Common Things At Your Home That Are Dangerous For Your Pet

Amazingly, many of our beloved pets could have been living in a minefield all this time. That’s right; these common things you have at home could be extremely dangerous to your pets.

Many of us have a four-legged friend as a part of our family. Did you know that people are spending more than ever on pet care? With the rising cost of living, the push to maintain a stable career, and the long travel, it appears as though more people are opting for pets instead of children. Now, it’s thought that almost 60% of households across America have a pet, with 25% opting for a cat and 38% choosing a dog. As well as having a welcoming face waiting for you every time you return home, it turns out there are also several health benefits to owning a pet, too.

Increasing your exercise and lower stress levels are just some of the many things that many pet owners can enjoy. It’s only right that the majority of us want to do everything we can to keep our furry friends safe, right? Believe it or not, but these common things you have at home could actually be extremely dangerous to your pets.

Caffeine and chocolate

Many of us love a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or a late-night indulgence, but keeping all that caffeine and chocolate within reach of your pets could have disastrous effects.

Caffeine found in tea bags or dry coffee grounds can be enough to see high blood pressure, tremors, and abnormal heart rhythms.

A substance known as theobromine is also found in both caffeine and chocolate. If your pet eats too much chocolate, they could have a cardiac arrest, seizures, or even pass away as a result. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous the effects, but white chocolate is just as bad thanks to the amount of sugar found in each bar.

Air fresheners

Not all of us want to live with a constant smell of pets in the air. However, you might want to think twice before you use that air freshener.

Many cats find liquid air fresheners all-too tempting but could end up with a burned mouth and difficulties with their digestive system as a result.

Plus, many spray air fresheners contain irritants. As well as being bad for our skin, they can be even worse for our pets who might find them stuck in their fur. As if that wasn’t enough, they could also be toxic for fish tanks if the air fresheners get into their water supply.


Not only could fertilizers be potentially dangerous for our pets, but many experts believe that dogs find them almost irresistible.

That’s because they often come with a chocolatey smell to our dogs, while the natural and organic gardening products could contain feathers or bone meal – more desirable odors for our four-legged friends.

Thankfully, most fertilizers aren’t fatal, but they could have some side effects if your pets decide to dig around in your plants, including an upset stomach. The likes of flower bulbs, plant food, and mulch are more likely to be fatal for your pets, so it’s important to watch while they’re in the yard.


Glue isn’t always necessarily toxic. It’s the side effects that come with the stuff that can cause so many issues. Some pets could be tempted to eat glue.

However, it can cause coughing, an upset stomach, and irritation if it’s ingested. Swallowing the paste could also cause it to swell inside your pet, which could later lead to blockages.

It’s not just the internal effects that can be disastrous. Getting on your pet’s skin can cause a lot of irritation, especially if it dries and you try to remove it from their fur, as well as leading to further ailments if the glue gets near your pet’s eyes and ears

Raisins and grapes

It can be tempting to give our pets a little treat off our plate. After all, have you ever tried to ignore those puppy dog eyes or that silent yowl?

It’s tough. Unfortunately, you might want to think twice about what you’re handing over, especially when it comes to raisins and grapes.

No one knows what it is in these that makes them so toxic. However, they can have sudden and fatal effects for both dogs and cats as they eventually cause kidney failure. It’s essential to seek medical help if your pet ingests either of the food to make sure they are healthy.

English ivy

Many people around the world have fallen in love with English ivy-covered homes. Sadly, it looks as though they could be dangerous for all the family.

That’s right; many people can have allergic reactions to the plant that could even lead to breathing difficulties. English ivy can also be toxic to pets if they eat any of the plant.

Not all of the toxins are fatal for cats and dogs, but they can cause excessive salivation, abdominal pain, or an upset stomach. Thankfully, English ivy makes up for its effects by being a great way to help clean the air.


This might sound like a strange one, but hear us out. Many types of dust could have disastrous consequences for your pets. This is especially important if you are doing any kind of home renovations.

There is a reason that we usually wear protective gear whenever we are sanding or in rooms filled with dust, and the same goes for your pets.

Many homeowners need to be extra careful if they are renovating a home that was built in the 1970s. This is because many contain surfaces finished with lead paint. Inhaling the dust or licking it off their feet could cause poisoning or seizures.

De-icing salts

The long, cold winter can be enough to see many of us look for any way to remove the ice. You might want to hold off on pouring any on your path if you have pets in your family.

These products have high salt contents, which can have dangerous effects on our four-legged friends.

Many pets walk over the salt and think nothing more of it. That is until they later lick their paws and ingest some of the salt. Others may find the salt dries out their pet’s paws and leaves them with painful sores. Investing in pet shoes can help to avoid any accidents.

Bread dough

Many of us love to make fresh bread – or at least turn our hand to the kitchen every now and then. However, you might want to make sure that you keep that dough out of the way of your animals.

Sadly, leaving it out where our pets can reach it can make it look like a tempting treat when they are hungry.

If your pet does eat raw dough, then you need to get them to a vet as it will start to expand in their stomachs. This can lead to blockages and complications in their digestive system, which could have fatal consequences.

