Poisons Lists: Household Items Unsafe for Your Pets!

| Modified on Mar 17, 2014
There are many items kept in and around our home that we never give a second thought to, however many of those things can be severely dangerous and poisonous to our furry friends. The following is just a partial list of items that should be kept far from the reach of our pets and neighborhood animals

Acids (such as bleach and drain cleaners) - Can cause drooling and abdominal pain.

Alkalis (such as ammonia, laundry detergent, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners and alkali batteries) - Can cause ulcers in the mouth and stomach, pain, seizures, drooling and possibly rapid death.

Antifreeze - Can cause increased thirst and urination, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, panting, loss of appetite, kidney damage and possibly death.

Citrus Oils (such as limonene and linalool) - Can cause drooling, weakness, depression, trembling, falling over, hyperthermia, low blood pressure and possibly death.

Cocoa Bean Mulch - Can cause irregular heart rate and rhythm, restlessness, panting, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle tremors, increased body temperature, seizures, abdominal pain, bloody urine, coma or even death.

DEET (found in insect repellants) - Can cause vomiting, tremors, excitement, skin irritation and seizures.

Flea Products - Some flea products when ingested or inhaled may cause muscle twitches, shivering, sneezing, apprehension, drooling, diarrhea, hyperactivity, depression and seizures.

Ice Melting Products - Can cause irritation to the skin and mouth, drooling, vomiting, depression and electrolyte imbalances.

Lawn Fertilizers - Can cause gastric upset and gastrointestinal obstruction.

Lead (such as that found in paint, ceramics, linoleum and golf balls) - Can cause abdominal pain, seizures, vomiting, excitement and hysteria, weakness, lack of coordination, blindness and excessive chewing.

Mothballs - Can cause seizures, vomiting, increased heart rate, brown or blue colored gums, liver inflammation, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy.

Pain Medicine (such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen) - Can cause loss of appetite, bloody vomit, drooling, drunken behavior. Acetaminophen in cats can cause blue gums and breathing problems.

Pest Bait (such as warfarin, arsenic, strychnine etc) - Can cause bloody diarrhea and urine, bleeding from orifices, increased thirst, abdominal pain, cramps, paralysis, staggering, seizures, depression and coma.

Petroleum Products (such as gas, motor oil, paint, turpentine, paint thinner, paint remover, kerosene and lighter fluid)- Can cause tremors, breathing problems, coma, seizures, vomiting, respiratory failure and even death.

Pine Oils - Can cause drooling, vomiting, retching, abdominal pain, weakness, increased body temperature and coma.

Zinc (this includes pennies that have been made since 1982 which contain large amounts of zinc)- Can cause diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, depression, abdominal pain, bloody urine, weakness, organ failure and even death.

If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, contact the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. This is 24 hour a day hotline. (Note that in some cases a consultation fee may be charged to your credit card.)

by Dawn Forster for Earth Clinic, LLC

Carpet Stain Remover

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Mindy (Butler, PA USA) on 06/23/2009


My 10 month old puppy had an accident on my carpet on a wednesday. i cleaned it with a carpet spot and stain remover that said it would get out pet stains. i sprayed about 7 areas on the carpet and used a damp sponge to rub it in. her crate is in the same room. on friday when i got her up, she was totally blind. she has been to the vet and a specialist and is recovering slowly. her eyesight is coming back, but her spirit is taking a bit longer. the chemical in the cleaner was 2-butoxyethanol, but i don't know what else was in the cleaner. i recommend that if you have pets or children you only use totally safe products. read the label. this label said nothing about harming pets, but i believe it is what caused her temporary blindness. buy the expensive stuff, it's well worth it. learn from my stupdity.

Replied by Uptrender
(Rolla, Missouri, Usa)

When my puppy has accidents on the carpet or anywhere he shouldn't, I use my homemade spray cleaner. I believe it is far less toxic to pets then commercial cleaners are, AND it's a whole lot cheaper.


Use a Large utility spray bottle from a home/household department store and fill it with this mixture:

One part white distilled vinegar

One part tap water

One teaspoon of dish detergent (don't use the type with bleach in it). Just enough that it will make the concoction suds up only very lightly. You don't want too much suds.

