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What is toxic to dogs? Common household hazards

Keeping your furry friend healthy is your top priority. Part of that responsibility is keeping toxic substances well out of your dog's reach. To help you keep your pup safe and healthy our Tucson vets share a list of some common household items that are hazardous to your dog's health.

What is bad and/or poisonous to dogs?

Our Tucson vets see most of the poisoning cases as a result of pets accessing substances around the house that people haven't stored safely or that pet parents are unaware are harmful to dogs. Our four-legged friends can ingest certain foods, medications, and substances commonly found around our homes that may seem harmless but can be lethal.

To help you keep your beloved pet safe and healthy, here are just a few of the most common household items poisonous to dogs:


Keeping medications out of your dog's reach is essential, and you should be vigilant about it. Dogs can experience high levels of toxicity when they ingest over-the-counter medications, such as painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications, as well as prescription medications. Toxic medications for dogs include (but are not limited to):

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil)
  • Aspirin
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Indomethacin & Other NSAIDs
  • NSAIDs
  • Xanax, Ambien, Valium & Other Sleeping Pills
  • ACE Inhibitors & Other Blood Pressure Meds
  • ADHD Medications
  • Beta Blockers
  • Adderall
  • Many Herbal & Nutraceutical Products

People Food

Dogs have different metabolisms than us, which means that many foods that are perfectly safe and enjoyable for us can be dangerous, or even fatal, for them. Call your veterinarian right away for help if your dog consumes any of the following foods.

  • Xylitol (found in sugar-free gum)
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Raisins 
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Alcohol 

Veterinary Products

Keeping your pet healthy relies on the key role that medications and prevention products play, but our canine companions can face fatal consequences if they mistakenly consume or over consume these products. You should ensure that you keep these items out of your dog's reach and only use them as directed by your veterinarian. Consuming or over-consuming veterinary products can be poisonous.

  • Painkillers
  • Dewormers
  • Flea & Tick Treatments
  • Heartworm Prevention Medications

Household Products

Most people store a vast number of chemicals in their homes. While these chemicals perform a wide variety of useful tasks, they pose an extreme danger to the health of our pets. Our four-legged friends can quickly die from consuming these substances. Store all household chemicals safely, but especially:

  • Antifreeze
  • Paint Thinner
  • Household Cleaners
  • Swimming Pool Chemicals
  • Lawn & Garden Chemicals
  • Toilet Cleaners

Rodenticides & Insecticides

Rat poison and insecticides can come in a variety of forms and can be as dangerous for your dog as the creatures they are intended for. Ensure that your pet cannot access the substances you use to address the issue if you are dealing with rodents or other critters invading your home. Store these products in a high location or an area out of your pup's reach. Some common chemicals in this category include:

  • Warfarin & Other Anticoagulant Rodenticides
  • Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) Rodenticides
  • Vengeance & Bromethalin Rodenticides
  • Organophosphates and Carbamates
  • Pyrethroids
  • Metaldehyde


The extensive list of common household and garden plants that are toxic to our four-legged friends cannot be listed in its entirety. Nonetheless, you should avoid having a few in your home or garden.

  • Azaleas
  • Rhododendrons
  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Sago palms 
  • Oleander
  • Poinsettia
  • Philodendron
  • Peace lily 

What should I do if my dog has been poisoned?

Stay calm and make sure the source of the poison is out of your dog’s reach. Then get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Emergency Vets in Tucson

Signs & Symptoms of Poisoning in Dogs

The following symptoms may indicate that your dog has been poisoned:

  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Heart problems
  • Diarrhoea
  • Kidney failure
  • Excessive bruising or bleeding
  • Nosebleeds
  • Unsteady on feet
  • Abnormal heart beat
  • Drooling
  • Oral irritation
  • Pale gums
  • Inability to urinate

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Not all things toxic to dogs are listed in this post. If your dog has ingested something that you aren't sure about, contact our Tucson vets right away, or reach out to your nearest animal emergency hospital.

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