Some flea medication

Being a pet owner means there are often many things that we need to do to keep them safe. One of the steps on the list is making sure they are free from fleas.

Sadly, not all flea and lice medicines are safe for all pets. Some human and dog treatments on the market contain permethrin.

Although this is safe for us and canines, it is toxic to cats. You need to make sure that medications are safe for felines and keep them away from anyone who has used one of the other flea and lice treatments until it has worn off.

Holiday decorations

The holidays can be a great time to celebrate. As well as spending time with family and busying yourself wrapping gifts, the holiday season can see many of us decorate our homes. Sadly, this can come with a host of risks to our pets.

Some become stressed at the colors and lights, especially if they can no longer get to their favorite spot in the house.

Others might end up getting caught in the lights or tinsel only to find themselves in danger. Experts recommend making sure that your pet can still get to their favorite spots as well as leaving a decoration-free zone for your furry friend.


This might seem like a simple item that needs to be kept out of everyone’s reach in the family, but many don’t realize that bleach can cling to surfaces for a long time.

Sometimes, the product can stay on the floor only for our pets to lick their feet and ingest the stuff while other times they might accidentally drink the diluted mixture out of a bucket.

Some mild, diluted bleach solutions can be treated at home by washing your pet with lots of water and getting them to drink plenty of fluids. However, most of the time, it’s best to get your pet to the vet.


While lilies might be a beautiful addition to many homes, they can be dangerous for pet owners – especially if you have cats in your home.

Not all lilies are thought to be hazardous, but most varieties that people keep in their home are off-limits. All parts of the plant are dangerous.

This includes if your cat gets some pollen on their fur and later licks it off by mistake. Even a small amount of lily poisoning can be enough to permanently damage your cat’s kidneys or lead them to pass away. In fact, a cat can go through kidney failure from the flower in as little as 36 hours.

New pennies

Did you know that pennies could be more dangerous for your pets than you ever realized? Yes, they pose a choking hazard, but that’s not all.

Any pennies that have been minted after 1982 also come with a high zinc content. Zinc is an important component in a balanced diet.

However, too much of the stuff can lead to zinc toxicity. Some crucial signs to look out for are a change in personality, an upset stomach, or jaundice in both dogs and cats. One of the best ways to make sure you keep your pets safe is to store any pennies out of their reach.

Rubber bands, yarn, or string

Cats love to chase yarn and play with string, right? While they might be having a good time, you might not be helping their health in the long run.

Many cats love to chew on their toys. This means that it might not be long before they accidentally ingest some of that yarn.

It was only supposed to be there for fun, but your cat could soon find themselves at the veterinary clinic with intestinal blockages as the toys have got stuck. That’s not all. Rubber bands, yarn, and string don’t always show up on x-rays, so it could be tough to know where the problem is occurring.


Perhaps you’ve cooked up a roast dinner and want to share a bone with your dog to gnaw on? Maybe you’ve enjoyed some fresh fish and think that your cat will enjoy a slice?

While it might seem like a nice thought, it could actually be dangerous for your animals.

Some fish contain small, hidden bones that we don’t know about until we eat the meal. Plus, fresh bones can splinter when a dog is chewing on them. This means that small pieces could accidentally be ingested – and cause a lot of pain and trouble as a result. Sometimes, it’s best to stick to labeled cat and dog treats.

Essential oils

Essential oils can be used for a whole range of benefits. While they might help your home to smell nice, they could also have disastrous effects on your cat.

This is because cats lack a particular essential enzyme in their liver that helps to process many toxins – including essential oils.

They don’t always have to be ingested. In fact, cats can quickly absorb many components through their skin if the oils are in the air. Some of the most common yet dangerous oils for your feline friend include tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, Ylang Ylang oil, sweet birch, and peppermint oil.


Ah, the generation of avocado-lovers is upon us as anyone and everyone appears to want to get their hands on the fruit.

It’s one of the trendiest options thanks to the many health benefits. Just because it can be great for us, doesn’t mean that it will have the same benefits for our pets.

Avocados contain a toxin called persin. This can be dangerous for cats, dogs, rabbits, goats, horses, and birds – just to name a few. Some side effects of consuming persin include an upset stomach, damage to the heart, and the high-fat content could lead to pancreatitis. The stone could also be a choking hazard.

Mother-in-law’s tongue

This is a common plant that is found in many homes and offices as people often consider it to be lucky. Sadly, it might not be so lucky for your pets.

Both cats and dogs could feel the effects of ingesting mother-in-law’s tongue. Some symptoms include drooling or an upset stomach, but have no fear; this plant isn’t usually life-threatening.

Be sure to track your pet’s symptoms so you can accurately answer any of your vet’s questions. Most of the time, vets won’t need to have any follow-up appointments as treatments typically take just 24 hours to take effect.

Sugar-free products

Foods such as sugar-free gum or peanut butter can be a great way to cut out a lot of sugar in our diet. Sadly, our pets might not thank us for the change.

