Top 10 Common Household Products Poisonous for Dogs

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
They may be tucked away in a cupboard, or in common view on a kitchen counter. They’re common household products that are poisonous if ingested by your dog.

Every dog is unique in his own individual way but all dogs have one thing in common – they will eat anything. From table scraps and garbage to your new pair of shoes, there are few things that your dog will not eat or, at the very least, take a sample of. Unfortunately, dogs often eat before they think and they do not know when something is potentially bad for them.

Before you brought your dog home for the first time, you probably puppy proofed your home. You put away the obvious things like cleaning chemicals and chocolate, but there are a number of other common household things that you may not realize are toxic for dogs. Here’s a go-to list of the top 10 common household items that are poisonous to dogs.

Garbage and Food Scraps

For some reason, dogs are drawn to foul smells so that makes your garbage can enticing. The things you throw away – especially food scraps like chicken bones, fruit pits, and other scraps – can be toxic for your dog. Make sure to keep a lid on your trash can at all times or keep the can locked up in a cupboard. (Photo credit: USDAgov/Flickr)

Pest-Control Products

Some of the most toxic items in your house are pest-control products like rat poison and insecticides. Rodent baits are designed to be enticing to rodents and that often means that they are enticing to dogs as well. Rat poison has been known to cause internal bleeding in dogs and insecticides can be toxic as well. Keep all of these poisons well out of your dog’s reach. (Photo credit: Kai Schreiber/Flickr)


You already know that chocolate is bad for your dog, but did you realize that coffee can be toxic as well? Caffeine is the main source of danger in coffee for dogs but it can also be dangerous if you add artificial sweeteners like aspartame and xylitol. (Photo credit: waferboard/


Both human and veterinary medications can be toxic for dogs in the wrong dosage. Even mild pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol can cause irreparable liver damage in your dog. With veterinary medications, small doses may be safe but an overdose could be fatal. (Photo credit: Earl/Flickr)


Lawn products like fertilizer and certain types of mulch can be dangerous for your dog. Always keep lawn and garden products locked away in a cabinet and don’t let your dog out in the yard while you are using them, just to be safe. (Photo credit: Warren Rohner/Flickr)

Antifreeze and De-Icer

It may seem strange that dogs might be attracted to anti-freeze but it contains ethylene glycol which has a sweet taste. Anti-freeze is incredibly toxic to dogs and cats and so can de-icing products. Always rinse your dog’s paws after taking a walk in the winter. (Photo credit: EvelynGiggles/Flickr)

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals like lead and zinc are incredibly toxic for dogs. It may sound unlikely, but many dogs have been known to ingest pennies and it can lead to severe gastrointestinal upset among other things. Zinc is so toxic that your dog may need to undergo surgery to remove the coins rather than waiting for them to pass naturally. (Photo credit: uhuru1701/Flickr)

Detergent and Fabric Softener

Like most cleaning products, many detergents are made with chemicals that can be toxic for dogs. Fabric softener sheets are also dangerous but they look like toys to many dogs, so be sure to keep them out of reach. (Photo credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Rawhide Bones

Those rawhide bones your dog loves to chew on could actually be dangerous for him if you leave them sitting around. These bones have been known to host dangerous bacteria so be careful about keeping them clean for your dog. (Photo credit: Patrick Ahles/Flickr)


There are a variety of common houseplants that are toxic to dogs such as philodendron, lilies, azalea, mistletoe, and more. Outdoor plants like rhododendron, iris, foxglove, and rhubarb are also toxic. (Photo credit: Steven Yeh/Flickr)

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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