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Items in Your Household That Are Poisonous to Cats and Dogs


There are many joys that come with being an owner of a dog or cat. Pets provide comfort, happiness, and emotional support. Studies have been done that show owning a pet can help fight depression and can increase our odds of living longer, along with many other positives. With all the benefits that our pets provide us, we strive to do our best to care for them in return. 

When parents are expecting a new baby, they will go to great lengths to “baby proof” their home, such as keeping dangerous objects out of reach and installing cabinet locks. This same care and precaution needs to be applied to pets as well, for they are just as curious and able to get into places that can cause harm to their health.  Both dogs and cats have mischievous tendencies, and coupled with their ability to get into places they shouldn’t, this can spell disaster without preparation. 

It can be difficult to know how to prepare your home for every situation that can happen to your pet, especially when it comes to the consumption of a poisonous object. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of items around the house that pose a threat to your pets when consumed. With this knowledge, you can greatly decrease the chance of your pet eating any poisonous or dangerous items around your home. 

FOODS

Pets often beg for our food or try their best to snatch it off our plates and countertops. While we easily assume that they can eat “people food,” it is simply not the case. There are many food items that are poisonous to cats and dogs, many of which are the same for the two species. Consuming these items can lead to organ failure and death, so it’s important to know what to keep out of reach to prevent that from happening.

And please note that if you are hosting people over at your house where food will be out, make sure that it is placed high enough to be out of reach from your pets. If you have a cat who jumps onto countertops, you might have to keep them confined to a part of the house away from where the food will be. Also, make sure your guests know not to feed scraps of food to your pet. Unlike the movies, pets should not be given the leftover bits from your plate; save them for the real garbage disposal. 

Below is a list of food items that are poisonous or dangerous. 

Dogs:

  • Chocolate (especially dark chocolate and cooking chocolate)
  • Coffee
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Garlic
  • Avocado
  • Alcohol
  • Chicken Bones
  • Raw meat
  • Xylitol (an added sweetener)

Cats:

  • Caffeine drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast dough

PLANTS

Some plants can pose a very dangerous threat to curious pets who like to nibble on anything within reach. Be sure to check that the plants both inside and outside your home are nontoxic, in case your pet does ingest it. You might want to familiarize yourself with what these plants look like, so you can avoid them when taking your pet for a walk outside of your property zone. 

Below are a list of plants that are poisonous.

Dogs:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Ivy
  • Crassula Ovata/Jade
  • Dieffenbachia/Dumb Cane
  • Philodendron
  • Pothos
  • Sago Palm
  • Zamioculcas/ZZ Plant
  • Caladium
  • Corn Plant
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Foxtails

Cats:

  • Lily
  • Poinsettia
  • Aloe Vera
  • Azalea
  • Tulips
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Rhododendron
  • Mistletoe

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS

When it comes to items inside your home, it’s safe to assume that anything is fair game. Dogs and cats like to chew up things both big and small, fluid or solid, so try to see your belongings from their perspective. If you’re worried your pet could swallow it, causing an obstruction in their stomach, then place that item out of their reach.

Items poisonous/dangerous to both dogs and cats when consumed:

  • Batteries
  • Small toys and figurines
  • Plastic bags
  • String, yarn, and dental floss
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cleaning products
  • Fertilizer
  • Pest-control products
  • Garbage
  • Antifreeze
  • Jewelry
  • Dishwashing detergent

What To Do If Your Pet Consumes These Items

If your pet has consumed any of these items or if you suspect they have, it is important to act fast. Call your vet or poison control immediately. Take note of what your pet ate, how long ago they ate it, how much they ate, and what symptoms, if any, they are showing. If you are able to, bring the substance that was consumed with you to the vet; this will help the doctor during the examination. It’s important to note that cats are masters at hiding their pain, so it’s imperative to watch for any change in their behavior. 


Symptoms to watch for in both cats and dogs:

  • Breathing trouble
  • Change in bathroom habits
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Lameness (especially in cats) and weakness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors and shivering
  • Loss of appetite

If you have any questions, concerns, or are in need of guidance in the event that your pet consumes something they shouldn’t, feel free to contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. The health of your pet matters.