101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet

posted: by: CMVH Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Make your home a safer place for your pets by keeping them away from the following hazardous household items, plants, foods, objects and trouble areas.

Household Items

1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.)

2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

3. Cold and flu medications

4. Antidepressants

5. Vitamins

6. Home insect products

7. Rat and mouse bait

8. Bleach

9. Diet pills

10. Disinfectants

11. Fabric softener

12. Lead

13. Lighter fluid

14. Mothballs

15. Anti-cancer drugs

16. Solvents (paint thinners, etc.)

17. Flea and tick products

18. Drain cleaners

19. Liquid potpourri

20. Slug and snail bait

21. Oven cleaner sprays

22. Lime/scale remover

23. Fly bait

24. Detergents

25. Tobacco products

Harmful Foods

You should never let your dogs or cats eat any of these foods. Be sure to store them where your pets can’t find them.

26. Avocados

27. Chocolate (all forms)

28. Coffee (all forms)

29. Onions & onion powder

30. Garlic

31. Grapes

32. Raisins

33. Macadamia nuts

34. Alcoholic beverages

35. Moldy/spoiled foods

36. Salt

37. Fatty foods

38. Gum, candies, or other foods sweetened with xylitol

39. Tea leaves

40. Raw yeast dough


These household objects can cause puncture wounds, choking, or internal organ damage to your pets. Make sure they aren’t left lying around.

41. Balls (specifically balls that are small or have a smooth outer coating

42. Batteries

43. Bread twist ties

44. Buttons

45. Coins

46. Cotton swabs

47. Glass

48. Hair pins

49. Jewelry

50. Nylons

51. Paper clips

52. Plastic wrap

53. Socks

54. Rubber-bands

55. Sharp objects (knives, razors, scissors, nails, needles, etc.)

56. String, yarn, or dental floss

57. Towels

58. Wax


Do you have any of these plants in or around your home? If so, make sure they are in places where your pets can’t reach them, or consider getting rid of them altogether.

59. Common Plants



Andromeda Japonica

Asian Lily

Asparagus Fern

Australian Nut

Autumn Crocus



Bird of Paradise

Bittersweet (American & European)

Black Locust

Branching Ivy


Buddhist Pine


Calla Lily

Castor Bean




Corn Plant





Devil’s Ivy



Easter Lily

Elephant Ears

Emerald Fern

English Ivy



Fiddle-leaf Philodendron

Gold Dust Dracaena

Florida Beauty


Glacier Ivy


Golden Pothos

Heavenly Bamboo


Hurricane Plant




Jerusalem Cherry

Jimson Weed



Lilies (all Lilium species)

Lily of the Valley


Marble Queen

Morning Glory


Mountain Laurel


Needlepoint Ivy





Peace Lily


Poison hemlock

Precatory Bean (rosary pea)


Red Emerald


Ribbon Plant

Sago Palm

Satin Pathos


Striped Dracaena

Sweetheart Ivy


Water Hemlock




Trouble Areas

Dogs and cats are more likely to be injured in these areas of your home. Keep your pets away from these places or watch them closely when they’re near them if you can.

60. Balconies – Tall balconies without safety railings, or railings spaced too far apart, can lead to a dangerous fall.

61. Bath tubs or sinks – Small pets can drown in full bathtubs or sinks.

62. Doors and windows – Dogs and cats can run away if they find an open door or window. They can also get seriously injured if they run across a busy road. Windows should have screens to prevent cats or other pets from falling out.

63. Electrical cords – Your pets can be electrocuted if they bite or chew on electrical cords that are plugged in.

64. Fireplace – Your pets can be burned by the flames or get sick if they eat the ashes.

65. Toilets – Toilet water is not healthy for pets to drink; always remember to close the lid. Make sure you leave plenty of clean, fresh water for your pets if you must leave them home alone.

66. Washer and Dryer – Your pets can crawl into a washer or dryer without your knowledge; close the doors to these appliances when you’re not using them.

Outside the Home

Make sure your pets are safe as they enjoy the outdoors by keeping them away from these potential dangers.

