These Common Household Items Are Downright Dangerous for Dogs


When you think of dangerous items, a barrage of guns, scissors, and knives usually come to mind.

However, when you’re a pet parent, there’s a different inventory of hazards to worry about.

In order to dog-proof your home and keep your pup safe, here are some common household dangers. Identifying these dangers is the first step to keeping your four-legged friend as safe as possible.

Hazardous Non-Food Items

Batteries: These are necessary in every household (especially if you have kids’ toys!), but they’re definitely not good for dogs. The acid inside can cause mouth ulcers, and throat and stomach issues.

Toys: Kids toys aren’t made for dogs, and small pieces can cause choking or internal damage. This could be deadly.

Houseplants: Houseplants are having a moment right now, but not all pets are safe around pets and many can be toxic. Check this list of plants to avoid if you have pets.

Cleaning Products: Household cleaning products contain a lot of toxic chemicals. Cleaning products with ingredients like bleach, ammonia, chlorine, glycol ethers, or formaldehyde can put your pooch at risk for liver and kidney damage, anemia, and even cancer.

Fabric Softener Sheets: Did you know that fabric softener sheets also contain a lot of chemicals? These chemicals can harm your pet if they chew on or ingest a dryer sheet.

Insecticides or Rodenticides: These poisons are meant to kill, so clearly they can’t be good for our dogs, either. Rodenticides in particular use attractants that might also be intriguing to dogs, so these can be especially dangerous to have around the home.

Heavy Metals: No, I’m not talking about your music choices. I mean substances like lead and zinc, which can be found in paint chips, pennies, and other household items. These can cause serious medical issues if they wind up in your dog’s stomach.

Pharmaceuticals: Every household has a medicine cabinet, and all of those pharmaceuticals should be kept far, far away from pets. These medicines can do all kinds of irreparable harm to our pups, including death.

Hazardous Food Items

Chocolate: Sure, chocolate is a tasty treat for us humans, but it can cause serious harm to our pups. The caffeine and theobromine causes toxicosis and could cause seizures and even death. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are particularly harmful varieties.

Sweet Treats: Many sweet treats actually contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. On top of that, real sugar can lead to dental issues, obesity, and diabetes.

Coffee: Coffee obviously contains caffeine, so the risk is the same here as with chocolate — ingestion can be life threatening, and a moderate amount of coffee can easily cause death in small dogs.

Chicken Bones: Dogs love to gnaw on bones, but don’t give your pup chicken bones. They can splinter and do all sorts of internal damage.

Alcohol: The same as with humans, alcohol can cause liver and kidney damage. It can also cause acidosis and end in cardiac arrest.

Onions: These pungent vegetables contain a compound that destroys red blood cells, leading to hemolytic anemia in dogs. Pay careful attention to foods containing onion powder, too.

Garlic: Although garlic isn’t as dangerous as onions, it also destroys your pup’s red blood cells and can be just as damaging in a larger quantity.

Grapes: The toxic substance that affects our dogs in grapes is actually unknown, but it is well-known that these fruits can cause kidney failure. Remember that raisins are just dried grapes, so they count, too.

Macadamia Nuts: Much like grapes, researchers have yet to identify what causes this food to be toxic to dogs. In any case, we know that macadamia nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, tremors, and in serious cases, an inability to walk.