Updated at: 07-08-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Many pet owners are unaware of common household items that pose a deadly danger to their beloved dogs.

Everyday products such as chocolatecleaning supplies, and certain plants can quickly turn lethal when ingested by our canine companions.

This article provides a comprehensive list of these harmful substances, helping you recognize potential threats within your home.

Stay with us to ensure your best friend’s safety and prevent avoidable tragedies.

Common Household Items That Can Poison Dogs

What Household Items Can Kill A Dog Instantly

Rodent Poison

Rodent poison is bad for dogs. Dogs can die if they eat it. This poison kills rats and mice very fast. If a dog eats it, the same thing can happen to them. It makes their blood thin.

Then, they bleed inside and can’t stop. Keep these poisons in places your dog can’t reach. If your dog eats this poison, take them to the vet right away!

Mosquito Repellent

Mosquito repellent can be extremely dangerous for dogs. It contains chemicals like DEET, which is toxic to them.

If a dog ingests or comes into contact with mosquito repellent, it can cause serious health problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, seizures, and even death.

It’s important to keep mosquito repellent products securely stored out of reach from your dog and to never apply it directly on their fur or skin.

If you suspect that your dog has been exposed to mosquito repellent or is showing any symptoms of poisoning, seek immediate veterinary care.

Slug Bait

Slug bait is a common household item that can be lethal to dogs. It contains poisonous chemicals that are used to kill slugs and snails in gardens.

If a dog ingests slug bait, it can cause seizures, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death.

It’s important to keep slug bait securely stored out of reach of pets and to be cautious when using it in areas where dogs have access. If you suspect your dog has ingested slug bait, seek immediate veterinary care.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages are extremely dangerous for dogs and can potentially kill them. Even small amounts of alcohol can cause serious harm, including liver damagerespiratory distress, and even coma or death.

Dogs are much more sensitive to the effects of alcohol compared to humans because their bodies cannot metabolize it as efficiently.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, lethargy, tremors, seizures, and coordination problems.

It’s crucial to keep all alcoholic drinks out of your dog’s reach and never allow them to consume any amount of alcohol.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested an alcoholic beverage or is showing signs of alcohol poisoning, seek immediate veterinary care to prevent further complications.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can be extremely dangerous for dogs. When dogs ingest yeast dough, the warm environment of their stomachs causes the dough to rise and expand.

Additionally, as the yeast ferments, it produces alcohol, which can lead to alcohol poisoning in dogs.

This can cause a range of symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, vomiting, and even potential organ damage.

It’s important to keep yeast dough out of your dog’s reach and never feed them any bread or baked goods that contain yeast.

Cigarettes, E-Cigarette Liquid, and Nicotine Patches

Cigarettes, e-cigarette liquid, and nicotine patches can be extremely dangerous to dogs. These items contain nicotine, which is highly toxic to pets.

If a dog ingests even a small amount of nicotine from these products, it can result in symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death.

It’s important for pet owners to keep these items out of their dog’s reach at all times and properly dispose of any used cigarette butts or patches.

If you suspect your dog has ingested any nicotine-containing substances, seek immediate veterinary care.


Marijuana is another household item that can be dangerous for dogs. It contains THC, a compound that is toxic to pets.

If a dog ingests marijuana, it can cause symptoms such as lethargy, disorientation, vomiting, and an irregular heartbeat.

In severe cases, it can even lead to seizures or coma. It’s important to keep marijuana products securely stored and out of reach from pets to prevent accidental ingestion and potential harm.

Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine

Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine are commonly found in many households, but they can be extremely dangerous for dogs.

Dark chocolate and cooking chocolate contain substances called caffeine and theobromine that can be toxic to dogs.

Ingesting these substances can cause symptoms like restlessness, rapid breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and even death.

Coffee also contains caffeine which can have similar harmful effects on dogs if consumed in large amounts.

It’s important to keep these items out of your dog’s reach to prevent accidental ingestion and potentially fatal consequences.

Raisins and Grapes

Raisins and grapes are dangerous for dogs. Even a small amount of these can make your dog sick, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and even kidney failure.

It’s important to keep raisins, grapes, and any foods containing them away from your dog’s reach.

Macadamia Nuts, Almonds, Pecans, and Walnuts

Macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, and walnuts may seem harmless to us, but they can be dangerous for dogs.

These nuts contain toxins that can cause various health issues in dogs. Symptoms of nut poisoning include weakness, vomiting, tremors, increased body temperature, and difficulty walking.

In severe cases, they can even lead to paralysis. It’s important to keep these nuts out of your dog’s reach and avoid giving them as treats.

If you suspect your dog has ingested any of these nuts or is showing signs of poisoning, seek immediate veterinary care.

