Things That Are Poisonous to Dogs- What Every Pet Owner Should Know


If you own a dog or plan on getting one, this post is for you. This article will show you a list of things that are poisonous to dogs. This list is meant to give dog owners a heads-up on potentially dangerous items at home to keep well away from their dogs and other pets.  Please share this article with your friends and fellow pet owners. Some of these items may surprise you! 

Vitamin D

common items that are toxic to dogs

Dogs cannot absorb Vitamin D from sunlight as humans do so they must get it from their diet. Vitamin D is important for heart health in dogs as well as in calcium and phosphorus regulation but accidental ingestion of Vitamin D supplements, D-Drops and anything that has Vitamin D in it like Multivitamins or Omega-3 supplements are poisonous to dogs and requires immediate treatment. 

Symptoms include Bad breath, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, weight loss.


things that are toxic to dogs

 If you have any pennies under the couch or on the counter somewhere, please pick them up and put them somewhere out of your pet’s reach. While most coins may pass through a dog’s stools, pennies contain Zinc which gets broken down by stomach acid and will end up in Zinc poisoning.  

Zinc will wreak havoc as it travels through the bloodstream, damaging red blood cells and causes liver, kidney, and heart failure. Symptoms are pale gums, weakness, vomiting, collapse, discolored urine. This condition is fatal if not treated quickly. Some jewelry, plumbing supplies, and nails also contain Zinc. 


A gallon of Antifreeze
Photo Credit: MN Pollution Control Agency via Wunderstock (license)

Made of Ethylene Glycol. It’s sweet taste and green or yellow color is what attracts dogs to it. Please make sure you don’t spill any of it on the ground because it harms 90,000 animals and thousands of children annually. It only takes about 5 tablespoons to kill an average-sized dog. Symptoms are seizures, depression, and vomiting, excessive thirst and urination. 

When kidney failure begins, it’s probably too late. If you have even the slightest bit of suspicion that your dog or cat may have come in contact with antifreeze, call your vet ASAP. A less toxic cousin of antifreeze is made of Propylene Glycol which is also used as an additive to food such as dairy products, cake mix, popcorn.. yum!


Rodenticides (Rat Poison)

common items that are toxic to dogs

Dogs that accidentally ingest rat poison suffer from kidney failure and internal bleeding and severe vomiting. Rodents that were killed by rat poison must be discarded immediately. Pets that eat rodents that were poisoned by rat poison may get poisoned themselves. Call your vet immediately and do not induce vomiting unless told to do so.

 Symptoms are coughing/vomiting blood, bloody nose, bleeding gums, difficulty breathing, collapse.  Some rat poisons contain Vitamin D which works by raising calcium in the blood to toxic levels. Insecticides are also toxic even in small amounts.  More importantly, if you suspect your child handled rat poison, call the Poison Control Center at  1-800-222-1222

Treated Toilet Water

common items that harm dogs

When you see your dog drinking water from the toilet, a typical reaction would be “Ewww!” and it would be totally understandable to avoid doggy kisses at that point. Dogs aren’t squirmish like us humans and they usually have a stronger stomach. 

Pets are naturally attracted to running water. In many cases, toilet water is fresher than a dog’s water bowl because it’s flushed a few times a day. Treated toilet water is a different story, though. Bluewater isn’t as toxic as it used to be but it’s still the equivalent of drinking soapy water which might cause vomiting and diarrhea. 

The real danger is ingesting or chewing the drop-in tablet which may cause chemical burns in the mouth and throat. There is also a risk of poisoning by toilet cleaner chemicals. On top of that, there is a risk your dog may contact E.Coli and Giardia. 

Avoid a potential trip to the vet by always closing the toilet lid and/or the washroom door and clean your dog’s water bowl thoroughly once a week. 

Raw Dough

Common things that are toxic to dogs

Raw yeast dough contains yeast and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol as it ferments and alcohol is a big no-no to dogs. It is quickly absorbed in the bloodstream and causes alcohol poisoning. If you’re familiar with bread making, dough expands faster in a warm environment which is what the stomach is. 

