If you have a dog you probably know giving it chocolate is a big no-no. But many other household items can be just as toxic, which is why pet owners need to take precautions to help keep their dogs and cats safe.


Chocolate causes more pet poisonings than any other food, and the darker it is, the more damage it can cause. Grapes and raisins can also be toxic to a dog’s kidneys and onions and garlic can cause red blood cell damage in pets.

Just like you would with small children in the house, you need to use common sense with your pets too. Chances are your pet will eat off the kitchen floor, so be aware.

“Miscellaneous things like batteries or even sugarless gum or candies that contain xylitol are toxic for pets, so make sure that you keep them out of reach,” said Julia Calderone, Consumer Reports health editor.


Topping the list are commonly prescribed medicines for ADHD, heart conditions, and antidepressants. They can cause rapid heart rate, diarrhea and even seizures if ingested by an animal.

Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can also cause problems, like liver and kidney failure.

So take your medications over a sink, store them where pets can't reach them and make sure to clean kitchen floors and countertops.

Cleaners and household supplies

Floor and household cleaners can be poisonous too. Wait until they evaporate before exposing pets and store them securely.

“Keep pets away from insecticides and plants too. Even a lick of pollen from many types of lilies can cause kidney failure in your cat,” warned Calderone.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items, Consumer Reports says take the toxin away from them immediately, and call your veterinarian.