Pet poisons that may be lurking in your home

Dr. Larry Mangum


Appalachian Animal Hospital

One of the best things pet owners can do is to conduct a poison audit throughout their homes. Pets are often vulnerable to common household items that may not pose a threat to adults. That’s especially true for curious pets anxious to explore their new surroundings. In honor of National Poison Prevention Week, which falls March 17-23, the Pet Poison Helpline, a licensed animal poison control center dedicated to preventing poison-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities to pets, offers this room-by-room breakdown to help existing and potential pet owners find items around the house that could pose a threat to their furry friends.

Laundry Rooms

• Fabric Softener

• Bleach

• Detergents, including

   detergent pods

• Dryer Sheets

Living rooms

• Plants

• Liquid Potpourri

• Devices, including


• Batteries, such as

   those inside remote




• Chocolate

• Artificial sweeteners

  and sugar free gum

• Macadamia nuts

• Grapes, raisins and


• Onions, garlic &


• Caffeinated products,

    such as coffee and tea

•  Chicken bones

• Fatty scraps

• Unbaked yeast bread


• Alcohol

• Table salt

• Kitchen cleaning   


Misc. Rooms

• Insecticides

• Automotive fluids,

   including antifreeze,

   windshield washer

    fluid, motor oil, and


• Ice melt products

• Lawn & garden

   products, including

   weed killer, grub &

   snail bait and


• Paint

• Glue

• Mothballs

• Bone, blood & feather


• Plants, fertilizers

• Compost

Awareness is the key to preventing poisoning emergencies. Almost 91 percent of calls to Pet Poison Helpline in 2012 involved dogs – a testament to dogs’ curious nature and indifference to eating just about anything. Of these calls, nearly half were for dogs that ingested human medications. It’s clearly wise to keep medications out of their reach, but there are many other common, household substances toxic to dogs.