Common Household Toxins 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 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 repellants – insect repellants 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 linear 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
Bones – ask your veterinarian what bones your dog can eat
Caffeinated beverages
Cherry seeds and leaves
Chocolate – including chocolate desserts and candies
Coffee and coffee beans
Fruits with a high citric content – such as limes, lemons and grapefruits
Grapes – all types
Macadamia nuts
Marijuana edibles
Milk – all types
Mushrooms – many varieties
Onions and shallots
Peach pits and leaves
Potatoes – including green growth
Spinach – in large quantity
Sugar-free candy and gum
Tomatoes – red or green, including the stems
Xylitol – chemical sweetener
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.