It’s your responsibility to keep your dog safe and healthy daily. In this post, our Gardena vets discuss a few hazards around the house that can be harmful to dogs and puppies.

Things That Are Toxic to Dogs

Dog-proofing your home is an essential part of being a responsible pet parent. But that can be easier said than done. What is bad or poisonous to dogs will likely be okay for you, and so you might not think anything of it. Our Gardena vets have compiled a list of common household items that are poisonous for dogs, some of which may require immediate emergency care.

Over-the-counter Drugs & Prescription Medications

This one should be obvious. Over-the-counter drugs account for 17% of ASPCA's total call volume. Common items include unsafe pain medication, vitamins, supplements, and cold medicine. Large doses can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, increased drinking, urination, severe stomach ulcers, and kidney failure.

ASPCA data also shows dogs and puppies frequently consume toxic prescription drugs for cardiac, anticonvulsant, and antidepressant medications. These drugs can cause gastrointestinal issues, cardiac arrhythmias, blood pressure changes, and kidney failure.  Thus, it’s always best to secure them in cabinets.


Another one that should be obvious. The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) reports 76 cases of chocolate toxicity in dogs per day. Chocolate toxicity in dogs is caused primarily due to theobromine, a compound they cannot effectively metabolize. This leads to a buildup of by-product waste in the bloodstream. 

Although chocolate is rarely fatal to dogs, eating it can cause significant illness. Dog owners should monitor their pets and seek veterinary attention if they show signs of gastrointestinal distress or neurological issues.

Foods & Plants

Dogs are clever. Sometimes they embrace human foods they shouldn't. Thus, it's important to understand which of the foods we enjoy are toxic to dogs. 

Dogs don't digest food like humans. That's why foods and plants that are harmless to humans can be deadly to dogs. These include

  • Garlic, Onions, Shallots, and Chives
  • Xylitol (an artificial sweetener in gum)
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Cooked Bones

Many plants can make your dog sick. You should always keep your dog from chewing on any plants or vegetation outside. What can be safe and beautiful for you can be toxic for your dog.

Below, our vets list some of the plants toxic to your dog:

  • Milkweed
  • Mistletoe
  • Foxglove
  • Tulips

Rodent Killers & Insecticides

Rodent killers, a poisonous substance designed to attract rodents, can also attract dogs. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting and organ failure. If left untreated, it can lead to death. 

It is crucial to prevent dogs from contact with rodent killers. If you suspect your dog or puppy has eaten some, contact the APCC or Pet Poison Control and provide a detailed description of the product label. They need to know the active ingredients in the product because they have unique symptoms.

Insecticides like mosquito repellant, bug sprays, and ant baits can cause vomiting,  respiratory arrest, and seizures in dogs. Even non-toxic bait in traps can cause dogs to choke. Fly, slug, and snail poisons can also pose significant risks to dogs.

Gardening Products

Lawn and garden treatments like fertilizer and weed-killer contain harmful chemicals and hazardous compounds for dogs. These can be toxic when consumed in large amounts and can lead to stomach irritation, mouth burns, and severe toxicosis.

Has your dog eaten something they shouldn't have? Contact our Gardena vets to get your pup the care they need.