Household Hazards & Poisons For Dogs

Dog in garbage header

The inquisitive nature of dogs, especially young puppies and hounds that were bred to follow a scent, can sometimes get them into serious trouble around their home. Dogs love to sniff, explore, chew, and eat or lick things that seem tasty or smell pleasant, even things that are toxic to them. That’s why it’s best to keep all products you wouldn’t want a baby or toddler to get into away and out of reach from your dog. Below are some common household hazards, and suggestions on how to keep your dog from getting to them.


Cleaning products

Dachshund chewing on hose

Cleaning products can be used safely in your home around your dog, but be sure to use them carefully, especially if they contain ammonia or bleach. Ingesting bleach can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe burns in your dog. Have proper ventilation when needed, make sure all caps and lids are tight and secure, and keep pets away from cleaned areas until those areas dry. Store cleaning products out of reach of pets, such as in a cabinet or closet.

This includes: steel wool, rags or sponges soaked with cleaning fluids, liquid and tablet detergents, polishes.


Food and garbage

Dachshund and garbage

In addition to the several foods that are toxic to dogs, an indoor or outdoor garbage or recycling bin can also be hazardous--especially when it contains moldy or rotten food or animal bones. Turn your garbage bin lid inside out or upside down over the can to keep your dog from getting into it, or block it with a chair or gate. For dogs known to be curious explorers, keep your garbage bins out of reach altogether, such as behind a closed door.

This includes: alcohol, broken glass, raw meat, egg shells, straws, plastic cutlery, peels and rinds, coffee filters and grinds, and any products containing xylitol.



Dog with toilet paper

Prescription and nonprescription medications can be very harmful to your dog if ingested, making them very sick. Keep bottles tightly capped and all containers and boxes out of reach.

This includes: pain relievers; cough, flu, and cold medicines; sleeping and diet pills; liquid medicines; vitamins and supplements.



Building a dog house

Your dog won’t know the difference between one of his chew toys and a screwdriver. Chewing or stepping on household tools can cause choking, broken teeth, injury, or lacerations. Tools, especially small parts, are best left in a secure toolbox in the garage or shed.

This includes: hammers, nails, staples, screws, bolts, wires and cords, tacks, paint, poisons and pesticides, batteries, razors and scrapers.



Dog in a laundry basket

Yes, even your laundry can be hazardous to your dog--chewing or ingesting items such as socks, underwear, shoelaces, and hosiery can cause choking and/or serious blockages. Keep dirty laundry in hampers, and put clean laundry away promptly.

This includes: Dryer sheets; liquid, tablet, or powdered detergents; bleach; small accessories like scarves; buttons

Other items that can be hazardous to dogs include: ice melt, children's small toys (i.e. doll shoes, beads), scented candles and lighters or matches, cosmetics and hair dyes, certain types of plants.

This may seem like a lot of things to worry about, but preventing your dog from getting into any of these household hazards could save his life. If you haven’t already, teach him the Leave It! command when you notice him going off to investigate something hazardous. For times when you aren’t at home, be sure all items are securely out of reach before you leave the house. Crate him if necessary, especially if he’s known to counter surf or open doors. If your dog has ingested or become injured by any of these or other products, seek veterinary attention right away. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.

Emergency First Aid for Dogs

Even the most responsible pet owner can't always protect their pet from a sudden accident or illness. Getting your pet immediate medical attention can be the difference between life and death. Download this e-book to learn more about what to do in an emergency situation.

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