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101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet

Presented by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Hazards In The Home

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

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

26.   Common Plants (see our list)


If you think your pet has been exposed to a poisonous substance, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can help.  Call 1-888-426-4435, and consult with your veterinarian for follow-up care.  It may save your pet’s life.

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.

Harmful Foods

27.   Avocados

28.   Chocolate (all forms)

29.   Coffee (all forms)

30.   Onions & onion powder

31.   Garlic

32.   Grapes

33.   Raisins

34.   Macadamia nuts

35.   Alcoholic beverages

36.   Moldy/spoiled foods

37.   Salt

38.   Fatty foods

39.   Gum, candies or other foods sweetened with xylitol

40.   Tea leaves

41.   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.


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

43.   Batteries

44.   Bread twist ties

45.   Buttons

46.   Coins

47.   Cotton swabs

48.   Glass

49.   Hair pins

50.   Jewelry

51.   Nylons

52.   Paper clips

53.   Plastic wrap

54.   Socks

55.   Rubber-bands

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

57.   String, yarn, or dental floss

58.   Towels

59.   Wax

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.

Trouble Areas

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.

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