Peanut butter can be an excellent treat for dogs as it can easily be placed inside toys or be used as a good way to disguise any medication.

Unfortunately, xylitol is often used as a sugar substitute. However, dogs process xylitol a lot faster than humans as they secret a tremendous amount of insulin in less than 30 minutes. This could cause their blood sugar levels to dangerous levels and even lead your pets to pass away.

Trail mix

It’s best to make sure that all human food is kept away from your pets to make sure they don’t accidentally eat something they shouldn’t.

However, making sure that trail mix is out of their reach can be essential. Cashews are high in fat, meaning it might not be long before your pet piles on the pounds.

The same goes for pecans. Walnuts are another nut that should be kept off the menu as they are large and can cause internal blockages. As if that wasn’t enough, the chocolate and marshmallows in trail mix cause problems all on their own.

Motor oil

Mange is one of the many things that various pet owners have to deal with. It can be a tricky ailment to manage, but it can be handled with specialist shampoos and skincare treatments.

Some people have been led to believe that using motor oil on their pet’s skin can help rid the condition.

Sadly, this does nothing but cause major irritation and toxicity. Some pets will start to feel the effects of motor oil merely by breathing it in while others could find themselves in danger if they ingest the oil. It might not be long before your pet loses all control of their body.

Tuna and milk

Did you know that most cats are actually lactose intolerant? Yes, all of those stories of cats enjoying a warm plate of the good stuff on a cold winter’s evening could have led us down the wrong path.

It’s not thought to be lethal, but too much milk can cause an upset stomach.

Another food that is commonly fed to cats is tuna. Sadly, this could be another item to leave off the menu. Eating too much tuna throughout their lives can lead to malnutrition as it’s not entirely balanced. Plus, the high levels of mercury can be dangerous for kittens or older cats.

Open cans

Perhaps your cooking up a delicious meal and want to clean the kitchen once you’ve enjoyed your dish? Maybe you left your recycling on the countertop and forgot to take it outside?

Whatever the case, it could be time to start thinking about where you leave your open cans if you want to keep your pets out of harm’s way.

One simple way offered up by the Humane Society is to make sure the edges of your cans are pressed over to avoid any sharp edges. However, you may still need to keep the recycling boxes locked away so that no wandering noses find them when you’re gone.


If you have any leftover pizza from your takeout, then it might be time to start ensuring you keep the slices out of the way of your pets.

That’s because many of the toppings used on pizzas can be dangerous for our pets. Cheese is high in lactose, which can lead to an upset stomach.

Plus, garlic and onions belong in the same family of foods. Garlic is the worst offender as it is extremely dangerous to cats and dogs, with some breeds being more at risk than others. Garlic can lead to anemia and damage to the red blood cells as they become more likely to rupture.


Of course, it might go without saying that medicines are dangerous for anyone who isn’t supposed to be taking them, but they could be more dangerous for our pets than many of us ever realized.

Our pets might see the small tablets and think they are a treat, especially if they are kept in a jar that rattles.

One of the most dangerous types of medicine are ones used to treat pain. Even a small dose for a cat could be enough to damage their red blood cells, which could affect their ability to carry oxygen. For dogs, too many of the tablets could eventually cause liver failure.


Cats are thought to be more likely to feel the effects of mothballs while dogs have more chance of eating them. There are many different types of mothballs on the market, but most contain the same two active ingredients: paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene.

Sadly, the latter is twice as dangerous to pets and can have rapid side effects.

Initially, pets will often suffer weakness and tiredness with some having seizures. Prolonged exposure can lead to liver damage and cataracts with many pets absorbing the chemicals through their skin and breathing. Mothballs can also repel animals such as snakes or mice, which could be problematic if you keep them as pets.


Yes, it might sound like we’re being overprotective, but there is a good reason that windows could be dangerous. Many dogs and cats love to spend their time looking out the window.

So what happens if something scares them or they want to get down to the street? This could see our pets get seriously injured if they fall too far.

The ASPCA recommends that pet owners install sturdy window screens that fit tightly to the frame. This not only keeps them safe from falling out of the window, but it also helps to ensure they stay in place if they jump against the screen.

Fabric softener sheets

The feeling of pulling on some freshly washed clothes that are nice and soft thanks to fabric softener sheets can be tough to beat.

While many of us enjoy their work, pets could be at risk if they get a hold of the laundry aides. Many pets love the laundry room as it’s usually warm and they can climb into our clothes.

Sadly, most of the chemicals we use on our clothes could have devastating effects if they are accidentally ingested by our pets. The same goes for when we wash their clothes or bedding. It’s best to stick to eco-based products instead.


Have you thought that your pet has smelt better days? It could be tempting to grab your bottle of shampoo and give your cat or dog a quick bath.

It can seem like a harmless way to make your pet smell a little better, but it could have drastic effects. Human skin has a higher acidic level than our pets.

Using our shampoo can disrupt the natural balance of our dog or cat’s skin. In turn, this could soon be the perfect place for parasites or harmful bacteria to grow or dry out our pet’s skin, leading to excessive scratching and an uncomfortable feeling.