10 Common Household Poisons for Pets
We use a wide variety of items to maintain our homes and our yards.
Many of these seemingly benign items can actually be harmful to our pets.
Here's a list of some of the most common household poisons for pets.
- Human medication, such as aspirin or Tylenol, other painkillers,
cold medicines, and diet pills, among others. Tubes of cream or ointments
can also be harmful, plus they're easy to chew through. Store everything
safely away from pets and clean up any spilled.
- Antifreeze is deadly to pets even in small amounts, and has
a sweet taste that appeals to dogs and cats. Look for antifreeze that's
marked as 'pet-safe' and contains propylene glycol instead of the deadly
ethylene glycol. It's a safer alternative that won't harm pets if consumed
in small amounts.
- Household cleaning products like oven cleaners, floor cleansers,
furniture polish, etc.
- Rat and mouse poisons. Pets can be poisoned directly
by ingesting rodent poisons, or by consuming a rodent that has been poisoned.
Rodents who have been poisoned on neighboring properties could even be found
in your yard. If you need a way to control rodents without using poisons,
there are methods that are safer for households with pets.
Garden and yard supplies like weed killers, insecticides, slug bait,
fertilizers, plant food, and cocoa mulch are all toxic to pets.
- Rubber bands, string, dental floss, tinsel, or similar items.
These are easily swallowed and can cause an intestinal obstruction or other
- Food, including what's tossed in the garbage. Foods that are
dangerous to pets include cooked bones (which can splinter), chocolate,
macadamia nuts, yeast dough, moldy food and more. Here's another
dangerous foods for pets.
If your pet has a tendency to rummage through the trash, place
your garbage can in a secure cabinet or purchase one that cannot easily
be opened by an excited snout or paw.
- Salt and de-icers are commonly used to melt snow and ice.
These can be irritating to paws (sometimes downright painful, even),
and toxic if the pet licks the substance off. Use a damp towel to
wipe off paws immediately after coming inside.
- Bits and pieces from toys or decorations. Holiday decorations
are good examples, as are ribbons, plastic eyes or noses from toys.
- Plants, both indoor and outdoor. This includes common plants like
lilies, philodendrons, rhododendrons, and popular holiday plants like poinsettia,
holly, and mistletoe. Here's one list of poisonous plants for pets.
Although it's not possible to protect our pets from all common
household poisons, it's up to us to know our pets well enough
to recognize when they're not feeling well.
Consult a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous.
Be prepared to provide as much information as you can, such as what
type of poison it was (and bring a sample with you, if you can), how
much your pet consumed, and when it happened. Post a note somewhere
easily accessible with the name and number of an emergency vet clinic
just in case a medical issue should occur after-hours.