Dangerous Chemicals and Poisonous Foods for Dogs

Numerous human meals are toxic to dogs, and a wide variety of other substances, including plants, can also be dangerous. You’re likely familiar with some of these, while others may come as a shock.

Despite being perfectly safe for humans, many common foods, medicines, and plants can really be deadly for our dogs. Several everyday household products pose serious health risks to pets.

With this book, you’ll know exactly what to feed your dog and what to stay away from it, as well as what plants and substances to keep locked up. You may find some of these items surprising.

Just what are some of the things that canine stomachs just can’t handle?

We can’t help but spoil our canine companions every once in a while. Some things that humans eat can be supplied in moderation, while others should be avoided completely. Many of the most common things in our refrigerators and pantries, such as grapes, garlic, and onions, are toxic to dogs.

Many vegetables and fruits are safe for dogs to eat in moderation, but they must be broken up into little pieces and given to the dog under close supervision to prevent it from choking.

Top canine poisoning culprits

The following foods are highly harmful even in small doses and should be avoided at all costs:

Dates and figs

Dogs should be kept away from raisins because they are extremely poisonous to them. A toxic reaction can manifest itself in a variety of ways, but nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue are some of the most prevalent. The ingestion of raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, which can be fatal if treatment is delayed.


Avoid giving your dog either fresh or dried grapes (raisins) since they contain a compound that is poisonous to canines. Tell your vet right away if you think your dog has eaten grapes so that they can help flush the fruit from their system. Read our piece on the topic of canines and grapes to learn more.


Toxic levels of onion compounds can be lethal to dogs, making them one of the most hazardous diets for canines. You should check the ingredients list before giving your pet a mouthful of any human food because they are commonly contained in many common foods. Explore the reasons why dogs shouldn’t eat onions with this brief tutorial.


Garlic is another food that might be harmful to canines. This is due to the fact that it includes a chemical toxic to dogs’ red blood cells. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you not give it to your dog. Keep an eye out for signs of weakness, vomiting, or excessive panting if you think they may have gotten into some garlicky food. In this helpful post, we’ll go through the specific reasons why garlic is bad for canines.

Other potentially harmful foods for dogs

  • Macadamia nuts.
  • Walnuts.
  • Chocolate.
  • Coffee.
  • Tea.
  • Alcohol.
  • Xylitol – often found in certain types of peanut butter and chewing gum.
  • Bread dough.

Plants that can cause toxicity in dogs when eaten in large quantities include:

  • Rhubarb (mainly leaves).
  • Potato leaves and stems.
  • Tomato leaves and stems.
  • Apple seeds, Cherry pits, Apricot pits, Peach pits, present a small risk only but can cause obstructions in the digestive system.

Which chemicals are bad for your dog?

There are a range of substances around your home that could harm your dog, so it’s important to know what these are so you can keep your pet away.

Cleaning agents

If you have a dog that is especially interested, you should put the cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet and install kid safety locks to prevent your dog from getting into them. The effects of ingestion of some chemicals can range from slight discomfort to severe burns to the tongue, mouth, and stomach, and even death.

Pest control products

Chemicals used to kill pests can be very lethal. Certain rodent poisons, for instance, have been linked to fatal bleeding and anemia in dogs. For this reason, it is important to keep any rat or mouse baits, ant or cockroach traps, or snail and slug baits in inaccessible sections of your home or garden.


Do not give your dog any medication without first consulting with your vet. Even a trace amount of human medication can be fatal for a dog. Ibuprofen and other pain relievers, cold treatments, cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins, herbal supplements, and diet pills all fall under this category. To prevent your dog from getting into your medication, store it in a secure location out of reach.

Furnishings and other domestic things

A wide variety of common household goods can be harmful to dogs even when used in little amounts. Some of them are poisonous, and others might block your digestive tract. A few examples are batteries (which contain acids or alkalis that can also cause corrosive lesions), automatic dish detergents (which contain cationic detergents that could cause corrosive lesions), homemade play dough (which contains high quantities of salt), winter heat source agents like hand or foot warmers (which contain high quantities of iron), cigarettes, ground coffee, and alcoholic beverages.

Product-based Automotive

Oil, gas, and antifreeze for your vehicle should be kept safely out of your dog’s reach. Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is especially dangerous since dogs may be enticed to drink it. Take additional care on the roads and sidewalks this winter, as antifreeze is sometimes used as a path de-icer or spilled on the ground when vehicles’ cooling systems are refilled. In case they lick their paws, it’s best to give your dog a foot bath after a stroll.

Solutions for fleas and ticks

When treating your pet for fleas or ticks, always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian and the product’s manufacturer. Never use medication intended for another animal, and always follow the manufacturer’s dosage instructions. Seizures and other neurological effects of an overdose are possible, and certain drugs are deadly if used on the wrong species.

You should read the manual or other product documentation carefully and use the item exactly as directed. Prior to use, if you have any questions about the directions, it is recommended that you contact the manufacturer or your veterinarian for clarification. Household sprays should have the same precautions taken with them; read the label carefully and keep pets out of the area for as long as it says to.

Chemicals used in agriculture, such as fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides

Fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides can be dangerous to pets, so be sure to read labels carefully before applying them to your lawn or garden and keep Fido away from the area until it is safe. This will be at least as long as the product needs to dry, but may be longer in some cases. Keep these items where your dog can’t get to them.


Use caution around cleaning supplies, insecticides, paints, and varnishes, all of which could contain harmful contaminants. Keep in mind that air conditioning equipment, ductwork, filters, and humidifiers can all harbor microorganisms and fungi. Make sure there is plenty of fresh air and that your dog never enters the polluted area. Due to the presence of lead, care must be taken when removing lead-based paint, linoleum, and caulking compounds, and the area must be carefully cleaned up afterward. If your dog experiences any of the following symptoms following ingestion: vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, muscular coordination, blindness, or seizures, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Poisonous plants for dogs

The following is a list of poisonous plants for dogs, so keep a watchful eye on your dog if you have any of them around your home or garden, and consider whether you should remove them.

The list isn’t exhaustive, but you can find more information at The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS). Although the VPIS only handles direct enquiries from vets (not pet owners), its website does provide some useful information.

  • Aloe Vera.
  • Apple (seeds).
  • Apricot (pit).
  • Autumn Crocus.
  • Cherry (seeds and wilting leaves).
  • Daffodil.
  • Easter Lily.
  • Elephant Ears.
  • English Ivy, Poison Ivy, Devil’s Ivy and other ivies.
  • Foxglove.
  • Geranium.
  • Marijuana.
  • Narcissus.
  • Oleander.
  • Oriental Lily.
  • Peach (wilting leaves and pits).
  • Primrose.
  • Rhododendron.
  • Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves).
  • Yew.
  • Amaryllis.
  • Azalea.
  • Bird of Paradise.
  • Clematis.
  • Cyclamen.
  • Eucalyptus.
  • Indian Rubber Plant.
  • Lily of the Valley.
  • Mistletoe.
  • Nightshade.
  • Onion.
  • Peace Lily.
  • Poinsettia (low toxicity).
  • Swiss Cheese Plant.
  • Tiger Lily.
  • Weeping Fig.

Veterinarians are the best people to consult if you suspect your dog has swallowed something harmful, be it poisonous plants, foods, or anything else.