Tips on Toxins: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Pets Safe

As March rolls in, “Pet Poison Prevention and Awareness Month” is upon us. As our pets usually spend the majority of their time inside the house and surrounding areas, it’s important to get familiar with your common household belongings, such as food, cleaning supplies, and medications, that can cause serious harm to your kiddos. Below, we’ve made a comprehensive list of the everyday accessories that are considered poisonous to dogs and felines!

Human Food:

Retrieved from: AmericanKennelClub
  • Alcohol: Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, depressed nervous system, difficulty breathing, coma or even death
  • Chocolate & Caffeine: Vomiting, diarrhea, panting & excessive thirst, tremors, seizures, or even death. Dark Chocolate is the most dangerous.
  • Citrus (Stems, Peels, Leaves, & Seeds): Depressed central nervous system.
  • Grapes & Raisins: Kidney Failure
  • Macadamia & Other Nuts: Lethargy, depression, vomiting, tremors, hyperthermia, and possibly pancreatitis
  • Milk/Dairy: Upset stomach & Diarrhea
  • Onions, Garlic, Chives: Cats are more susceptible to this and could lead to red blood cell damage
  • Salt: Symptoms are similar to the symptoms of Nut intake, however elevated body pressure and seizures may also be expected.
  • Sweetener: Causes a release of Insulin that can produce liver failure
  • Yeast: Can cause stomach to bloat and perhaps even twist. Yeast also produces ethanol—a chemical compound of alcohol—and can cause your pet to become drunk. (See symptoms of alcohol)

Poisonous Plants:

Retrieved from: PetMD
  • Some plants, like lilies, can be extremely toxic to both dogs and cats. However, there are some plants that can be poisonous to our felines, but not to canines.
  • If you’d like a comprehensive list of the types of plants that are toxic to dogs, click here
  • If you’d like a comprehensive list of the types of plants that are toxic to cats, click here
  • If you’d like to see pictures of the plants, click here

Household Items & Cleaning Supplies:

  • Bleach: Vomiting, tissue irritation, skin and/or stomach lesions
  • Carpet Shampoo: Skin irritation or gastrointestinal problems
  • Essential Oils: Cats are more sensitive to this than dogs. If ingested, depressed nervous system or liver failure can occur. If inhaled, the chemicals could lead to pneumonia.
  • Fabric Softeners: Drooling, vomiting, ulcers, or fever may occur.
  • Vinegar cleaning solutions: Because of vinegar’s high level of acidity; if your pet ingests vinegar that is not diluted with water, you can expect vomiting, diarrhea, and/or oral pain.
  • Rodenticides: Mouse and Rat poisons are just as poisonous to other animals as well. “Depending on the type ingested…symptoms can be anywhere from uncontrolled bleeding, swelling of the brain, kidney failure, and seizures
  • Insecticides: Ones that contain carbamates are extremely dangerous to pets in large amounts.
  • Anti-freeze Products: While anti-freeze tastes sweet to our pets, it is extremely toxic and can cause uncoordinated movements, vomiting, excessive urination, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, depression, weakness, seizures, and fainting.
Retrieved from: PetPoisonHelpline
  • Gorilla Glue: Glues—especially Gorilla Glue—can be extremely dangerous if ingested as Gorilla Glue is known to expand, and requires surgery to remove.
  • Bar Soap & Face Wash: As most soap contains detergents, vomiting and diarrhea can occur, if ingested.
  • Cigarettes & Other Forms of Nicotine: If ingested, severe vomiting, depression, elevated heart rate, decreased blood pressure, seizures, and respiratory failure can occur. It’s best to throw cigarette butts in the trash where pets will not have access.

Human Medications:

Retrieved from:
  • Adderall: As these medications contain amphetamines, symptoms can include tremors, seizures, fever, abnormal heart rate, coma, or even death.
  • Ibuprofen & Naproxen: These medications work differently in humans than they do pets. While these meds are anti-inflammatory for humans, these meds can cause gastrointestinal ulcers and kidney failure if ingested by cats or dogs.
  • Pepto Bismol & Aspirin: Large doses can cause ulcers, seizures, and liver damage.
  • Pseudophedrine & Nasal Decongestions: Can cause restlessness, agitation, tremors, elevated heart rate, dilated pupils, and hyperthermia, to name a few.
  • Topical Creams & Ointments: Avoid having your pet lick your skin if you have lotion on that contains the following:








These chemicals can cause gastrointestinal issues.

  • Vitamin D, Iron, & Alpha-Lipoic Acid: In large doses, these vitamins can be very toxic to our pets

As our sweet fur babies spend most of their time at home, it is extremely important to be aware of the harmful toxins that we consider to be common household items. If you, or anyone you know, experiences a threat to your pets’ life after digesting any of the items listed above, call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Know of other harmful items that our pets can easily get to? Comment below!



Four Muddy Paws

Pet Poison Helpline



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