Common Household Items That Are Dangerous For Pets

Jocelyn Bishop
February 19, 2016

Pet Parenting, Pet Safety

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A good rule of thumb when assessing household items and their danger to your pet is to think about you. If you tend to avoid consuming it, your pet should too. If you suspect that your pet consumed a dangerous item, please go see your veterinarian immediately*.

1. Batteries

Batteries aren’t just harmful to humans, they’re harmful to pets as well. Alkaline dry cell batteries can leak out acidic material or even generate an electric current that passes through tissue. The acidic material can create deep ulcers. Tand the electric current can cause necrosis as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. Lithium button type batteries are even worse, with the potential to cause severe necrosis within 15-30 minutes. Other batteries can contain heavy metals, which can lead to heavy metal toxicity. If you suspect that your pet has swallowed batteries, it’s advised to see your veterinarian as soon as possible (via PetPoisonHelpline).

2. Cleaning Products

This includes everything and anything that deals with cleaning, from bleach to laundry detergent and all-purpose cleaners. If it’s anything with a chemical that isn’t safe for humans to ingest, your dog or cat probably can’t either. Be sure to keep cleaners away from your pet while you’re cleaning. Also, make sure that they can’t get to them while the cleaners are  in storage. If your pet is one that loves to chew on their bedding, be sure that you’re washing anything they lay on or wear with all-clear detergent. If you suspect your pet has ingested any sort of cleaning product, go see your veterinarian.

3. Garage Chemicals

Depending on your garage, the items in them are going to vary. If it’s something that you would keep away from a fellow human, you should keep it away from your pet. This can include antifreeze, pool or spa cleaners, de-icers, motor oil, etc. If you think that your pet has ingested any garage chemicals, go see the veterinarian.

4. Heavy Metals

No, we’re not talking about Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. Heavy metals can be anything from lead paint chips to pennies to batteries. As toxic as they are for humans, they’re also toxic to pets. Heavy metal consumption can lead to heavy metal toxicity and other potential problems. If your pet has ingested any heavy metals, go see the veterinarian as soon as possible.

5. Medicines

The long story short here is, the only medicine that your pet should be consuming is something that was prescribed by a veterinarian and being given in the doses prescribed. Human medicines should not be given to your pet, nor should you stray from the prescribed dosage of their medicine. Depending on the medicine given, they can cause a variety of dangerous symptoms. If your pet has somehow managed to sneak into your medicine (or even theirs) and mistaken it for a new treat, go visit the veterinarian as soon as possible prepared with a list of what they possibly ingested or did ingest.

6. Paint/Paint Thinner/Tar

We completely support you wanting to give your house a fresh coat of paint, and are sure it’s going to look amazing! That being said, Fido and Princess may not be the kind of help you should be searching for. Whether the above listed items are in use or in storage, be sure that your pet cannot get to them. If you think your pet has lapped up some of your new paint color, paint thinner, tar, or other dangerous chemical, go see your veterinarian immediately.

7. Pest Poisons

Generally anything having to do with poison is going to be dangerous for your pet. Pest poisons can include anything for insects or mice or outdoor critters. The different poisons will affect every pet differently, which is why it’s important to get your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect they have ingested poison. Be careful that you’re not spraying and placing anything poisonous near your pet’s food, water, or bedding. For those that are worried this means they’re stuck with whatever pest they are dealing with, there are pet safe solutions for getting rid of pests. A little research and maybe even your veterinarian can help you out!

8. Toys

When it comes to human toys, it’s best to keep them separate from your pet. That Lego set is a ton of fun for a human child, but your dog or cat may just think it’s a new chew toy for them! If you suspect that your dog has swallowed a toy, go visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.


Do you have any other people items that you’d like us to research? Email us at social@redbarninc.com.

*All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the organization. Redbarninc.com makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Please note that each situation is different, and you should always consult your veterinarian should you have any questions about your pet’s health.

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