11 Household Items That Can Poison Your Dog

Your dog’s looking a little out of sorts or not eating.

The first thing that comes to mind is that something in the house has affected them, and this is a good place to start because there are many toxic items in the house that can poison your dog.  

Are all poisonings immediately visible?

While you might think that your dog will show symptoms immediately after ingesting or inhaling a poison, this isn’t always the case, which is why it’s so important to store dangerous household items out of your dog’s reach.

Alarmingly, some of the most common items that can poison your dog are found right inside your home, as the Animal Emergency Center reports. With that in mind, here are 10 household items that are dangerous for your dogs.

If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of the poisonous items, we got you covered:

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Antifreeze poisoning

While you might not think of antifreeze as being something that your dog would come into contact with, it contains an alcohol known as ethylene glycol and dogs are drawn to because it has a sweet taste. It’s highly toxic!

All they need is the equivalent of five tablespoons of antifreeze to kill them, so you want to keep this away from your pets, such as by storing it on a high shelf in the garage.


While you might not think that you have formaldehyde in your home, there are items that could be releasing this harmful chemical which can affect the health of your pets.

If you own items such as paint, glue, synthetic fabrics, and wood products, then these could all be releasing formaldehyde into your home’s indoor air. Make sure you keep these out of reach of your pets.

Formaldehyde is also in furniture. When you buy new furniture, it’s good to keep it outside for a few days so that it can get ventilated properly before you bring it indoors. You should also avoid removing paint finishes on surfaces and furniture as this releases contaminants into the air that dogs can inhale.

Pest Control Products

You might think you’re doing a good thing by tackling the pest problem that’s in your garden, but you could be causing unintentional harm to your pets. For example, poison used to kill snails can cause seizures in dogs.

On the other hand, rat poison can cause haemorrhages and death. The problem with these pest control methods is that they’re produced in such a way to attract pests, but they can also attract dogs.

That’s why it’s important not to keep them in the house where dogs can get to them. When using them in the garden, make sure to keep your dogs inside and follow the product instructions. Even better: choose natural pest control methods that are safe for your pets.

Chocolate And Coffee


Both of these delicious items you might love to eat can be highly toxic to dogs. This is because they contain methylxanthines, substances that can induce a variety of unpleasant symptoms in dogs, such as vomiting, excessive thirst, hyperactivity, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and death.

Interestingly, when chocolate is darker it is more toxic to dogs, so that includes gourmet dark chocolate and baking chocolate, but you should keep all coffee and hot chocolate products out of reach of dogs regardless.


This is a sweetener that people use instead of sugar, but it can find its way into a variety of foods, such as candy, cereals, baked goods, and jellies. When dogs ingest even a tiny amount of xylitol, they can experience a drop in blood sugar, weakness, seizures, and even liver failure.


You might love adding greenery to your home in the form of beautiful plants, but some can be dangerous for dogs. Some of the most toxic plants include tulips and daffodils.

These can cause serious symptoms in dogs, such as stomach problems, an increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing. Other types of plants include sago palms. If your dog consumes just a few seeds of this plant, it can result in side effects such as seizures and vomiting.

Raw Meat In The Garbage

If your dogs have access to the garbage you’ve put out, they could endanger themselves. For example, if your garbage contains raw meat and your dog eats this, it could cause them to contract salmonella as well as other bacteria. Keep your garbage out of reach.

Foods In The Compost Heap

While you’re being safer with your garbage, make sure that you also practice compost heap safety.

Since dogs are curious, they might sniff around the compost pile and eat items from it. The danger of this is that the compost heap might contain maggots or deadly toxins that can cause vomiting, hyperthermia, and seizures.

Cleaning Products

cleaning products

When you clean your home with detergents to keep it hygienic for you and your pets, you might not realize that you can be harming them.

This is why it’s important to keep you dogs out of the room you’re cleaning until all the products have been cleaned and dried properly on surfaces. In addition, also make sure that all your cleaning products, such as Magic Erasers or bleach, are kept out of reach and locked away.

Cleaning products such as drain cleaner or bleach can harm a dog’s skin, mucous membranes, and digestive tract. Their fumes are also dangerous to inhale.

When you want to do a load of laundry, make sure that your detergent pods are stored in a locked cupboard because these are also dangerous for dogs.

This is because they contain a large concentration of cleaning solutions so if your dog chews one of these pods they will eat a large amount of the cleaning liquid in one go. If your dog ingests a detergent pod, he or she could vomit and have breathing problems because detergent foams and ends up in the dog’s lungs.  


As you know, dogs are curious and like to chew items that they find around the house. Zinc is particularly dangerous for dogs to consume, and it can be found in pennies, nails, jewellery, staples and more.

The reason why zinc is so dangerous for dogs is because when it gets consumed and digested, it makes its way into the bloodstream and causes the dog’s red blood cells to burst, resulting in organ failure and even death.

Human Medications

It might surprise you to hear that human medications are one of the most common reasons why dogs get poisoned. If you think about it, lots of medication looks bright and colorful, which can appeal to your curious dogs. Accidental Xanax, birth control and eye drop consumption cases are common.

While you might keep your medication out of reach of pets, it’s surprisingly easy for them to get into contact with it. For example, if you accidentally drop an Excedrin tablet and can’t find it, but then Fido later sniffs it out from underneath the table or behind the fridge.

Even OTC medications can be dangerous for dogs. NSAIDs such as Aleve and Advil can cause a lot of harm to pets, even if they only consume one pill, as they can cause ulcers as well as kidney failure.

What To Do If Your Dog’s Been Poisoned

cleaning products

If you suspect that your dog has been exposed to a poison or ingested it, you have to call your vet or take your dog to an emergency pet hospital immediately. This is crucial because by the time you wait for symptoms of poisoning to appear, the poison could already have done permanent damage.

Although you might want to induce vomiting in your dog, this is never recommended – in fact, it could make the problem worse, unless your vet has told you to induce vomiting.

The reason why you shouldn’t induce vomiting in your pet is that some corroding or acidic substances can cause more damage to your pet when they vomit them up than when they were swallowed.


What are signs your dog’s been poisoned?

Some common signs include tremors, agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, convulsions, abnormal heart rate, and drooling.

Do vets use activated charcoal to treat animal poisoning?

Activated charcoal absorbs toxins, so it’s sometimes used to treat poisonings. However, it won’t be administered to pets that have swallowed chemicals or caustic materials.


You make sure that your home is safe for your pets, but there could be dangers in your house that you never even thought could harm your dog. In this article, we’ve looked at some surprising household items that can harm, and even kill, your dog.

The most important thing is to keep them locked away in the home where dogs can’t accidentally come into contact with them.

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