How to Protect Your Dog from Common Toxins Around the House

My little Jolene is always searching for goodies left on the ground—be that around the house or on her walks. When she was just a few months old, she got ahold of something on a walk and within hours she was acting woozy and shaking. As I’ve previously mentioned, I had an awful experience with a family dog developing fatal seizures, so my mind was racing. We rushed poor little Jo to the vet, who informed us that Jolene had ingested some sort of toxin. Luckily, time and some fluids was all that was needed to get Miss Jolene back to her normal self, but that incident was enough for us to look into all the ways to prevent pet poisoning at home.


According to the Pet Poison Helpline, these are the top 10 toxins with the highest increase in calls over the past year:

1. Yeast (+390%)

2. Bread dough (+254%)

3. Brewed coffee (+220%)

4. Wine (+171%)

5. Cocktails (+169%)

6. Art supplies (+145%)

7. Cleaning products (+120%)

8. Paint (+118%)

9. Coffee grounds (+116%)

10. Marijuana (+80%)


We can’t protect our little ones from every morsel they may find on the sidewalk, but we can make sure our homes are as safe as possible. Here are some tips from the folks at VCA pet hospital:


  • Keep all medications up high in closed cupboards.
  • Don't store food on counters or tables.
  • Get a trash can that your pet will not be able to open or get into. If need be, store your trash in a closed cabinet—and don't forget bathroom trash bins.
  • If you keep gum, breath mints or other food in your purse or pant pockets, don't leave these items on the floor or anywhere else your pets can reach them.
  • Lock all cleaning, automotive, and garden chemicals securely away.
  • Never use mouse or rat poison in or around the house.
  • If your pet is a plant eater, check the ASPCA toxic plant list before getting a new plant.
  • Don't leave potpourri or essential oils around the house.
  • One note if you also have a cat in the house: Never bring lilies into a cat household—even the lily’s pollen can be toxic to our feline friends.


If you believe your pet has ingested a toxin or poison, call your vet right away. You can also contact ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

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