Shake it up good.


Set the spray bottle nozzle for stream. First spritz the pee spot well, then using a wad of paper towels, place it on top of the pee spot, step on it with your foot (wear you shoes if you don't want a peefoot) applying good pressure, Throw it away, then re-saturate the spot again with the vinegar cleaner again and use another wad of paper towels to step on again to soak it up. The pressure of your foot helps bring up any moisture from down under the carpet. You can use some more fresh paper towels to brush the nap of the carpet back up.

Using this vinegar cleaner will kill the pee ammonia smell so that your puppy will not be drawn back to that spot to pee there again.

This cleaner is great household cleaner to use on all types of surfaces and cuts grease on your stove too.

Pine Oil Cleaners

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Uptrender (Rolla, Missouri, United States) on 09/11/2011


Beware of Pine Sol Cleaner and other pine oil cleaners around your Cat or Dog! The main ingredient is "Pine Oil". The labels on these cleaners neglect to tell you that the pine oil is highly, highly poisonous to especially cats!

I used a pine cleaner to mop my kitchen floor and my cat walked across the floor before I could get the floor rinsed. I didn't think much about it at the time, but a little later, my cat got very sick! Throwing up, drooling, glazed look in his eyes, crying, unable to walk. I took him to the vet immediately and after the vet questioned me a bit to determine the events prior to his getting sick, the doctor told me it was the pine oil cleaner. Since the cat had walked across the floor while it was wet, he then cleaned (licked) his paws and ingested the substance. The doctor said that pine oils are highly toxic to cats. It attacks their liver mostly, and depending how much they ingested, most cats will die! (I do not know if it is for dogs, but I bet it is. )

The doctor said that if a cat doesn't ingest enough to outright kill it within hours, then their body will slowly work it out over a period of a week to 10 days. BUT. While that is happening, they will refuse to eat or maybe not drink either. So, as a concequence they will get weaker and weaker causing their recovery to slow down further to the point they will die from starvation, lack of water, or general body deterioration.

My cat was a very overweight cat. The doctor said for once that was a "good thing". Because, he had plenty of energy stored in his fat to live off of, while he was recuperating and not eating.

So, I'm happy to say that my cat "Bubby", did in fact survive! He got very, very skinny by the time he was over it and able to eat again. And now, I NEVER will use pine oil products in my home again. And, I make sure my cat does not walk across my wet floors again, either, just in case whatever cleaner I use might be toxic.

Remedies to Cure Poisoning in Dogs

4 User Reviews
5 star (4) 

Posted by Allison (Houston, Texas) on 12/19/2009

I came home about 6 p.m. in the evening and discovered my little terrier dog, who weighed 12 pounds, had got into my stash of dark chocolate (about 4 ozs left)and ate it all up. By the time I realized what has happened, it could of been anywhere between 2 hours to 2 days she could have done this. Although I suspect it was more like a few hours. Right away, I gave her 1 capsule of milk thistle seed (150 mg of 30:1 extract 80% total flavanoid) hidden inside a small amount of canned cat food. A few more spoonful of the canned cat food was given to help move the capsule down to her stomach in case it got lodged in the throat. I then used a syringe with NEEDLE REMOVED to feed her some water to help dissolve the milk thistle. I had read somewhere before that high doses of Milk Thistle was used to help detox ingestion of poisonous mushrooms in humans. I highly recommend keeping some milk thistle on hand for other poisoning as well. If you have a larger dog, weighing 50-100 lbs, I think 2-3 capsules of milk thistle would work better. But don't go crazy with it as animal livers are different than humans' and they breakdown chemicals differently.

