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.

Be covered for the unexpected with pet insurance


total vet bill:


Chocolate Ingestion

total vet bill:


Broken Bone

total vet bill:


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



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.

  • Ibuprofen and aspirin
  • Acetaminophen
  • Cold and flu meds
  • Antidepressants
  • Vitamins
  • Diet pills
  • Anti-cancer drugs
  • Tobacco products
  • Detergents
  • Fabric softener
  • Drain Cleaners
  • Oven cleaner sprays
  • Disinfectants
  • Bleach
  • Liquid potpourri
  • Lime/scale remover
  • Lead
  • Paint thinners
  • Flea and tick products
  • Rodent bait
  • Mothballs
  • Fly bait
  • Antifreeze/Coolant
  • Gasoline
  • Oil
  • Insecticides
  • Pesticides
  • Fertilizer
  • Cocoa mulch
  • Compost
  • Non-pet safe de-icing salts
  • Lighter fluid
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 888-426-4435


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.

  • Doorways
  • Windows
  • Balconies
  • Fireplaces/fire pits
  • Gates

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.

  • Bathtubs
  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Washer/dryer
  • Pools/hot tubs
  • Grill


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.

  • Autumn Crocus
  • Azalea
  • Dracaena
  • Daffodil
  • Calla Lily
  • Hydrangea
  • Eucalyptus
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Iris
  • Ficus
  • Philodendron
  • Morning Glory
  • Hyacinth
  • Rhododendron
  • Pothos
  • Lilies
  • Tulip
  • Sago Palm
  • Oleander
  • Wisteria
  • Amaryllis
  • Spider Plant


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.

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Tea leaves
  • Coffee
  • Xylitol
  • Alcohol
  • Raw yeast dough
  • Spoiled foods
  • Fatty foods


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.

  • Coins
  • Buttons
  • Jewelry
  • Nylons
  • Yarn or thread and needles
  • Batteries
  • Paper clips
  • Rubber bands
  • Twist ties
  • Plastic wrap
  • Silverware and dishes
  • Cotton swabs
  • Hair pins
  • Eye glasses
  • Dental floss
  • Towels
  • Rugs
  • Razors
  • Electrical cords

Tips for a Pet Poison Emergency

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

  • Stay calm. You’ll be better able to help your pet if you keep a cool head. Our pets also have an uncanny ability to know what we’re feeling. They might get more scared or anxious if they sense that you’re upset.
  • Contact your veterinarian or the APCC immediately. You can call the APCC at 888-426-4435 anytime day or night for help with a poison-related emergency.
  • Have important information handy. You’ll be asked about the size and age of your pet and for any details you might have on the toxin they ingested. If the substance was packaged or in a container, you can refer to the ingredient list.
  • Take care handling your pet. Even the sweetest and most docile pet can lash out when they’re frightened or in pain. Make sure you’re gentle with your pet and ask for help if you need it.

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