emergency: 


Cocoa mulch – pets are attracted to the chocolatey aroma, but the ingredients in cocoa mulch can be deadly if ingested 

De-icing salts used for snow and ice – these salts can irritate the paws and poison your pet if consumed 

Plants – certain types of plants are highly toxic to dogs 

In the garage:

 Fertilizers – most fertilizers, both commercial and organic, and plant food products are toxic to pets 

Antifreeze or other ethylene glycol products – the sweet taste appeals to pets but antifreeze can be deadly if even a small amount is ingested 

Garbage cans – your pet may try to lick the inside of garbage cans, which could result in him ingesting a harmful substance 

Pest control poisons and or insect repellents – insect repellents and rodent poisons are highly dangerous for pets 

Around the house:

Human medications – many human medications, including painkillers, can be highly toxic to pets 

String, yarn and other similar objects – string products could cause intestinal blockage in your pet 

Small toys with moving parts – many toys designed for children are choking hazards for pets 

Holiday decorations – pets like to play with holiday decorations, but many of them are choking hazards to pets 

Fumes from cleaning products – if you are using an aerosol spray or self-cleaning oven product, keep pets away from the fumes as they are toxic to pets 

In the kitchen:

Alcohol – all alcoholic beverages, including beer 

Apple seeds – only the seeds and stem, the rest of the apple is fine

Apricot pits

Bones – ask your veterinarian what bones your dog can eat 

Caffeinated beverages

Cherry seeds

Chocolate – including chocolate desserts and candies

Coffee and coffee beans


Grapes – all types

Macadamia nuts

Marijuana edibles

Onions and shallots

Peach pits

Potatoes with growth or sprouts


Sugar-free candy and gum

Yeast dough

If your dog consumes any of the above foods or you suspect other poisoning, immediately seek veterinary care at your closest animal hospital.  

For other resources on pet toxins, see our articles on Garden Dangers for Dogs, Chocolate Ingestion, The Dangers of Mushrooms and Holiday Dangers for Dogs.