Household Hazards for your Hound to Avoid!

I’m sure we all agree that prevention is better than cure but unfortunately accidents happen! The important thing is to understand what everyday household substances are harmful to your furry friend and what to do should they consume any of them.

What Items can be Toxic for your Dog?

There are a number of household items that can be toxic to your dog. Dogs are naturally curious and they do not know the difference between things that are good for them and things that are not.These days, many household cleaning products even smell sweet so are easily sniffed out and many packaged in ‘chewable’ containers, so easy for your pooch to pierce.

Some of the most common poisonous things for your furry friend are:

  • Cleaning products
  • Insecticides
  • Toxic plants
  • Antifreeze
  • Chocolate
  • Human drugs & Medication

You may find the inclusion of chocolate surprising. The thing is that some types of chocolate can be really harmful for your pooch even though we can eat them without any problem. Never assume that if something is safe for us it is safe for them.

The amount of harm any poison will do to your dog is dependent on how much your pooch ingested, and how long this poison was in your furry friend’s body before the administration of any treatment.

A poison may not cause an immediate reaction. Sometimes the symptoms can take a few days or even weeks to emerge. So please don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, thinking they are OK just because they don’t display any reaction r sickness right away.

DON’T DELAY – if you see them ingesting a potentially poisonous substance then you need to take IMMEDIATE ACTION!

Get in touch with your nearest animal emergency center or your veterinarian right away.

Human Drugs and Medication

Keep your dog away from drugs. If someone in your family is taking prescription drugs then don’t assume that your pooch can’t reach the contents because there is a child proof lid. Your furry friend will be very persistent if they want something and it will not be too much of a problem for them to chew off a child proof lid. Just keep them out of the way.

Don’t be thinking that there is less of a risk with over the counter (OTC) drugs. Did you know that aspirin can be harmful to your pooch? Be sure to keep all medicines in a safe place far away from your furry friend.


Dogs like being around plants and there is always a temptation for them to eat a plant and destroy it. Most types of grass will not be toxic for your furry friend but the same is not true for many plants – Here’s a list of the most common house and garden plants that are a danger for your dog:

  • Aconitum
  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Asparagus fern
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil bulbs
  • Day lilies
  • Delphiniums
  • Foxgloves
  • Hemlock
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Laburnum
  • Lily of the valley
  • Lupins
  • Morning glory
  • Nightshade
  • Oleander
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Sweet pea
  • Tulip bulbs
  • Umbrella plant
  • Wisteria
  • Yew

To check how pet-safe your yard, why not click the link below for a full list of TOXIC and NON-TOXIC plants provided by the ASPCA:

In addition to plants don’t forget about FERTILIZERS – some are pet-safe but here are some ingredients used in fertilizers that can be FATAL to your furry friend without treatment:

  • Blood meal
  • Disulfoton or other types of organophosphates (OP)
  • Iron
  • Pesticides/Insecticides

Cleaning and other Household Products

A lot of household products contain a cocktail of chemicals that are toxic for your dog. Cleaning products often contain petroleum distillates, detergent, alcohol, soap and acids which are potential hazards for your furry friend. Vomiting and nausea are common with these products, but worse are chemical burns which can damage vital organs.

There are some other household products that are obviously dangerous such as insecticides, rat poison, weed killer, bait stations for insects and antifreeze. If your dog ingests any of these then they can suffer from severe symptoms that can be fatal if they are not treated immediately.

Human Food

We have already mentioned chocolate as a potential poison for your pooch. This is because most chocolate contains theobromine which is a real threat to your furry friend. Be careful with gum and other types of candy as they may contain xylitol which can damage your dog’s kidneys. It is common to find xylitol in grapes and raisons as well.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of items that can be poisonous for your furry friend. The best thing any responsible pet owner can do is to be educated on potential toxins both inside the home and out in the yard.

The Animal Poison Control also has an emergency number and useful information on their website

What should you do if you think your Dog has ingested Poison?

If you believe that your pet has ingested something harmful then take action immediately and call your veterinarian or local animal emergency center. Alternatively, you can call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center or Pet Poison Hotline, who both operate 24/7, 365 days a year.

Whoever you call, you need to provide the following ‘information’

  • The name of the poison you suspect your dog has ingested
  • How much they ingested
  • When they ingested it
  • Explain the symptoms your dog is displaying (if any)

Be sure to remove your pooch from the area where the poisoning took place. Check their breathing and don’t be tempted to administer anything such as a home remedy. NEVER induce vomiting UNLESS an expert tells you to do so.

Our canine companions depend on us to keep them safe – so keep any unavoidable toxins in a pet-proof container and out of their reach.

It may take a little while for you to do a full check on how poison-proof your property is, but please at least ensure you have an emergency telephone number to hand at all times and maybe download the ASPCA’s free Mobile App for Animal Poison Control.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always!



Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team



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