It then causes bloating and puts pressure on surrounding organs, making it difficult to breathe. It may build enough pressure to actually rupture the stomach lining. Please do not take this lightly. Many dogs who ingest raw yeast dough do not make it, even with treatment. Practice safe baking and keep raw dough well away from your dog’s reach and lastly, never ever give garlic bread or raisin bread to your dog. 

Click here to learn 24 foods to never feed a dog.

Cured/Smoked Meat

things that are toxic to dogs

This includes ham, bacon, sausages, salami and the like. Too much salt and fat can be detrimental to your dog’s health (and yours, too) and can cause Pancreatitis – a potentially lethal disease. Symptoms to look for are vomiting, greasy yellow stool and loss of appetite.  

Excessive amounts of salt and fat can also lead to obesity which can, in effect, result in joint pain, diabetes and heart disease to name a few. But these are the least of your concerns. Dogs that consume fats have a much higher chance of developing a complex condition called Bloat which is a medical and surgical emergency. 

Symptoms to look for are: whining when belly is pressed, salivation, restlessness, enlargement of abdomen. Too much salt can cause tremors, vomiting, high temperatures, even death. Keep salty food like chips and pretzels away from Buddy. 


As a side note, wipe your dog’s paw after going for a walk because they may ingest road salt when licking their paw. If your dog suddenly starts to limp, its because road salt hurts their paws. Move away from the sidewalk and onto the grassy area. 


common things that are toxic to dogs

If you’re an avid gardener like me, there’s a good chance you’re using Bloodmeal and Bonemeal as a fertilizer especially when planting tomatoes. These are used to amend the soil and add vital Nitrogen(the stuff that makes things grow). Bloodmeal is made of flash-frozen blood and is commonly used in organic gardening. Dogs can find it appetizing and it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis if ingested while Bonemeal is made of ground-up flash-frozen animal bone and is also great to use as a slow-release fertilizer. 

If ingested, it may form into a solid round substance similar to a bowling ball in the stomach which may block the gut, requiring surgery. What’s worse is that Iron is usually added to fertilizers, which is also a big no-no. If you must really use these types of fertilizer, store it in a place where Buddy can’t access it.  You may also opt for pet-friendly fertilizers.

Compost contains a ton of bacteria and fungus and should also be kept away as well as grass fertilizers and weed killers.

Household Cleaners

things that are toxic to dogs

The average home contains 62 toxic chemicals though, to be honest, I think it’s much higher than that. A dog may accidentally ingest common cleaning chemicals containing Isopropyl alcohol, Ammonia, Formaldehyde, Chlorine, Phenols, Glycol Ethers and VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) found in oven cleaners, floor cleaners, toilet cleaners, drain cleaners, glass cleaners and all-around cleaners including carpet shampoo, rust removers, and laundry detergent can cause vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, cancer, lung damage, kidney damage, and even death.

 Accidentally mixing bleach and ammonia can be fatal to humans and dogs. Avoid these poisons by using vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, pure castile soap, washing soda, hydrogen peroxide, and using a steam machine to clean around the house or opt for dog-friendly cleaning products. Always read the label and remember that “Natural” does not mean it is safe for dogs.

More Toxins Lurking At Home

  • Raw Potatoes – Can cause nausea,  vomiting, and seizures(also in humans)
  • Silica Gel Packets – May cause obstruction in the gut especially in small dogs
  • Liquid Air Fresheners – May burn the mouth and cause digestive upset
  • Insecticides – Life-threatening even in small amounts
  • Mosquito Repellent – Toxic agent is DEET. May cause tremors, seizures, and death
  • Cigarettes – Nicotine can kill a dog. This includes nicotine patches and gum. It can cause severe vomiting. Do not smoke around pets. Dispose of cigarette filters safely
  • Petroleum Jelly – Can cause Diarrhea and Vomiting
  • Soap and Shampoo –  Can clog the gut. 
  • Moth Balls – Ingesting Naphthalene Balls can cause Anemia, Vomiting, kidney and liver damage
  • Anti-Depressants – such as Prozac, Paxil, and Effexor. These may cause sedation, tremors, seizures and neurological problems
  • Human Medications – such as Aspirin, Naproxen, and Ibuprofen. Tylenol may cause irreversible damage to the liver
  • Iron Supplements – Can cause vomiting, liver failure, and stomach ulcers. 