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping your furry friend safe from the harmful effects of certain household items like these nuts.

Coconut, Coconut Water, and Coconut Oil

Coconut, coconut water, and coconut oil are popular ingredients found in many household products. While these items are generally safe for humans, they can be harmful to dogs if ingested in large quantities.

Coconut flesh itself is not toxic to dogs, but it can cause stomach upset or diarrhea if eaten in excess. On the other hand, coconut water and oil can have a laxative effect on dogs and may lead to digestive issues.

Additionally, coconut oil is high in fat and calories, which can contribute to weight gain and pancreatitis in dogs.


Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits might seem harmless, but they can actually be toxic to dogs.

The skin, seeds, and juice of citrus fruits contain certain compounds that can cause stomach upset and even lead to serious health issues in dogs.

These compounds can irritate the digestive system and cause vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. In some cases, ingestion of large amounts of citrus fruits may also result in central nervous system depression or liver toxicity.

Therefore, it’s important to keep your dog away from citrus fruits and ensure they don’t have access to any parts of these fruits.

Milk and Dairy Products

Milk and dairy products, like cheese and yogurt, may seem harmless for us, but they can actually be harmful to dogs.

Many dogs are lactose intolerant, which means their bodies have trouble digesting lactose – the sugar found in milk.

If a dog consumes too much milk or dairy products, it can lead to digestive upset, including diarrhea and stomach discomfort. Some dogs may also experience allergic reactions to milk proteins.

It’s best to avoid giving your dog milk or dairy products altogether to prevent any potential health issues.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs, and Bones

Raw or undercooked meat, eggs, and bones can be harmful to dogs. They may contain bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli, which can make dogs sick and cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Additionally, bones can splinter and cause choking hazards or damage a dog’s digestive system if ingested.

It is important to always cook meat thoroughly before giving it to your dog and avoid feeding them raw eggs altogether.

Make sure to remove any cooked bones from their diet as well. Keeping your dog’s food safe by properly preparing it can help prevent potential health problems for your furry friend.

It is important for pet owners to know that giving their dogs raw or undercooked meat, eggs, or bones can put their pets at risk of bacterial infections and other health issues.

Dogs have delicate digestive systems that may not be able to handle these foods properly.

Always cook meat thoroughly before feeding it to your dog and never give them raw eggs since they could contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella.

Salt and Salty Snack Foods

Salt and salty snack foods can be harmful to dogs. Excessive salt intake can lead to sodium poisoning, causing symptoms like excessive thirstvomitingdiarrheatremors, seizures, and even death in severe cases.

Salty snacks such as chips or pretzels can also pose a choking hazard for dogs if they are not properly chewed. It’s important to keep these types of foods out of your dog’s reach and avoid giving them as treats.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested a large amount of salt or salty snacks, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary care.

Xylitol and Sorbitol

Xylitol and sorbitol are common sugar substitutes that can be found in many household items, including gum, candy, toothpaste, and some baked goods. These sweeteners may be safe for humans to consume, but they can be extremely dangerous for dogs.

When a dog ingests xylitol or sorbitol, it can cause a sudden drop in their blood glucose levels and lead to liver failure.

This is especially true for xylitol, which is known to be highly toxic to dogs even in small amounts.

To keep your furry friend safe, it’s important to check the ingredients of any products before giving them to your dog and make sure they are stored securely out of reach.

Breath Mints and Breath Strips

Breath mints and breath strips may seem harmless to us, but they can be dangerous for dogs. These products often contain a sweetener called xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

If a dog ingests xylitol, it can cause a sudden drop in glucose levels and lead to liver failure.

This can be life-threatening for our furry friends. So, it’s important to keep breath mints and breath strips out of your dog’s reach and never give them these products as treats.

If you suspect your dog has ingested any form of xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance on how to proceed.

Prevention is key when it comes to protecting our pets from harmful household items like these.

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly, also known as Vaseline, is commonly found in many households. While it’s often used to moisturize the skin or soothe minor cuts and burns, it can be harmful to dogs if ingested.

Although small amounts may not cause serious harm, larger quantities can lead to digestive issues like diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, it can even block their intestines and require surgery to remove.

It’s important to keep petroleum jelly out of your dog’s reach and avoid using it on them unless specifically recommended by a veterinarian.

Bar Soap and Face Wash

Bar soap and face wash are common household items that can be harmful to dogs if ingested. These products often contain chemicals like fragrances, dyes, and preservatives that can cause stomach upsetdiarrhea, or even poisoning in dogs.

Additionally, some face washes may contain ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that can be toxic to pets.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested bar soap or face wash, it is best to contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance on what steps should be taken next.

