Poison Prevention Week: Pet Edition (Part 2)

In 2019, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) received approximately 229,223 calls concerning pet exposures to potentially poisonous items. We’ve already shared the top ten most deadly things in and around your house but, unfortunately, there are many more dangers to watch out for! For Poison Prevention Week (March 15th– March 21st) we wanted to make it easier by giving you a guide based on each room.

In conjunction with Poison Prevention Week, Pet Poison Helpline has simplified the process of identifying potentially poisonous situations by categorizing them by room or area in which they reside.

Living Room

  • Plants: Some common household plants can be toxic to dogs and cats (lilies, for example, are highly toxic to cats, just one or two petals can be fatal)! For information on other dangerous household plants, be sure to view top 10 plants poisonous to dogs and cats.
  • Fragrances: Keep home fragrance products, such as liquid potpourri, well out of reach. These products may cause chemical burns if ingested.
  • Nicotine: Keep ashtrays, smoking cessation products (nicotine chewing gum or patches), and cigarette butts out of reach.
  • Batteries: Dogs enjoy chewing on batteries and battery-containing devices such as remote controls and cell phones which can cause serious chemical burns.
  • Purse: Hang it up! Pets love to dig through purses and bags which often contain potential pet poisons such medications, cigarettes or sugar-free gum with xylitol.


  • Human foods: Raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, unbaked yeast dough, fatty foods, chocolate, and some peanut butters (xylitol) are toxic.
  • Trash & Compost Bins: Keep them behind closed doors! They can contain many pet toxins such as cigarette butts, coffee grounds, moldy foods and bones.
  • Alcohol: Keep out of reach as alcohol can cause low blood sugar in pets.


  • Medications: OTC pills, prescription pills, inhalers and dietary supplements, should be safely locked up in secure cupboards. Never medicate your pets with human products without first contacting your veterinarian. Some common human medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) are extremely poisonous to pets.
  • Cleaning Products: Keep pets away from cleaning products and out of the room while using those products. Close toilet lids to keep them from drinking the water, especially if you use automatic chemical tank or bowl treatment.

Utility Room

  • Rodenticides (rat and mouse poison): Keep these products far away from pets and be mindful that rodents can transfer the products to locations accessible by pets.
  • Insecticides: If you use them in your home or on your pets, read the label carefully. Never use flea and tick products meant for dogs on your cat, as they may cause tremors and seizures.
  • Glue: Some glues, such as Gorilla Glue®, expand greatly once ingested and require surgical removal. Just one ounce of glue may expand to the size of a basketball.


  • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze): Extremely toxic and, unfortunately, have a sweet taste that may be appealing to pets. Choose propylene glycol-based antifreeze as a safer alternative. If antifreeze is spilled, clean it up immediately or dilute it with several gallons of water.
  • Automotive Products: Chemicals like windshield cleaner fluid or brake fluid may contain methanol, a toxic alcohol similar to ethylene glycol antifreeze.

Yard and Garden

  • Fertilizers: Dogs like the taste of some fertilizers (bone meal, blood meal). Keep tightly sealed and out of reach and use products according to label instructions.
  • Grub or snail killers—especially those that include metaldehyde—can be harmful to pets. Avoid using them if possible.
  • Yard Insecticides: Those that contain organophosphates or carbamates can be very dangerous if ingested in high concentrations.
  • Herbicides: Keep pets off lawns until commercially sprayed herbicides are dry.

If you think your pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center anytime, day or night. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any pet emergency.