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DOG / health & care

What Household Items Are Dangerous for Dogs?

Keep these medications, cleaning products and foods away from your pup


Protect your Pet

Thousands of pets swallow toxic household products every year, resulting in poisoning or choking. Make sure your beloved pet stays safe by keeping the following items well out of reach.

If your dog swallows any of these, or any other item or substance you’re worried about, contact your veterinarian or an Animal Poison Control Center immediately.

Over-the-Counter Medication

Human vitamins, supplements and herbal remedies can be dangerous to pets. Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are also dangerous. Brand names include (but are not limited to):

  • Aleve
  • Motrin
  • Tylenol

Prescription Medication

Most prescription drugs meant for humans are dangerous to dogs. Contact a vet if your dog swallows any human prescription medication. These drugs are particularly toxic. Brand names include (but are not limited to):

  • Antidepressants: Effexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lexapro
  • ACE inhibitors: Zestril, Altace
  • ADD/ADHD medication: Concerta, Adderall, Ritalin
  • Benzodiazepines and sleep aids: Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Lunestra
  • Birth-control pills
  • Beta-blockers: Tenormin, Troprol, Coreg
  • Cholesterol lowering agents: Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor
  • Hormones: Estrogen, estradiol, progesterone
  • Thyroid medication: Amour Thyroid, Synthroid

Toxic plants

These plants can be dangerous or irritating to pets:

  • Autumn Crocus
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Foxglove
  • Hyacinth
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lily
  • Mistletoe
  • Oleander
  • Poinsettia
  • Rhododendron
  • Sago Palm
  • Tulip

Dangerous chemicals and objects

These items and substances may be toxic, pose a choking hazard, or both.

  • Antifreeze
  • Bait traps
  • Batteries
  • Blood meal
  • Compost
  • Drain cleaner
  • Fertilizer
  • Foam insulation
  • Foil
  • Insecticide
  • Paint
  • Paint thinner
  • Pennies
  • Pool chemicals
  • Rat poison
  • Salt water
  • Tar
  • Toads (depending on the species)
  • Lead paint
  • Zinc

Dangerous food

Certain “people foods” can be toxic or cause serious health conditions, such as pancreatitis:

  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Avocado
  • Baby food
  • Bread dough
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee or coffee grounds
  • Dairy products
  • Fatty foods (including fat from meat; many kinds of nuts)
  • Garlic
  • Meat drippings
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Grapes
  • Onion
  • Raisins
  • Raw meat
  • Spinach
  • Sugarless gum
  • Sugarless candy
  • Unripe tomatoes
  • Xylitol (an artificial sweetener)

If your pet swallows any of these things, call your vet or an Animal Poison Control Center immediately.