10 Surprising Things That Could Make Your Pet Sick

By Steve Graham, Networx

Most responsible homeowners make an effort to keep harsh chemicals, rat poison and other dangerous substances away from pets. However, the same people may not realize how many other pet toxins lurk in the home. Here are 10 other items that could make your pet sick.

1. Ibuprofen: You may have the best intentions in giving human pain medications to pets, but no drugs should be given to pets without first consulting your veterinarian. Ibuprofen in particular can cause significant intestinal and kidney damage, but many other over-the-counter and prescription medications for humans can harm animals. Also keep in mind that child-proof medicine bottles are not necessarily animal-proof, and pets could ingest a whole bottle of drugs.

2. Pet medications: Itís also important to keep animal medications out of reach of pets. They are often enticingly flavored, so if pets find their way into the bottle, they are likely to gobble far more than a safe dosage.

3. Grapes and raisins: Itís also important to be careful with snacks for animals. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Some tests show as few as seven grapes can be toxic. Onions and garlic are also dangerous for both cats and dogs, though typically in larger amounts.

4. Sugar-free gum and mints: Sugarless candy and other items often contain xylitol, a sweetener that can cause low blood sugar and liver failure.

5. Chocolate: Itís not a myth propagated by chocoholics trying to hoard their sweets. Chocolate can be deadly for dogs and other pets. A mild stimulant in chocolate can be far from mild for pets. It can cause seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and heart problems. Dark chocolate is particularly dangerous. Also, coffee and other caffeinated drinks contain similar substances.

Image: sue_r_b/stock.xchng

6. Alcohol: Your dog may be your best bud, but donít share a Bud with him. Even small amounts of alcohol can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory problems in many animals, and may be deadly.

7. Lilies: Lilies top a long list of common plants that can be toxic to animals. A cat that eats even small amounts of lily parts can incur severe kidney damage. Other dangerous plants include sago palms, tulip bulbs, azaleas, rhododendrons, yew and English ivy.

8. Batteries: Again, most corrosive acids are kept away from pets, but pet owners may not think of keeping batteries well out of reach. Battery acid can cause corrosive injuries to the mouth and stomach of many animals. Liquid potpourri may also be similarly dangerous.

9. Christmas trees: If pets eat tinsel and other decorations, the material can cause intestinal problems. Similarly, Christmas tree water may contain dangerous bacteria and fertilizers.

10. Citronella candles: Citronella smells good, so it attracts dogs, but it can cause diarrhea and stomach cramps if ingested.

These 10 substances may be hidden pet poisons in the home. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Febreze can be deadly for cats and other pets, despite dire warnings to the contrary floating around the Internet.

If your pet may have consumed one of the above toxins or other dangerous substances, contact your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie Rabout a month ago

From a veterinarian: feeding table scraps!

Heather T.
Heather T2 years ago

I knew some of the things that can make animals ill or sick but not all of them.
Many thanks for the informative list.

Maritza D.
Maritza D2 years ago

Thanks for this very important list!

Mary Walishko
Mary Walishko2 years ago

Thanks for info. FEBREZE tests on animals as does Tide, Windex, Dawn, Green works, Clorex, Lysol, and Ajax and many more, please share info, and boycott these products.

Jon H.
John Lloyd3 years ago


Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ
Sonia M4 years ago

Good to know.Thanks for sharing

Fiona T.
Past Member 5 years ago

Let's be a cautious pet parent

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Great info, thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Great info, thank you for sharing.