Chemicals & Your Pet's Safety

Medications   Plants   Toxins   Cleaning   Garage

Is your house safe for your pet?

Our homes can contain many potentially harmful products. Dogs, cats and other pets can be poisoned by very small amounts of toxic substances.


The most common cause of animal poisoning in the home is consumption of pet owners' medications. Ensure that all of your medications are out of reach, and make sure your pet's medications are secure as well.

House Plants

Make sure your house plants are safe for your pet - the ASPCA has a comprehensive list of toxic plants ( Common household plants that are toxic to pets include:

  • azaleas
  • tulips
  • cyclamen
  • amaryllis
  • chrysanthemum
  • lilies
  • oleander
  • yews

Animals naturally can sense plants which will be toxic to them and their highly articulated sense of smell, especially dogs, helps fuel this capacity so that they will avoid dangerous plants. However, there are always exceptions.

Other Potential Toxins

Some pets will sample anything ... and we do mean anything! When eaten, most cleaning products can cause stomach upset and vomiting. Other household products to keep out of your pet's reach:

  • dish washing detergent
  • mothballs
  • batteries
  • potpourri oils
  • coffee grounds
  • homemade play dough
  • fabric softener sheets
  • bug sprays and pesticides
  • cigarettes
  • alcoholic beverages
  • chocolate

For a healthier home, eliminate products that pollute indoor air, such as aerosol air fresheners and fragrance-based cleansers. Ensure that professional carpet cleaners or cleaning services use certified eco-friendly cleaning products in your house.

Safer Home Cleaning

For safer cleaning baking soda is non-toxic to use around dogs, cats, and other pets. You can clean most anything using baking soda, white vinegar, or both. For example, use baking soda and a drop of dish detergent to scrub out your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Use baking soda and white vinegar to scour the shower walls. Spritz white vinegar on your kitchen counter to clean it. Vinegar is the natural super-cleaner, killing mold, bacteria and germs all over your home. Bonus: ants and spiders don't like the smell of vinegar and avoid surfaces cleaned with it.

Dangers in the Garage

While you are safeguarding your house, ensure that your garage is equally safe for your pets. Car care products such as cleaners, antifreeze, and windshield washer fluid can be lethal for pets, even in extremely small quantities. Anti-freeze, for example has a sweet smell that is attractive to some animals - who might lick up spills in the garage.