Household Items That are Toxic to Pets


The American Animal Hospital Association’s excellent PetsMatter blog recently posted an article by veterinarian Dr. Anna Coffin about the dangers of common household items to pets. Take a look at this list of the different kinds of pet toxins to see if you need to check around your house and make sure they are out of reach of your pets.

Acids and Alkalis: Products containing these substances can cause irritation to your pet’s skin, eyes, and gastrointestinal tract. Common acids include batteries and drain and toilet bowl cleaners. Common alkalis are bleach, dishwashing detergent, and oven cleaners.


Rodent Poisons: Different types of rodenticides contain different active ingredients that pose dangers to pets. Keep all away from your pets and make sure your cat does not catch and eat any rodent that may have eaten the poison.


Tea Tree Oil: A common antiseptic found in many medicine cabinets. Highly diluted tea tree oil products are considered to be non-toxic, but even a few drops of 100% tea tree oil can poison your pet, and 2-4 teaspoons can be fatal to both dogs and cats.

Glue: Pets can experience gastrointestinal problems if they ingest glue. Be especially careful with Gorilla glue, which contains an ingredient that will quickly expand into a large mass in the stomach. Surgery is usually required to remove it.


Photo by Russ Hendricks

Glow Sticks: Glow stick toys and jewelry are popular with kids, but make sure they don’t let the family pet break open and ingest the liquid inside. It is extremely bitter and will cause drooling, gagging, and vomiting.

Liquid Potpourri: The type of liquid home fragrance that is warmed in pots is very toxic to cats. Licking this substance could cause chemical burns in a cat’s mouth, and also organ damage.

For the full list of household items that are toxic to pets, check out Dr. Coffin’s article in the PetsMatter blog HERE.