67. Algae* – can be found in ponds or other bodies of water; certain forms can be toxic.

68. Antifreeze/Coolant* – some types of antifreeze or coolant products contain ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic to dogs and cats, even in small amounts.

69. Fire pit/Grill – Flames can result in serious burns and ashes can cause illness if ingested.

70. Fences or gates – Your pets can run away if they find openings in damaged fences or gates. They can also get hurt or strangled if they get stuck.

71. Deck lattice – Your dogs or cats can get stuck in the openings under your deck and possibly be strangled.

72. De-icing salts – Some formulations may contain chemicals that are hazardous to pets if ingested in large amounts. Look for "pet-friendly" de-icing salts.

73. Compost (particularly if moldy)

74. Gasoline*

75. Oil*

76. Pesticides*

77. Cocoa bean shell mulch fertilizer*

78. Swimming pools and hot tubs – Never leave your pet unattended near uncovered pools, even if they can swim.

*All contain chemicals that may cause serious illness depending on the circumstances of exposure.

Holiday Hazards

Help your pets enjoy the holidays safely by keeping them away from potential problems on these special days.

79. Alcohol – alcoholic beverages are toxic to pets and should NEVER be given to them during the holidays or at

any other time.

Valentine’s Day

80. Flowers and Candy – Many types of flowers and plants found in bouquets are harmful

to dogs and cats if they are ingested (see our list of hazardous plants).


81. Fake grass – This colorful "grass" may look appetizing to your pets, but it could cause them to

choke or obstruct their intestines if ingested.

82. Small toys and other plastic items – If swallowed, small toys and plastic Easter eggs can cause

your pet to choke or even damage their intestinal tracts.

4th of July

83. Fireworks – Fireworks can scare your pets making them run off, or cause serious injuries if

detonated near them. Many formulations are also toxic if ingested.


84. Repeatedly opening doors to greet trick-or-treaters can increase the chances of your pets running out. Keep an eye on their whereabouts at all times. If feasible, keep cats in a secure area or closed room when opening doors.

85. Candles – Pets are naturally curious, and may be attracted to the bright lights of the flame in dark areas. Dogs and cats could either burn themselves by the flame or knock the candle over, starting a fire.

86. Xylitol – Candy or gum sweetened with xylitol is toxic and should be kept away from your pet.

87. All forms of chocolate can be harmful to your pet, potentially resulting in poisoning or even pancreatic inflammation from the high fat content.


88. Bones – Turkey, chicken, and other small animal bones are very different from the large bones you find at the pet store. These small bones splinter easily and can cause serious internal damage if swallowed, so NEVER give them to your pet.

89. Hot containers – Your dog or cat will most likely become curious when they smell

something cooking. Keep an eye on hot containers so that your pet does not tip them over and get burned.


90. Holiday plants – Christmas Rose, Holly, Lilies and Mistletoe are all toxic to dogs and cats.

91. Ribbons – It may look adorable, but placing a ribbon around your pet’s neck may cause them to choke.

92. Bubbling lights – Older forms of this attractive decoration may contain methylene chloride, which is a highly toxic chemical.

93. Fire salts – Contain chemicals that could be harmful to pets.

94. Angel hair (spun glass) – Can be irritating to the eyes and skin, and could cause intestinal obstruction if eaten in large amounts.

95. Christmas tree water – Stagnant tree water or water containing preservatives could result in stomach upset if ingested.

96. Decoration hooks – Can cause blockage and/or trauma to gastrointestinal tract if swallowed.

97. Styrofoam – Can cause your pets to choke if swallowed.

98. Ornaments – These can look like toys to cats and dogs, but they can cause serious injury, especially if your pets break or swallow them.

99. Tinsel – Can cause choking or internal trauma if swallowed.

New Year’s Eve

100. Balloons and Confetti – These fun New Year’s party decorations can cause your pets to choke or obstruct their intestines if ingested. Keep an eye on your pets when they’re around these items or move them to an area that is not decorated.

101. Loud noises – New Year’s is typically a noisy holiday. Unfortunately, loud noises frighten pets and can cause them to run off. Keep your pets in a separate room, away from noisemakers, music, and other loud sounds that may startle them.