What are the most dangerous items in my house for my pets?

Question: What are the most dangerous items in my house for my pets?


Your house is filled with many lurking dangers. Most are those that can be eaten by your pets.

Chocolate is the first offender. Chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea but when large amounts are ingested it causes a life threatening heart condition. The most dangerous chocolate is dark chocolate or bakers chocolate.

The second danger is sugar free chewing gum. This gum contains xylitol, just 1 piece of chewing gum can cause death in a medium sized dog! Xylitol competes with your pet’s real sugar in his/her body and causes liver failure. Even half chewed gum can be dangerous. Please keep ALL GUM away from pets. Xylitol is also found in some toothpaste, mouth rinses and baked goods that are labeled “sugar free.”

Next are grapes! This sweet fruit makes an easy snack but in large amounts can cause kidney failure in a dog. In New England, several people have grape vines outside in their gardens and yards. Be very careful to remove any fruit from where a dog may be able to access it. Also remember raisins are toxic too, even more so than grapes because they are a concentrated grape!

The fourth hidden danger is ibuprofen and Tylenol. Many pet owners think it is safe to give your dog or cat these drugs but it is NOT. Both of these over the counter drugs are highly toxic to our pets (dogs, cats, rabbits to name a few.) Never give these for pain relief and keep all of these pain relievers away from where your pet could access them. Pain relievers for our pets need to be dispensed by a veterinarian.

Next be sure to keep ALL human drugs away from your pets. Human medication is made for humans, NOT PETS. Dosing is very different for animals so many human medications can be life-threatening to dogs and cats.

Besides food and medicines, dental floss and curling ribbon are often times a guarantee of a surgery for a cat. For some unknown reason, cats love string, dental floss and curling ribbon. When cats ingest this, they have a very good likelihood of having it get stuck at the base of the tongue and then it tries to be swallowed by the pet except it doesn’t go far because it is stuck at the base of the tongue.

Last, insect bait and rat/mouse bait are deadly to our pets. It is poisonous, it is meant to kill insects and rats/mice, so it makes sense that it can also kill our pets. Be sure to keep these out of reach of all pets and if they do ingest any, seek medical attention right away.