3 hours later, I then gave my dog 2 capsules of 280 mg of activated charcoal (560 Mg total). DO NOT USE CHARCOAL BRISQUETTE FOR BARBECUE!!! THEY CONTAIN KEROSENE? OR LIGHTER FLUID TO HELP WITH THE BURNING AND IS TOXIC TO INGEST OR EAT. The dosage of charcoal on the lable for humans is 2 capsules for minor problems. Since this is an emergency situation, if you have a large animal weighing 100 pounds, I would use no more than 4 capsules at one time as you want to use enough to absorb the toxic material but not enough to kill the animal, I had bought mine over the internet for myself in case of food poisoning. activated Charcoals is an absorbant agent to help capture unwanted materials and gas to carry them out of the digestive system. They DO INTERFERE with absorbing other medications so TAKE THEM APART from others meds which is why I gave her the milk thistles 3 hours before and not together.

These charcoals were disguised inside canned cat food followed with more water to help dissolve the capsules quickly once inside the stomach.

I also have on hand liquid bentonite clay (oral form used for detox, not the cosmetic kind for face mask) so I gave my dog 1 tablespoon of it plus plenty of water (6-8 tablespoon) to wash it down. this was given 30 minutes after the charcoal.

I stayed up with her til about 2 a.m. and before I went to sleep, I gave her another capsule of milk thistle along with about (160 mg of magnesium citrate to help counteract anticipated muscle twitching and seisure)Magnesium is supposed to help relax the muscles but too much will cause diarrhea. I forgot to mention that in between, I allow her to eat as much of her regular food as she wants hoping to dilute the toxin in her system. my baby did not vomit at all or excessively urinate, or have diarrhea. She did exibit some hyperactivity and her temperature was a little higher than normal(a sign of chocolate poisoning), so I try to kept her from overheating. I keep taking her outside incase she needed to go bathroom as frequency is a sign of poisoning. But she only went normally.

Next morning, my baby looked normal: no soiling of any kind (urine or feces.) I took her outside for bathroom (she still exhibited a little hyperactivity)and bought her back in to give her another dose of 2 charcoal capsules with canned cat food. As she did not looked distressed, I decided not to take her to the vet. later on in the afternoon, I gave her one more capsule of milk thistle and that was it.

The critical period for chocolate toxicity is 24 to 36 hours after ingestion. Symptoms usually appear within a few hours after ingestion. With the amount and the type of chocolate ingested for the size (12 pounds )of my baby, it really was a fatal dose. My baby was saved by milk thistle, charcoal, and magnesium. I was lucky I didn't have to take her to the vets. But if she had shown more distress, I would have. It was also recommended that the pet be induced vomiting using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water a few spoonful. google "chocolate poisoning in dogs" for how-to. I didn't induce vomiting in my case because I suspect a few hours has already passed since ingestion and the chocolate was already on the way to her intestine and not in the stomach. Thus the immediate dose of milk thistle. Lesson learned is that chocolates must be stored in child proof containers where dogs And cats cannot have access. This scared me so bad that I won't be having any chocolate in the house for a long time in the future.

Remedies to Cure Poisoning in Dogs
Posted by Wayne (palm springs, california) on 01/27/2008

Hydrogen peroxide. For a dog that has ingested a poisonous substance where vomiting will be the solution to expel the toxin, put 1 tsp' [3%] HP in the mouth. Take the dog OUTSIDE and throw a pinch of salt in its mouth. The entire contents of the stomach will be immediately expelled.

Replied by Great Dane Mom
(Conneautville, Pa)

I agree with Wayne, if your dog has eaten something that won't do more harm than good by making them vomit, then peroxide is definetly the ticket! We got a rescue dog from the shelter and a couple days after bringing him home he found a stick of mouse poison. By the time I saw him with it he had finished almost the whole stick. Desparate for answers I turned to Google and many posts had recommended this. I had not read anything about salt though, I just took a syringe and shot a couple tablespoons down his throat (he's a labradane, approx 80#) Within about 5 minutes he emptied his stomach. I spoke with poison control and they said since I had caught it quickly and he had vomitted that he should be okay, just watch him closely for the next 12-24 hrs. Fortunately, he was fine and continues to be a happy healthy member of our family!

