It is up to you to ensure that your pet(s) are kept out of harm’s way.

Many assume that home is the safest place for a pet, but there are common household items that can be potentially harmful to your pet – sometimes even lethal. Sometimes we don’t even know that they are a danger.

Food and drinks you may consume on a daily basis, or plants throughout your home, can be some of the most dangerous.

Here are some common foods and plants that can be toxic if ingested by your dog or cat (this is not a complete list):

– chocolate (all kinds)

– coffee (all varieties)

– gum (can cause blockages and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)

– aspirin and some prescription medication

– alcoholic beverages

– avocados

– onions and onion powder

– raisins and grapes and more

– lillies and many other plants

The easiest way to prevent your best friend from ingesting harmful foods or plants is to keep them out of reach…or to keep them out of your home entirely.

Sometimes you will need to be inventive with your hiding spots, because if your pet wants to munch on something they are not supposed to, they certainly can be creative!


“Keep out of reach” is the motto for keeping your pet safe! This applies not only to food and plants, but to household cleaners, gardening equipment, and other various items.

Adding antifreeze to your vehicle? Make sure to clean up any spill in the correct manner, as a small amount of the sweet-tasting liquid can be very harmful, even lethal. The best way to clean it up is to cover it with sawdust, or better yet, clumping cat litter! This will absorb all of the liquid, and allow you to easily sweep it up.

Keep in mind that this not only applies to your driveway or garage, but to the roadways as well. Any dog or cat walking by could easily lap up this harmful substance before their owners realize that it is there!

Fertilizing your lawn? Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully, paying close attention to the time that should lapse before your pet can walk on that area again. Most fertilizers are harmful if ingested, and can cause damage to little paws as well.

Salt used in the winter is also painful for your pet’s paws. When you’re walking your dog, PAWZ boots are great (they are rubber, so the paws touch the concrete. A lot of times with thicker booties, dogs want to kick them off).

If you think that your pet may have ingested a toxic substance, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

For more information on what the items mentioned above, as well as many other potentially poisonous or toxic items, please visit the

 ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center