101 Household Pet Dangers

Pet Dangers

Even when you take precautions to keep your pet safe, they sometimes still find ways to get into things they shouldn't. We cover that.

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Swallowed Object
Chocolate Ingestion

Chocolate Ingestion

total vet bill:


Broken Bone

total vet bill:


Broken Bone

Based on actual claims submitted in 2019. Vet bills and reimbursements may vary.


products areas holiday items
appliances plants Food OBJECTS


This list of products contains some of the most common household toxins for cats and dogs. Not only are they dangerous for pets to ingest, but many of them can irritate their skin and eyes.

If you store things like bleach, drain cleaner, or detergent in low kitchen or bathroom cabinets, consider using child safety locks to keep curious pets out. Also, avoid keeping medications on nightstands or countertops where pets could get at them.

always Keep Human Medication Out of Reach

Over-the-counter and human prescription medications were the top two reasons pet parents called the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) for help in 2019.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center


Watch your pet closely around these areas where escape acts and accidents are common. For instance, pets can get singed while napping near a lit fireplace, tumble out a window with an unsecured screen, or fall from a balcony if they’re able to fit through the railing.

If pets slip outside of an open door or gate, they can be at risk for all sorts of injuries. They might run into traffic or get into a scrape with another animal. Be sure to check gates for any gaps or loose slats and keep an eye on your pet when visitors are coming in and out of your house.

holiday items

holiday items

Some of the most common pet toxins come up around the holidays. Always be mindful of things like decorations, harmful foods, and toxic flowers as you’re enjoying these festive times during the year.

Want to include your pet in the celebration? Give them a fun gift, like a new ball to chase around the house or a safe puzzle-toy to chew on. Or serve them a special dinner with pet-friendly foods like bits of sweet potato, skinless cooked chicken, or pieces of apple.

  • New Year's
  • Balloons
  • Confetti
  • Noise makers
  • Valentine's Day
  • Flowers
  • Boxes of chocolate
  • Easter
  • Fake grass
  • Spring bulbs
  • 4th of July
  • Fireworks
  • Halloween
  • Candles
  • Candy
  • Thanksgiving
  • Turkey bones
  • Hot containers
  • Christmas
  • Holiday tree
  • Light strands
  • Tree water
  • Decoration hooks
  • Tinsel
  • Styrofoam
  • Yuletide fire


Appliances and other household necessities, like washing machines and laundry room sinks, can be hazardous even when they’re not in use. They may contain product residue that can be harmful to your pet.

Always close toilet lids so your pet won’t be tempted to drink the water. If you have a pool or hot tub, make sure your pet can’t jump in for a swim when nobody is around to supervise them. And keep your pet away from hot grills to avoid burns.



Not all leafy greens are good to eat! There’s a long list of plants that can be problematic for pets. Plus, the soil of potted plants can contain fertilizers, molds, bacteria, and other substances that could harm your pet.

Cats in particular love to nibble on plant leaves and flowers, which can cause upset tummies or worse. Some cats will do anything to get at a bouquet that might have toxic blooms, such as tulips or lilies. They can also get hurt if they knock the vase over and cut their paws on the glass.



Some human foods, such as carrots, apples, and bananas, have great health benefits for pets. But others are highly toxic. It’s important not to get the good foods confused with the harmful ones.

Chocolate is one of the top toxins for dogs. It contains caffeine and theobromine, which are substances that can cause vomiting, stomach pain, and seizures if your dog eats enough of it. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for the dog.

read your peanut butter label

Dogs are pretty nuts about peanut butter, but you should check the ingredients before you offer it to your pooch. Some brands contain xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener that is very dangerous to dogs.



Pets can get hurt if they choke on or swallow small objects, such as buttons or coins. Sharp objects like razors and paper clips can also be hazardous. Be sure to check around for these items on the floor, under coffee tables and chairs, and between the couch cushions on a regular basis.

Tips for a Pet Poison Emergency

These tips can help you care for your pet if they eat or get exposed to something harmful.

Unfortunately, even with all of your best efforts, it’s impossible to keep you pet safe all of the time. But you can get help managing the costs of their care with Complete CoverageSM.

Be covered for the
unexpected with pet insurance.


Be covered for the unexpected with pet insurance