Remedies to Cure Poisoning in Dogs
Posted by Angela (Leitchfeld, kentucky) on 06/13/2007

re: curing poisioning and stomach toxins: I had a full size male doberman pinscher, was poisoned with antifreeze. Tried to take him to the vet, and would not take him said there was nothing they could do. Well being he was my baby i didn't give up. Someone told me to cook bacon, take the grease, a raw egg, and a lemon lime soda, mix it together and force him to eat it, granted he threw up alot, it was bright neon green, but i kept feeding it to him until it was no longer green, then feed him pedialight for dehydration, he lived and is fine today, it seems to force any toxin that is in their system out.

Tea Tree Oil

3 User Reviews
1 star (3) 

Posted by Di (Australia) on 03/17/2014


I feel I need to warn everyone about how toxic teatree oil is. My little puppy who is 18 months old kept chewing her paw so I put a few drops of teatree oil on thinking it would stop the itch. The next morning she couldn't walk and was showing signs of rear paralysis. I googled teatree and realised this was very toxic as I had used 100% teatree. The vet hadn't heard of it and diagnosed a slipped disc but she came good a few hours later. It was a great relief and I am treating her now with a small dose of milk thistle daily to help her liver. She is back to normal and full of beans as usual. Was a big shock and I will definitely check before using any natural products again.



Tea Tree Oil
Posted by April (Winter Haven, Fl ) on 07/28/2011


Tea tree oil almost killed my Corgi dog. I used it on his paws (a weak watered down solution from a recipe for allergies in dogs that I found on the internet) and I went off to work. When my husband got home, Cody was lethargic, could not stand up, and was VERY ill. My husband got him to the vet right away and by that time Cody's heart was in arrhythmia. If he had not gotten to the vet, he would have died. I had no idea that tea tree oil could be so toxic. DON'T USE TEA TREE OIL on your pet.

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Craig (Cumberland, MD) on 11/06/2007


Tea tree oil is toxic to dogs and cats. It is readliy absorbed through the skin' and can cause breakdown of the nervous system, resulting in shock, hypothermia, and death. I know because I accidently poisoned my dog by putting about a teaspoon of tea tree oil on a tick bite. Hours later she couldn't stand, was disoriented, and shivering. I gave her activated charcoal by mouth and bathed her and rubeed the spot with activated charcoal. She got better quickly after the charcoal, and the vet said she was lucky. Do not use Tea Tre Oil.

Weed Killer

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Lindaatlanta (Woodstock, Ga) on 01/23/2012


I am having severe problems with my Maltese with his ears when I let him do his business in my yard. I have noticed that when I'm in the mountains or when I walk him up the street, not in my yard, that he does not come home with shaking and ear problems and itching and chewing and scratching. Last year, when I let him potty in my yard, he was going into shock... Breathing labored and basically like anaphylactic shock... It was horrible. I finally figured out this did not happen in my yard.

It has taken me a couple years to figure this out... I guess I could not imagine.. Though I knew in my gut this was the cause.... I used Scotts Weed Killer in 09... And I am certain this is what caused the problem. I am writing you because I will almost bet that is the problem with other writers. Now the poison is in my house of course.

I am going to try to put activated charcoal down in the yard since I don't know what else can neutralize poison. It could create a horrible mess, but I don't know what else will adsorb poison... any suggestions?

I wanted to tell you so you can warn others if you wish to. I have pictures of the bag and warnings if you want them.. If you can tell me where you would publish my discovery to warn others, I will greatly appreciate it.

I used on him a Far Infrared Lamp, activated charcoal last year to get him to breathe. It took an hour to get him somewhat back to normal.... Not shaking horribly, labored breathing, terror... Stiff as if he was going to die. This year for the ears I'm doing the items in the subject line.

Thank you.

Replied by Timh
(Louisville, Ky, Usa)
2063 posts

Lindaatlanta, to remediate your toxic yard (bioremediation), purchase 1 gal Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide (FGHP); mix 1/4 gallon to 3/4 gallon water (depending on the size of your yard) and spray it with same applicator you used with the weed killer. Depending on how long ago this occurred and how much you applied, the herbicide may be several inches deep now. After applying the FGHP you may actually see a "foaming", this is the toxins being "oxidized".