common household items that are poisonous to cats and dogs

Common Household Items Poisonous to Pets

Accidental ingestion of harmful substances causes thousands of pets to suffer each year and many substances are everyday items that are common each household. Sadly, ingestion of poisonous substances can lead to death, but luckily it is completely preventable by knowing how to poison proof your home. East Roswell Vet Hospital wants to provide you with helpful tips to educate you on the symptoms of poison ingestion and how to care for your pet if they have ingested a poisonous item.

Most Common Poisons to Pets

The Pet Poison Helpline has compiled a list of some of the most common poisonous substances for both cat and dogs. Please note these items are not listed in any order in terms of the level of toxicity.

Cat Toxins and Poisons:

  • Topical spot-on insecticides (OTC products containing permethrins)
  • Household cleaners
  • Antidepressants (not prescribed to pet or in excessive doses)
  • Lilies
  • Insoluble oxalate plants
  • NSAIDS (human forms or in excessive doses)
  • Cold and flu medication (e.g. Tylenol)
  • Glow sticks
  • ADHD/ADD medications and amphetamines
  • Mouse and rat poison

Dog Toxins and Poisons:

  • Chocolate
  • Mouse and rat poisons
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • NSAIDS (human forms or in excessive doses)
  • Cardiac medications
  • Cold and allergy medications
  • Antidepressants (not prescribed to pet or in excessive doses)
  • Xylitol
  • Acetaminophen
  • Caffeine pills


Human Foods Dangerous to Pets

ASPCA Animal Poison Control provides additional insight on the top human foods to avoid giving to your pet, despite how much they may be begging for a scrap!

  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Tea Leaves
  • Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Fat Foods
  • Spoiled/Rotten Foods
  • Raw Yeast/Dough
  • Coconut & Coconut Oil
  • Salty Foods
  • Xylitol (Sugar Free Foods)

Poisonous Plants to Pets

Although there are many types of plants there are a few that are especially toxic to pets. Please keep the below list in mind when gardening, decorating, or playing outside with your pet.

  • Autumn Crocus
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lilies
  • Oleander
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Daffodils
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Sago Palm
  • Tulips
  • Hyacinths

Human Medications Toxic to Pets

The Pet Poison Hotline reports that almost 50% of received calls are related to human medication poisoning. Below is the list of the top human medications that are most frequently ingested by pets:

  • NSAIDs (e.g. Advil, Aleve and Motrin)
  • Acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol)
  • Antidepressants
  • ADHD/ADD medications
  • Benzodiazepines and sleep aids (e.g. Xanax)
  • Birth control pills
  • ACE inhibitors (e.g. Zestril, Altace)
  • Beta-Blockers
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Cholesterol-lowering agents aka statins

Recognizing the Signs of Poisoning in Your Pet

The symptoms that your pet will display can be extremely variable depending on what type of poison they have ingested. However, there are some common signs of poisoning that you can look out for.

If your pet has ingested any poisons or other toxic substances, they may display any of the symptoms below

  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, lack of appetite, nausea.
  • Internal Bleeding Symptoms: racing heartbeat, pale gums, vomiting/coughing up blood, weakness/tiredness, and unconsciousness.
  • Liver Failure Symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, black tarry stools, jaundice or yellow coloring to the gums, unusual behavior, weakness, and subsequent unconsciousness.
  • Kidney Failure Symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, lack of appetite, halitosis/bad breath, and decreased/no urination.

If you suspect that your pet may have been poisoned, please contact us immediately or call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680.

Poison-Proof Your Home

To reduce the likelihood of your pet being poisoned, please be proactive in poison-proofing your home by doing the following:

  • Secure all medications (prescription and over the counter) and cleaning products in an out-of-reach cupboard.
  • Prior to using cleaning products, please ensure that no pets are in the room and wait at least one hour before you let your animal’s re-enter.
  • Close your toilet lid to prevent your pets from drinking the water.
  • Evaluate the flowers and other plants in your yard to ensure they are not poisonous. The full list of poisonous plants is available on the Pet Poison Helpline website.

It is also imperative to not only educate yourself, but to educate your other household members, especially young children how may not even know what certain substances are.

  • If you believe your pet has ingested a toxic substance, please call the Pet Poison Hotline at 800-213-6680.
  • If you are located in the Roswell, GA area and are in need of care for your pet, East Roswell Vet Hospital would be happy to get your pet healthy once more. Please call (770) 642-1282 for availability.