Dog shaking hand.

Maybe you’re bringing a new pet home. Or perhaps you’ve suddenly realized that your four-legged friends are probably capable of finding the bottle of bleach you keep under your sink. Whatever the catalyst, it’s time to pet-proof your house so you can keep your pets safe. Put your pets in a safe place and take a moment to learn about the common household items that could poison your furry friends. 

Poison Prevention Month: What Common Household Items Can Poison Your Pet

Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medications 

Whether they get into a bottle of Motrin, antidepressants, or veterinary heartworm pills, medications can cause your pets to get dangerously ill. Keep all medications locked in a cabinet or store them out of reach. If you suspect that your pet has ingested any medications or supplements, seek emergency veterinary care right away.

Paint, Glue, and Cleaning Supplies

Many of us keep our go-to cleaning supplies in easy-to-reach spots. Although it might be more convenient for us, all of these substances can compromise your pet’s safety. 

That’s because as nasty as they taste, your pet might still find them interesting to eat. Stay on the safe side by locking any drawers or cabinets where you store paint, cleaning supplies—including bleach and dishwasher pods!—or glue.

Plants and Gardening Products

Whether they’re inside your house or out in your yard, there’s a hefty list of plants that can hurt your pet, including:

  • Tulips
  • Azaleas
  • Crocuses
  • Daffodils
  • Oleander
  • Lilies
  • Aloe
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Borage

For a full list of plants that can harm dogs and cats, see the ASPCA’s extensive list of toxic plants. Also, keep in mind that common gardening products like fertilizer and bone meal can cause intestinal issues and pancreatitis. Herbicides contain chemicals that hurt pets, too. Make sure your pets don’t get into them after you apply them to plants in your garden. Or, choose pet-safe weed killers instead. 


If you have kids or routinely make delicious messes in the kitchen, pet safety depends on knowing which foods can hurt your furry friends. Common poisonous foods include:

  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Coffee
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Xylitol, which is often found in sugar-free products
  • Yeast dough
  • Raw or undercooked meat
  • Alcohol

Keep an eye on Fido whenever you’re cooking in the kitchen. Or better yet, keep your pets out of the kitchen entirely and clear away the food before you let them back in. 


We understand that it’s no fun having a rat or mouse problem. However, the rodenticides used to kill these creatures can also hurt your four-legged friends. Keep all rodenticides locked and out of reach when not in use. When you do use them, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your pets. 

Or, consider using a small live trap instead of rodenticides. Live traps are inexpensive, humane, and safe to use around pets. Just make sure to release the mice at least a mile from your house to keep them from returning. 

Insecticides and Pesticides

Whether it’s bug spray or plant spray, the ingredients in pesticides and insecticides can make your pets sick. Look for pet-safe bug sprays and pesticides instead. They’re probably better for the environment, anyway!

To learn more about how to ensure pet safety in your home, call us at (813) 654-6222. If your pet seems sick, schedule a same-day appointment with our caring veterinary team.