“Your Dog Ate WHAT?!: Common Household Toxins and Items to Avoid”

How many times have you found yourself taking inedible items out of your new puppy or kitten’s mouth? When I first adopted my dog, Timber, that answer was COUNTLESS. If any scrap of food or piece of paper happened to make it to the floor during a meal, Timber was there to vacuum it right up. Puppies and kittens love to eat things they aren’t supposed to, however, certain foods, even in small amounts, can be harmful and if pets are noted to have consumed them, require veterinary attention.

Please contact your veterinarian if your pet has eaten any of the following items:

Human Food

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee or any caffeinated products
  • Raisins or Grapes
  • Alcohol
  • Avocados
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Sugar free products containing xylitol, such as gum
  • Macadamia Nuts, Walnuts, Pistachios, Pecans
  • Bones, Skin, or Fat drippings
  • Corn Cobs


  • Lilies or other plants
  • Batteries
  • Rodenticide, Bait Traps, Insecticides
  • Fertilizers
  • Drugs (over the counter, prescription, recreational, etc.)
  • Drain or Pool cleaners
  • Lead (paint chips or dust)
  • Zinc (pennies made after 1982)
  • Foreign Items (Clothing, String, etc)

Many of the above items contain ingredients that animals cannot metabolize and can cause liver or kidney failure. Others have the potential to get stuck along their gastrointestinal tract and cause a blockage or rupture, often requiring emergency surgery. If your pet is a non-discriminate eater, keeping them contained to a small room or crate can help avoid incidents and keep them safe when you are not around to supervise their activity.

Do not attempt to make your pet vomit at home before contacting your primary veterinarian or emergency clinic because, depending on what they ingested, this may cause more harm than good.

If ingestion occurs after hours, Norwalk Animal Hospital now offers a FREE “Guardian Vets” phone service that will put you in contact with a veterinary professional that will help you determine whether your pet should be seen immediately by an emergency clinic or if they can wait for an appointment.

Please talk to your primary veterinarian or call Norwalk Animal Hospital today if you have any questions about household toxins or if you think your pet has been in contact with them.