Pet Poisons at Home

It’s Poison Prevention Month—what kind of dangerous substances do you have in your home that may harm your pet? You might be surprised to learn that almost every typical home likely contains a few pet toxins. Learn how to keep your animal companion safe and sound from an Ellicott City, MD vet:


If you set up pesticide products around your home to get rid of insect or rodent intruders—an especially common problem during colder weather—it’s important that you keep your pet’s safety in mind. Products like these are poisonous, even to our animal companions! Place pesticides carefully where pets can’t reach, and consider non-toxic options to play it safe.

Human Food

All sorts of human foods can harm a pet who ingests them. The list includes garlic, onions, chives, scallions, shallots, leeks, avocado, grapes and raisins, chocolate, candy, gum, salty foods like chips and pretzels, fatty foods, caffeinated foods and beverages, and much more. Store all harmful foods in closed containers or cabinets where they belong, and keep your pet out of the kitchen during meal preparation and dinnertime.

Poisonous Plants

There are many plants and flowers—dieffenbachia, elephant ear, rhododendron/azalea, lilies, tulips, ivy, oleander, and certain aloe plants, just to name a few—that can prove harmful to pets. Ask your veterinarian what kind of toxic plant life is most common in your area, and remove any offenders from your home, lawn, or garden at once.

Cleaning Supplies

Disaster could strike if your animal companion gets ahold of cleaning products. Everything from household disinfectants and bleach-based cleaners to air fresheners and carpet shampoo could cause harm to a pet who ingests it! If you’re using strong chemicals, move your pet elsewhere until fumes have dissipated. Never leave your supply closet hanging open; close and lock it tightly so pets can’t get inside.


Did you know that many human medications—aspirin, cough syrup, prescription pills, over-the-counter drugs, antidepressants, and more—can poison a pet who eats them? Pets with strong jaws and teeth might even be able to munch through a child-proof plastic cap! Store medications of all types in a safe space where pets can’t reach, and put your pet’s own medicines in a separate area so as not to get human and animal medications mixed up.

Want more tips on keeping your pet safe at home? Call your Ellicott City, MD veterinary clinic.

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