8 Household Items Hazardous to dogs & cats

Household hazards for Pets

Household hazards

When it comes to health hazards for your precious fur kids, we all know to hide the chocolate and to keep bleach out of reach, but what about the much lesser known threats lurking in the house?

Pets are more vulnerable than people to exposure to toxins in and around the home. Since pets are smaller, they are closer to carpets, garage floors, lawns and restricted spaces which may harbor chemical and pesticide residues. Their natural curiosity, coupled with a lack of awareness about hazards, make them more likely to encounter substances and items harmful to their health or even fatal. Did you know that swallowing dental floss can cause strangulation? Or that macadamia nuts are poisonous?

Animals have faster metabolisms and smaller lungs than we do. Their bodies have to work harder to try and eliminate these toxins. Not only are they processing these chemicals at a faster rate, they are also breathing them in more rapidly.

Most pet owners go to great lengths to care for their pets, but in our ever changing world, there are health hazards to pets which are easily overlooked.

Here are just a few of the most common hazards that vets regularly deal with.


Household hazards

Grape and raisin (dried grapes) toxicity is well documented in dogs. Although the exact substance that causes the toxic reaction is not known, dogs should not eat grapes and raisins because even small amounts can be fatally toxic for a dog. Ingesting both grapes and raisins can send dogs into acute renal failure and for those of us with human kids and fur kids, be extra careful. Your toddlers spilt box of raisins can be devastating for your pup and your family.


Household hazards

Many homeowners like the plant Crassula Ovata, or more commonly known as jade plant, friendship tree, lucky plant, or money tree, is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers. It is a popular plant because it’s so low maintenance, but this rubber perennial is toxic to dogs. In addition to causing vomiting and a slow heart rate, it can make your puppy depressed.


Household hazards

Little coloured pills can look exciting and so very tempting for your fur kid. Something new and fun to chew on. It’s scary to think of how accessible some of these everyday items are to our oets. The concentrated caffeine and ephedrine content of diet pills makes just 1 or 2 of them potentially toxic for a small dog and high doses of birth control pills can lead to serious bone marrow problems. Hide them!


Household hazards

Many homes love a little candle light ambiance of an evening or the subtle fragrance of a scented candle wafting throughout our home, but these innocent looking chunks of wax can be a huge hazard for our inquisitive pups! Eating candles can cause serious gastrointestinal issues in dogs, and burns can be especially hard to treat on a dog. Be sure to always keep your candles up high and out of reach or for ultra safety, opt for electric candles instead.


Household hazards

Photo credit: goodhousekeeping.com

Another innocent looking item in our homes are dryer sheets. Perhaps a lot of people don’t realise that these fine little sheets are toxic? Dryer sheets are highly concentrated with chemicals designed to eliminate static cling, such as benzyl acetate, camphor, or even chloroform, all of which can be toxic or even fatal if ingested. Next time you’re folding laundry, make sure your dog or cat doesn’t accidentally mistake the dryer sheet for a toy.



Liquid potpourri and essential oils are popular for their use in aromatherapy and alternative medicine, or even just to keep your home smelling fresh. However, they are often packed with things like cinnamon, pine, and citrus which can have an adverse effect through skin exposure alone. There have been many reports of animals harmed, even dying, from essential oils.

Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia, has received a bad rap lately, most likely stemming from the fact that it is so widely available. Well-meaning owners have used this oil to treat dermatological afflictions such as bites and scratches, only to end up at the veterinarian’s office with an animal exhibiting signs of toxicity, such as ataxia, in-coordination, weakness, tremors, vomiting or depression.



Onions, they are natural right? They wouldn’t harm anyone right? Wrong! Onions can zap doggy red blood cells which can result in Heinz Body Anaemia, a potentially life-threatening condition. Even just onion powder is enough to do this, so be sure dispose of scraps well and to read all ingredient labels before feeding your pup something new.


Household hazards

Although they keep your wardrobe looking good, these little balls contain toxic fumigants that should be kept away from pups. Be on the lookout because dogs are quite attracted to mothballs, the chemicals in which can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin, or absorbed through the stomach and intestines, and can result in serious illness.

While this may all seem daunting to an animal lover, all is certainly not lost. A little knowledge can go a very long way to living a safe and happy life with your most precious friend.

For more information and additional hazards visit: http://kb.rspca.org.au/what-household-dangers-must-i-protect-my-pet-from_74.html

Leave a reply