Common Household Items that are Toxic for your Dog

When you have been in the pet care business as long as we have, you sometimes have to deal with the sad reality of your clients losing their beloved pets because they have ingested something that was harmful to them. It’s never a pleasant thing to think about but it is important to be aware of the things that are dangerous to your dog. Believe it or not, there are a number of everyday, household items that are very toxic to your dog.  If you keep these things around your home, make sure that they are well out of reach of your dog.


Foods: Most of us are familiar with the foods that are toxic to dogs but it’s always a good idea to review the list of those foods that dogs should NEVER have: Chocolate, Onions, Grapes, Raisins, Avocado, Almonds, Cinnamon, Garlic, Macadamia Nuts, Coffee, Beer, and Sugar free gum. The sweetener Xylitol, which is found in many gums and candies, is perfectly fine for humans, but HIGHLY toxic to dogs.

Medications: A common household medication is Acetaminophen. It is in Tylenol, Alka Seltzer, Sudafed, Nyquil, and other cold medications. If ingested, it can cause mild to severe liver damage in dogs and can be particularly deadly for smaller dogs. Make sure that all medications are kept securely out of your dog’s reach and take special care not to drop those medications on the floor. If a smaller sized dog swallows just one pill containing Acetaminophen, the reaction can be rather fast.

Anti-freeze: Almost everyone has at least one container of Anti-freeze in their garage. Most likely it is safely stowed away where pets can’t get to it. However, the danger can be if it is spilled or leaks onto the ground and your pet licks it or steps in it and then licks his paws. If you happen to spill Anti-freeze in your garage or driveway or you happen to notice a leak from your radiator, be sure and clean off the ground as quickly as possible. Scrub the area with warm, soapy water and rinse off thoroughly. It’s best to keep your dog away from areas where Anti-freeze might be a danger. Sometimes that is not possible so having an awareness of the danger and knowing how to dispose of it is essential.

Flea & Tick Products: Yes! Believe it or not, this medication that is designed to protect our pets can also be quite harmful to them. It is important to carefully follow the directions on the label and DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PET TO PLAY WITH THE PACKAGING. This can cause a severe reaction such as vomiting, seizures or difficulty breathing. It is also important to use a brand that is recommended by your vet; some of the brands that are available over-the-counter are not always of the highest quality. When it comes to any kind of medication for your pet, always work with your vet to determine the best one and proper dosage for your pet.

Most likely, you have taken the time and care to keep most of these harmful items away from your pet. However, when it comes to food,  it can be easy to forget and leave it on the counter where your dog can easily sneak it away before you even know it.  Make sure that when you are preparing food, it is well out of the reach of your pet and you always put away the portion you are not needing.

We hope you have found this information to be helpful and want to remind you that just a little extra effort can go a long way to keep your pet safe from household toxins.

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