14 Surprising Things That Can Poison Your Pet

Did you know that 214,000 pet poisoning cases occur in the US every year? That’s quite concerning if you consider that most of these cases result from the ingestion of common, everyday food items and household products that are absolutely safe for humans. 

Since these things don’t harm us, we assume they’ll be safe for our four-legged buddies too. However, that’s not true for most of your snacks, beverages, and other food items. 

Depending on how much of that item your pet has consumed, they may experience gastric problems, respiratory distress, or cardiac issues. In some cases, the condition may even progress to a coma or death. 

That’s why it’s crucial to know how to keep your dog healthy by putting certain foods out of their reach. Below, we discuss some health tips for pets to prevent poisoning

The 14 Things That Can Poison Your Pet

Most of these items might come as a surprise to you because they’re abundantly present in our homes. The list includes some of your favorite snacks, too, so you should be prepared to keep them hidden from your pets. 

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  1. Over-the-counter Medication

Common OTC drugs, such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen, are dangerous for animals. 

Therefore, if you use Tylenol for pain, make sure it’s shut in a medicine cabinet rather than lying openly on your coffee table where your cat can easily find it. 

  1. Prescription Medicines

Like OTC drugs, prescription meds are also poisonous for pets. These include medicines for stomach ulcers, kidney failure, hypertension, etc. 

Most of these meds have severe side effects on your pets. For instance, antidepressants lead to vomiting and serotonin syndrome in dogs

  1. Raisins and Grapes 

Fruits might be your favorite snacks for study time but make sure you keep the bowl away from your pet’s reach. Both these foods can cause kidney failure in pets, especially dogs. 

A dog that has consumed raisins or grapes will experience diarrhea and vomiting on the same day. Make sure you head to the vet’s office before it’s too late. 

  1. Chocolate 

Your pet might be eyeing your Hershey’s bar, but that’s no reason to share. Chocolate is harmful to smaller pets since cocoa beans have chemicals that are poisonous to animals. These chemicals are called methylxanthines and are more abundant in dark chocolate. 

If your dog is a smaller breed, chocolate as little as half an ounce could be fatal. On the other hand, eight ounces might cause fatality in older dogs.  

  1. Alcohol 

Whether you have friends over or you’re just binge-watching Netflix with a bottle of wine and potato chips, keep the alcohol away from your pet’s reach. 

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If your pet somehow intakes your booze, they may experience breathing problems and vomiting. In severe cases, the symptoms could progress to coma or death. 

  1. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sweetener present in different food products, such as candy and sugar-free gum. Since it leads to a drop in blood sugar, seizures, and weakness, you should avoid sharing any xylitol-containing food with your pets. 

In some cases, it also causes liver failure. 

  1. Household Cleaners

Like humans, household cleaners also pose a health risk to animals. When you use products like a window cleaner, paint thinner, antifreeze, or pool chemical, make sure to keep your pets away from the area. 

The common symptoms of chemical poisoning include digestive upset, chemical burns, depression, and renal failure. 

  1. Macadamia Nuts

Yes, they may be delicious and healthy for you, but they’re a huge no-no for your pets. That’s because Macadamia nuts cause depression, seizures, and vomiting in animals. Your dog may also have trouble walking after ingesting these nuts. 

  1. Coffee 

Coffee affects dogs quite like chocolate, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. If your pet has consumed too much coffee, its heart may be overstimulated, often leading to death. 

  1. Fruit Pits 

If you have kids or pets at home, the one must-follow rule is to throw the pits away as soon as you eat a fruit rather than letting them sit on the table to be picked up later. On the one hand, pits pose a choking hazard to your pets. 

On the other, they contain a compound that increases salivation, causes seizures, and makes it difficult for your pet to breathe. 

  1. Plants 

If you’re a gardening enthusiast who also owns pets, you need to keep your interests far away from each other. Make sure your pets don’t get close to the plants, such as daffodils, sago palms, and tulips, as they are harmful to the animals’ health. 

Rhododendrons and azaleas might make your home look pretty, but they’re toxic for animals, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and coma in severe cases. 

On the other hand, the tulip bulbs lead to stomach problems, increased heart rate, and trouble breathing. 

  1. Marijuana 

Keeping your stash hidden from the pets is important not because they’ll judge you but due to its harmful effect on animals. Marijuana ingestion can result in lower heart rate, vomiting, stumbling, dilated pupils, and weakness. 

  1. Avocado 

Most people swear by the benefits of avocado, but your pet would like to disagree. The fruit has a high fat content, which is not healthy for your pets. The symptoms might begin with stomach upset, leading to pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas. 

  1. Insecticides and Lawn Products 

Anything that you spray on your plants to keep insecticides away is dangerous for your pets. It almost has the same effect on your dogs and cats as it does on pests or insects. 

Thus, you should keep your pets away from your kitchen garden. Don’t let them go outside when you’ve sprayed the lawn with chemicals. 


In this guide, we discussed some health tips for pets because most pet owners seem to be oblivious to the harms of everyday items. Thus, if you want to keep your dog healthy, you’ll have to be careful about not leaving your food all over the house. 

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