Keep in mind...

  • Snack bagsCan quickly cause suffocation when dogs sniff inside it, creating a vacuum seal. Never leave plastic grocery bags or any type of plastic bags lying around.
  • Easily swallowed items  – found in every home like Paperclips, Hairpins, Needles, Rubberbands, Batteries, Dental Floss

Fact: Over the counter Medication and Prescription meds are the #1 Reason people call the Animal Poison Center (ASPCA)

Toxic Plants To Keep Your Dog Away From

Grass Seeds**

Grass seeds can burrow in your dog’s skin/paws/eyes and may cause major damage. Keep your dog away from tall grass in warm and dry weather


Similar to Grass seeds, they can also inflict pain on your dogs. Keep an eye out when walking your dog. 


Toxic to dogs and humans. The leaves and buds of the Hydrangea plant contain cyanide. Symptoms of poisoning are Diarrhea and Vomiting.

Jade Plant

These plants are supposed to bring luck. The unlucky dog that mistakenly eats it may suffer from vomiting, slow heart rate and incoordination.

Ivy (Hedera Helix)

There are many types of Ivy and not all are toxic. The toxic ones contain Saponins which cause drooling,  abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.


Dogs that eat the Daffodil plant or drink water with Daffodils in it may get poisoned. Symptoms are convulsions, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting and heart problems. The most dangerous part is the bulb. 


These pretty plants are toxic to dogs. Symptoms of toxicity are excessive salivation, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, seizures, coma. Store bulbs safely.


Poinsettias are mildly toxic to dogs. Common symptoms are drooling, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is only mildly toxic to dogs. Symptoms are vomiting,  tremors and changes to urine color, loss of appetite. 


Pretty but highly poisonous to dogs, cats, and even humans. All parts of this plant are poisonous especially the berries. Even water in a vase that had this plant is toxic. It contains toxins that affect the heart. 


This plant has similar toxic effects as Foxglove with the exception that it can also harm horses and cattle. 

Lily Of The Valley

The effects of this plant are also similar to Foxglove. Symptoms are a drop in heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea. Contact your vet ASAP

Star Of Bethlehem

May cause tremors, seizures, drooling, vomiting. All parts of the plant are toxic


This bitter plant can cause drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. Thankfully, dogs don’t like the taste

I hope you found this list of things that are poisonous to dogs to be helpful. 

I know it’s a bit of information overload but as pet owners, it is our responsibility to know this list by heart (or at least bookmark it). Please scour your home for these items and keep them out of Buddy’s reach.

Please do our furry friends a huge favor by sharing this article. 

Did I miss anything? Please let me know in the comment section.

**All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian’s advice**


143 thoughts on “Things That Are Poisonous to Dogs- What Every Pet Owner Should Know”

  1. Hello dear, thanks for sharing such amazing concise information with us all. Wow what wonderful content you have here, I was actually doing some research online when I saw your post, I believe your post has really been helpful to me in all areas, am really looking forward to save these post so as to come back for future reference, thanks a lot for the info

  2. so thoughtful of you to share such an article on things that are poisonous to dogs I’m a pet owner, precisely own a dog  jummy…., Jimmy is much more than a dog to me I consider him a companion and also a friend… I must say that I’m so lucky to stumble upon such an intriguing articles which gives me the laundry of words to avoid giving to him to keep him safe… thanks for such a lovely review and look forward to sharing

  3. Thanks for the info. I have both a small dog and a cat. I knew there were certain plants that are toxic to dogs, but the list you gave is shocking. Some of those are fairly common around the house , inside and out. We got a Christmas cactus last year that I was told would be toxic to the animals, but little did I know all of the other plants that could harm them. Hydrangeas? I had no clue! Thanks for the info! 

    1. Our dog, Watson had diarrhea after nibbling on a hydrangea in our backyard when he was a puppy. 

      Im glad you enjoyed the article

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