Indoors Hazards for Dogs

Our homes can contain a wide variety of potentially harmful compounds. The following is not a complete list, but indicates some of the most common problems.  (Oregon Humane Society)

Foods to Avoid

  • Onions, onion powder
  • Chocolate (baker’s, semi-sweet, milk, dark)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Yeast dough
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
  • Tea (caffeine)
  • Salt
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Hops (used in home beer brewing)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Avocados (toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle, and dairy goats)
  • Moldy foods

Because they are so much smaller than we are, our companion animals need to be kept away from all medications. Do not give any of your medications to a pet. That includes over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, cough or cold medicines, and decongestants. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, anti-depressants, vitamins, and diet pills are all examples of human medications that can be lethal to animals, even in small doses. Please consult your veterinarian.

Household Items
Common household items that can be lethal to an animal are mothballs, potpourri oils, coffee grounds, homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets, dishwashing detergent, batteries, cigarettes, and alcoholic drinks.

DANGERS OF CHOCOLATE(from the Oregon Humane Society)

Chocolate treats will tempt anyone, including your pet. However, mixing chocolate with four legs may be a tragic or deadly combination for Fido the dog.    

Here’s the skinny on chocolate:  An ingredient in chocolate called theobromine may cause vomiting and restlessness in pets. If your pet ingests a large amount of chocolate, it can be fatal. The lethal dose of theobromine depends on the size of the dog and the type of chocolate. (Consult your veterinarian.)

Even the smallest amounts can be fatal:

  • Ounce for ounce, baking chocolate has six to nine times as much of the substance as milk chocolate does.

  • ½ to 1 ounce of baking chocolate or 4 to 10 ounces of milk chocolate may be dangerous for small dogs, such as chihuahuas and toy poodles.

  • 2 to 3 ounces of baking chocolate or 1 to 1½ pounds of milk chocolate may be dangerous for medium-sized dogs, like cocker spaniels and dachshunds.

  • 4 to 8 ounces of baking chocolate or 2 to 4½ pounds of milk chocolate may be dangerous for large dogs, including collies and labrador retrievers.  

A veterinarian should be consulted as soon as an accidental chocolate ingestion is discovered – time is of the essence. Treatment may require inducing vomiting, stabilizing the animal’s heartbeat and respiration, controlling seizures, and slowing the absorption of theobromine found in chocolate. Do not delay treatment.  

Dogs seem to be more attracted to this tasty yet forbidden confection. Cats have much different eating habits and seldom are poisoned by chocolate.  



Ingestion of Cannabis sativa by companion animals can result in depression of the central nervous system and incoordination, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, and even seizures and coma.

Sago Palm
All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxin. The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects, which include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.

Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.

Members of the Rhododenron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.

All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects—including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Castor Bean
The poisonous principle in Ricinus communis is ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma and death.

Cylamen species contain cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.

This plant contains components that can produce gastrointestinal irritation, as well as those that are toxic to the heart, and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate.

Taxus spp. contains a toxic component known as taxine, which causes central nervous system effects such as trembling, incoordination, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.


The following plants may be poisonous to your pet:

  • Aloe Vera, Amaryllis, Apple (seeds), Apple Leaf Croton, Apricot (pit), Asparagus Fern, Autumn Crocus, Azalea
  • Baby’s Breath, Bird of Paradise, Branching Ivy, Buckeye, Buddhist Pine
  • Caladium, Calla Lily, Castor Bean, Ceriman, Charming Dieffenbachia, Cherry (seeds and wilting leaves), Chinese Evergreen, Christmas Rose, Cineraria, Clematis, Cordatum, Corn Plant, Cornstalk Plant, Croton, Cuban Laurel, Cutleaf Philodendron, Cycads, Cyclamen
  • Daffodil, Devil’s Ivy, Dieffenbachia, Dracaena Palm, Dragon Tree, Dumb Cane
  • Easter Lily (especially in cats!!!!), Elaine, Elephant Ears, Emerald Feather, English Ivy, Eucalyptus
  • Fiddle-leaf fig, Florida Beauty, Floxglove, Fruit Salad Plant
  • Geranium, German Ivy, Giamt Dumb Cane, Glacier Ivy, Gold Dust Dracaena, Golden Pothos
  • Hahn’s Self-Branching Ivy, Heartland Philodendron, Hurrican Plant
  • Indian Rubber Plant
  • janet Craig Dracaena, Japanese Show Lily (especially in cats!!!), Jerusalem Cherry
  • Kalanchoe (Panda bear Plant)
  • Lacey Tree Philodendron, Lily of the Valley
  • Madagascar Dragon Tree, Marble Queen, Marijuana, Mexican Breadfruit, Miniature Croton, Mistletoe, Morning Glory, Mother-in Law’s Tongue
  • Narcissus, Needlepoint Ivy, Nephthytis, Nightshade
  • Oleander, Onions, Oriental Lily (especially in cats!!!)
  • Please Lily, Peach (wilting leaves and pits), Pencil Cactus, Plumosa Fern, Poinsettia (low toxicity), Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Pothos, Precatory Bean, Primrose
  • Red Emerald, Red Princess, Red-Margined Dracaena, Rhododendron, Ribbon Plant
  • Saddle Leaf Philodendron, Sago Palm, Satin Pothos, Schefflera, Silver Pothos, Spotted Dumb Cane, String of Pearls, Striped Dracaena, Sweetheart Ivy, Swiss Cheese Plant
  • Taro Vine, Tiger Lily (especially cats!!!), Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves), Tree Philodendron, Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
  • Weeping Fig
  • Yew

Ontario Veterinary Medical Association



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