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Pet Toxins Already in Your Home

June 15, 2014

Just about every typical household contains the following items. What you may not be aware of is that these items can cause serious harm to our four-legged companions! Your Lansdowne veterinarian fills you in on the details below.

Cleaning Products

The household cleaners we use on a regular basis all contain at least one ingredient that could be harmful to pets. Always keep your pet elsewhere if you’re using cleaning products, bleaches, solvents, ammonia, or any other potentially harmful chemical. Remember to store these containers on the top shelves of sealed cabinets or closets so pets have no chance of coming in contact with them.

Household Plants

Some types of common houseplants or garden plants can be dangerous for pets, especially if your cat or dog is the curious type who will nibble on whatever’s available. Lilies are toxic to cats, and tulips, chrysanthemums, azalea, rubber plants, and even poinsettias can be dangerous if a pet ingests enough. Remove these plants from your home and garden, and ask your vet for a complete list of potentially harmful vegetation.


Do you use pesticides in your home to ward off insects or intruding rodents? Remember that these products are literally poisons, and they’re just as harmful to our cats and dogs as they are to the pests! Use these products with extreme caution, and place them in areas where pets don’t go.

Human Food

Our kitchens are one of the most hazardous rooms in the house for a pet. The list of potentially toxic or dangerous human foods is long: chocolate, candy and gum, alcoholic substances, baked goods, salt, onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, avocado, macadamia nuts, coffee and coffee grounds, and fatty foods are some of the most common offenders. Take care to store all harmful foods where a pet can’t reach, and never leave anything dangerous out on the kitchen table or countertops.

Human Medicine

A variety of human medications can be harmful to pets: antidepressants, pain relievers like aspirin, prescription pills, and over-the-counter drugs are all very dangerous. Store these medications in a locked cabinet, and never store them near your pet’s actual medicine. Getting the two mixed up could lead to disaster!

Ask your Lansdowne veterinarian about other pet toxins already inside your home. By knowing what to watch out for, you can make your home the safest possible place for your beloved companion!