Household Toxins Your Dog or Cat Should Avoid

March is Poison Prevention Month! Did you know that your home most likely contains a few pet poisons right now? Don’t fret, though—it just takes a few precautionary measures to make sure your dog or cat stays safe. Learn more here from a North Dallas, TX veterinarian.


A variety of human medications can cause pets serious harm if they’re ingested. The list includes aspirin, cough syrup and other common cold-and-flu medications, antidepressants, over-the-counter drugs, prescription pills, and much more. It’s important that you don’t allow your pets access to the medicine cabinet—keep it tightly shut at all times and store your pet’s own medications in a separate area so that nothing gets mixed up.

Toxic Foods

Garlic, onions, chives, leeks, scallions, shallots, grapes and raisins, chocolate, candy, gum, avocado, salty foods, fatty or buttery items, caffeinated foods and beverages… the list of potentially harmful foods for pets goes on and on! It’s best to keep your animal friend out of the kitchen entirely when you’re cooking; store any harmful foods in closed cabinets, containers, or the refrigerator where they belong.

Poisonous Plants

Many plants and flowers can cause irritation or serious poisonous symptoms if a pet manages to chow down on them. Dieffenbachia, elephant ear, oleander, ivy, lilies, daffodils, tulips, poinsettia plants, rhododendron or azalea, and certain types of aloe plants are among the most common offenders. Check with your veterinarian for a full list, and ask what types are most common in the area where you live.

Cleaning Chemicals

Of course, all kinds of cleaning products can cause pets serious harm. Although your pet isn’t likely to seek out cleaning chemicals to ingest, it’s still best to play it safe. Always keep your supply closet shut tightly so that pets can’t reach the products inside. It’s also a good idea to move your pet elsewhere for a time if you’re using strong chemicals that give off fumes.

Pesticide Products

We often use pesticide and rodenticide products in our homes to ward off insect or rodent intruders. It’s important to remember that these products are, in fact, poisonous, designed to kill the critters that come in contact with them! If you use pesticides, make sure you’re choosing a pet-safe variety, and always place pesticide products with extreme caution.

Would you like even more tips for keeping pets safe at home? Call your North Dallas, TX veterinary clinic.

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