Common dangers to household pets

A woman hugging her beagle dog.
Photo by Halfpoint/Shutterstock

We all know that we love our pets, that we want the best for them, but it’s all too easy to make a simple mistake that can devastate your furry, feathered, and beloved pets. While some may say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you… these common household and pet products can actually pose some serious risks for pets.

Rawhide bones and chews

A dog rawhide bone.

Photo by phana sitti/Shutterstock

While there’s something kind of satisfying about watching your dog chow down on a rawhide bone (most dogs love them), rawhides can actually easily be contaminated with Salmonella and can infect pets and humans who may come into contact with them. If you have to give your dog a bone, be careful about which one you choose. As well, bones in general can be a choking risk – so supervision is always a good idea. Chicken bones can also easily shatter and choke a cat or dog, so keep the leftovers far away from them.

Poisonous household plants

Household plants.

Photo by Goncharov_Artem/Shutterstock

While they might look pretty, a tiny nibble from your furry friend can be life threatening. Plants like Azalea, dieffenbachia (dumb cane), lilies, mistletoe and philodendron are poisonous when eaten. Check out this full list of poisonous plants, just to be safe.


Pieces of chocolate.

Photo by Andris Tkacenko/Shutterstock

It’s almost common knowledge that dogs are deathly allergic to chocolate, but did you know that cats and ferrets are also at risk? Chocolate contains theobromine; while humans can easily metabolize theobromine, animals process it much more slowly, and it consumed, the toxins can build up in their system.



Photo by kaiskynet/Shutterstock

While the exact substance that causes toxicity in grapes for dogs is unknown, PetMD reports that dogs of any age and breed can experience sudden kidney failure after ingesting grapes. Pretty scary! If you think your dog might have accidentally ingested grapes, watch out for symptoms such as loss of appetite, dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea, and anuria (your dog stops urinating).

Non-stick cooking surfaces, self-cleaning ovens, and aerosol sprays

An aerosol can spraying its contents.

Photo by Joe Belanger/Shutterstock

The fumes emitted from non-stick cooking items, such as teflon coated frying pans, or from self-cleaning ovens, are incredibly deadly to birds. Aerosol cans also have a similar risk and should never be used around birds.

Cedar and other soft wood shavings

Wood chips.

Photo by Nyvlt-art/Shutterstock

Though it may be commonplace to bed your hamster, gerbil, or guinea pig’s cage with wood shavings, many shavings—such as pine—actually give off fumes that can harmful to your little critters. Choose wisely!