Immediate Actions to Take if You Think Your Dog Has Been Poisoned

If you think your dog has been poisoned, take immediate action to help them. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Stay calm and quickly remove your dog from the area where they were exposed to the poison.
  2. Call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic for guidance on what steps to take next. They will provide specific instructions based on the type of poison involved.
  3. If possible, gather any information about the poison that your dog may have ingested, such as packaging or labels.
  4. Do not induce vomiting or give your dog any home remedies without first consulting a professional. Some poisons can cause more harm if vomited back up or if certain substances are given to counteract them.
  5. Follow any specific instructions provided by your veterinarian, such as bringing your dog in for immediate treatment, administering activated charcoal (if recommended), or monitoring their symptoms at home.
  6. Keep a close eye on your dog and watch for signs of distress, including vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, difficulty breathing, seizures, weakness, or changes in behavior.
  7. Don’t hesitate to seek veterinary care even if your dog seems fine initially. Some poisons can have delayed effects and it’s important to get them treated promptly.

Precautions to Keep Your Dog Safe from Harmful Household Items

Proper storage and disposal of hazardous substances

To keep your dog safe from potentially harmful household items, it’s important to store and dispose of hazardous substances properly.

Here are some tips:

  • Store cleaning products, chemicals, and medications in a secure cabinet or on high shelves where your dog cannot reach them.
  • Keep laundry detergents, bleach, and other cleaning supplies out of your dog’s reach.
  • Dispose of empty containers or used products safely, following the instructions on the packaging.
  • Avoid leaving open containers of hazardous substances unattended, as your dog may be tempted to investigate or ingest them.
  • Use childproof locks or latches on cabinets that contain potentially dangerous items.
  • Keep trash cans securely closed to prevent your dog from rummaging through them and finding something harmful.
  • If you have any plants that are toxic to dogs, make sure they are placed in areas where your dog cannot access them.
  • Be cautious when using pesticides or insecticides around your home, ensuring they are applied in areas that are inaccessible to your dog.

Avoiding leaving harmful food items within reach

To keep your dog safe, make sure to:

  • Keep harmful food items out of reach: Dogs are curious and may try to eat anything within their reach. Avoid leaving foods like chocolate, coffee, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and onions where your dog can access them.
  • Store garbage securely: Garbage can contain harmful substances like bones or spoiled food that can be dangerous if ingested by dogs. Make sure to store your garbage in a secure container or cupboard to prevent your dog from getting into it.
  • Be cautious with leftovers: Some human food items, like fatty or spicy foods, can cause stomach upset or even pancreatitis in dogs. Don’t give your dog any leftovers that may be harmful to their health.
  • Secure countertops and tables: Dogs are clever and may try to grab food off countertops or tables when you’re not looking. To avoid accidents, make sure to keep these areas clear of any potentially dangerous food items.
  • Educate family members and visitors: Make sure everyone in your household knows which foods are harmful for dogs and the importance of keeping them out of reach. Also, inform guests not to feed your dog any table scraps without checking with you first.

Educating yourself about potential dangers

To keep your furry friend safe, it’s important to learn about the potential dangers that household items can pose to dogs.

For example, common things like rodent poison, mosquito repellent, slug bait, and alcoholic beverages can be lethal if ingested by a dog.

Other hazards include chocolate, caffeine, grapes, garlic, onions, medications such as painkillers and nicotine patches – these substances can all be harmful or even fatal for dogs.

By educating yourself about these risks and understanding which items should be kept out of your dog’s reach at all times, you can help ensure their well-being and prevent accidents from happening.

Regularly inspecting your home for potential hazards

Inspecting your home regularly is an important step in keeping your dog safe from harmful household items.

Here’s what you can do to ensure their safety:

  • Look for any open containers or spilled substances that could be toxic, such as cleaning products or medications.
  • Check for any potentially dangerous items within your dog’s reach, such as small objects they could swallow or chew on.
  • Make sure all cords and cables are secured and out of your dog’s reach to prevent them from chewing on them and getting electrocuted.
  • Keep all harmful plants out of your dog’s reach, as some can be toxic if ingested.
  • Safely store any hazardous substances, such as chemicals, pesticides, and automotive products, in locked cabinets or high shelves where your dog cannot access them.
  • Dispose of any expired or unused medications properly to prevent accidental ingestion by your dog.
  • Be cautious when using insecticides or rodent control products in your home, making sure to use pet – safe alternatives if possible.
  • Avoid using scented candles or air fresheners that contain potentially harmful chemicals around your dog.


In conclusion, it’s crucial for pet owners to be aware of the household items that can instantly kill a dog. From rodent poison and alcohol to chocolate and cigarettes, these common items can be lethal if ingested by dogs.

By taking precautions, educating themselves, and keeping harmful substances out of reach, pet owners can help ensure the safety and well-being of their beloved furry friends.

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