Top Household Threats for Pets

Our homes are filled with threats and hazards that put our pets at risk. Not only are there hazards at home, but in our backyards and out in our neighborhoods. If you’re wondering what household items can harm a dog or cat, here we look at the top threats and hazards for pets to help keep them safe and healthy.

Top Household Threats & Hazards for Pets

Common Household Threats for Pets

Many pet owners are unaware that food and drinks safe for us, could pose potential health risks for our pets including: 

  • Coffee grounds and tea bags
  • Fatty foods
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast dough
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Salt
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Any products containing the artificial sweetener xylitol (including some peanut butters)
  • Rotting food

Pet Health Tip from Vetnique

The best way to protect your pets from unsafe foods is to make sure your garbage is out of reach. This reduces the risk of contact with rotting food as well as any of the above foods you might have tossed in the garbage. These foods should also be kept in closed cupboards where pets can’t access them easily.

Household Items Poisonous to Dogs and Cats

Cleaning products present many dangers for pets ranging from stomach issues to skin and respiratory tract irritation and from burns to death. One of the most dangerous hazards is toilet water treated with flushable cleansers. Be sure to keep toilet lids closed to discourage pets from drinking toilet water. Protecting pets against harmful chemicals found in household cleaners requires a two-step approach:

  1.  Proper Use: First be sure you follow the instructions on the label whenever using your cleaning products. Many indicate you need to keep pets and children away from the area until the product is dry for example. Others might indicate they should only be used in well-ventilated areas, or that they must be rinsed away.

  2. Proper Storage: Cleaning products should be stored in a secure, preferably locked cupboard and always in their original packaging. This ensures you know what it is, and also that you follow the instructions for use.

When in doubt, throw products out to avoid the risk of improper use.  

Medications and Bathroom Items

Your medications and sundries should also be kept out of reach of your pets. Some of the most dangerous items in this category include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Diet Pills/Vitamins
  • Cold Medicines and antihistamines
  • All prescription drugs including antidepressants
  • Bath and hand soaps
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreens and lotions
  • Scented candles
  • Potpourri

Often perfumed items like soaps are a tempting treat for pets but can cause serious stomach issues.


Your garage and yard are filled with potential hazards including:

  • Antifreeze
  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Coolants
  • Fertilizers
  • Weed killers
  • Ice-melting products
  • Gasoline
  • Adhesives
  • Paints and Solvents

Remember, when using these items be sure to clean up any drips on the floor or ground that might tempt your pet to sniff or lick them. Be on the lookout around the neighborhood for this type of threat on driveways, lawns and gardens.
Dangerous Plats for Dogs


Whether your plants are indoors or out, they can make your pet sick if ingested or even licked. Illness can range from vomiting and diarrhea to heart and kidney failure or even death. Some of the biggest culprits include:

  • Lilies
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Oleander
  • Yew
  • Foxglove
  • Kalanchoe
  • Sago palms
  • Azaleas
  • Rhododendrons
  • Tulip/narcissus bulbs
  • Castor bean
  • Cyclamen
  • Amaryllis
  • Chrysanthemums

  • Pothos
  • English ivy
  • Philodendron
  • Corn plant
  • Mother-in-law’s tongue
  • Hibiscus
  • Hydrangea
  • Peace lily
  • Schefflera/schefflera.
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Shamrock
  • Yesterday-today-and-tomorrow plant
  • Autumn crocus
  • Glory lily

Ideally, you should check with your veterinarian about the safest plants to have in your home and garden to reduce the risk of serious illness.

Other Hazards

Some other unexpected household hazards include:

  • Tobacco
  • Batteries
  • Small items that pose choking hazards
  • Coins especially pennies
  • Electrical cords
  • Marijuana and other narcotics
  • Unfamiliar household pets 

Potential dangers outside the house include:

  • Wildlife such as coyotes, bears, snakes or raccoons (depending on your location)
  • Cars and other street traffic
  • Toxic plants
  • Chemical fertilizers and pesticides

If you believe your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t, don’t take any chances. Speak to your regular veterinarian or call an emergency veterinarian as soon as possible. In this situation, there is no time to lose, so taking action quickly is crucial. If you’re not sure whether your pet ingested something harmful, assume they did and take action accordingly.

If you do know what your pet ingested, bring the product container, or a sample of the plant to the vet to help them identify the possible poisons. This helps them make a quick assessment and decide the best steps required to help treat your pet. Get in touch with us at Vetnique Labs today online or call 800-643-7558 to speak to one of our experts for any non-emergency questions. 

Putting the Vet in Vetnique

Dr. James Bascharon set out on a mission ten years ago to create a pet supplement company unlike any other. After realizing there was no solution for pets with anal gland issues, Dr. Bascharon set out on a research mission to create a supplement specifically for this problem. After years of research, multiple patents, and collaboration with top industry professionals, Glandex® is now a veterinary renowned solution for pets with anal gland issues. This journey proved that with the correct nutritional supplementation, pets could lead healthier and happier lives. Vetnique Labs® continues with an innovative veterinary mindset and approach to help make a long-lasting impact on the health and well-being of millions of pets.

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