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Extensive List of Poisons that are Harmful to Pets of All Shapes and Sizes

Pet Poisons may not be everywhere, but there may be more than you realize. From dogs to horses, check out these lists of items to keep away from your pet.

You’re a lucky one if you haven’t experienced the sudden fear of seeing your pet eat something you know is a pet poison. From the grapes left on the counter to a puddle of Clorox, there are countless ways for your pet to unknowingly make themselves sick.

The best practice for safety against pet poisons is to be aware of the things that can be dangerous for your animal companion. Examine the below lists of threatening items to keep away from your pet.

1. Foods

It’s normal for animals to seek out the tasty foodstuff, and something as trivial as heat or stashing it “out of reach” isn’t always going to stop them.

You may also find that a daily walk brings a pet into contact with foods you know you wouldn’t feed them, but someone has left it behind.

Before you have a chance to take it away, your pet sniffed it out and scarfed it down. The below pet poisonous foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, cardiovascular problems, depression, and/or death. Always be vigilant of these foods in proximity to your pet.

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
    (While not ideal for cats and dogs, this food is extremely toxic for birds, rabbits, horses, cows, goats, and sheep. ASPCA notes that “the biggest concern is for cardiovascular damage and death in birds and rabbits. Horses, donkeys and ruminants frequently get swollen, edematous head and neck.”)
  • Black Walnuts
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus
  • Coconut
  • Bones
    (Cooked bones are dangerous for your pet because they’re more likely to sprinter and break. This increases the probability of internal punctures in your pet. You also don’t want to pass a raw bone to your pet without knowing if it’s okay for them. Ideally, purchase a bone from a pet store. (Pork bones, rib bones, and bones small enough to be swallowed whole should NOT be given to your pet.))
  • Garlic
  • Grapes (and raisins)
  • Eggs (raw)
  • Macadamia nut
  • Milk
  • Onions (and chives)
  • Raw Meat
  • Salty Foods
  • Xylitol - Sugar substitute
  • Yeast Dough

2. Medications

Over-the-counter medications should not be given to your pet without direction by a veterinarian. Meds that help you as a human may end up being a pet poison.

Prescription medication can cause seizures, diarrhea, cardiovascular issues, and more in pets.

Medication for animals is to be used responsibly by reading the label and not cross-species medicating. What works for your dog could be toxic for your cat. What helps your cat could be dangerous for your rabbit. Read the label and discuss it with your vet before giving medications to all your different animals.

3. Household Products

Many people know that household products are not safe for human or animal consumption; however, it’s easy to forget that our pets can get into anything and everything if they put their mind to it.

It’s our responsibility to make sure these poisonous items stay out of reach and remain inaccessible to our animal friends. Here are things to make sure you stash away safely.

  • Antifreeze
  • Cocoa mulch
  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Heavy Metals
    (poor or cheaply made toys, coins, paint, fishing lures, and even some cage materials)
    (These are especially bad for birds.)
  • Insecticides and pesticides
  • Lawn fertilizers
  • Liquid potpourri
  • Mothballs
    (This item may seem harmless, but the American Veterinary Medical Association explains “mothballs that contain naphthalene can cause serious illness, including digestive tract irritation, liver, kidney and blood cell damage, swelling of the brain tissues, seizures, coma, respiratory tract damage (if inhaled) and even death (if ingested).”)
  • Paints and solvents
  • Rodenticides
    (While these can be useful to rid your home and/or farm of rats and mice, remember these poisons can be dangerous for your pets too. ASPCA shares that rodenticides tend to have a grain base, making them attractive to horses as food.)
  • Various household cleaners (including bleach and toilet bowl cleaners)
  • Swimming pool chemicals
  • Salt dough Christmas tree ornaments and play dough
  • Weed Killers

4. Plants and Flowers

Many plants are toxic for pets. It’s hard to think that something fresh, green, or colorful could be bad, but let’s not forget that even beautiful things can be deadly. Cats love a good swat and chew on plants, but if you see them with lilies, be aware they could end up with kidney failure.

And then you have plants that even humans shouldn’t ingest, such as foxglove or oleander, which can also cause cardiovascular problems for pets. Here are some other plants that may cause problems for your fur baby.

  • Aloe Vera
  • Amaryllis
  • Castor Bean
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cyclamen
  • Corn Plant
  • Daffodil
  • Daphne
  • Daylily and True Lily
  • Dogbane
  • English Ivy
  • Foxglove
  • Fungi
  • Gloriosa Lily
  • Golden Pothos
  • Hibiscus
  • Hyacinth and Tulip
    (The FDA mentions that sometimes a flower is toxic, but not all of it is as bad as its parts. Such as these flowers carry the majority of toxins in the bulbs.)
  • Hydrangea
  • Jonquil
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lily-of-the-Valley
  • Marijuana
    (The ASPCA notes there is a rise in pet poison cases within the United States concerning marijuana. As more states legalize it, the probability of a pet getting their beaks, paws, or claws on the substance increases. Symptoms of this poison are “depression, ataxia, mydriasis, bradycardia, hypothermia and urinary incontinence.” Then, in rare cases, your pet may fall into a coma or have seizures.)
  • Mother-in-Law Tongue
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Narcissus
  • Oleander
  • Paperwhite
  • Peace Lily
  • Philodendron
  • Poinsettia
  • Rhododendron and Azalea
  • Rosary Pea
  • Sago Palm
  • Schefflera
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Yew Bush

Stay alert to the potential pet poisons around your house and land. Not all toxins are deadly, but no one likes to be sick, and that includes animals. If your pet does eat or show symptoms of toxins/poison, contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435). Your animal is depending on you to keep them safe, healthy, and loved.

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