23 Household Items That Can Kill a Dog Instantly

Group of Dogs


Dogs can have many positive effects on the lives of their owners – Healthy dogs, healthy people! Therefore, dog owners need to strive to keep dogs healthy and free from harmful substances as many things that are harmless to humans can be very harmful to dogs. This article has a great list of those household items to watch out for when dogs are around us.

What household items can kill a dog instantly?

1. Anti-freeze

Anti-freeze are sweet household items that can attract dogs, licking the chemical can kill a dog as it contains Ethylene glycol, the active ingredient in anti-freezing products, can lead to kidney failure in dogs.

There is an antidote, fomepizole, for antifreeze poisoning, but it must be administered within 8 to 12 hours after ingestion.

2. Rat poison

Rat poison

Rat poison is dangerous to dogs because it contains highly toxic chemicals meant for killing unwanted pests. Your dog could ingest this while out on a walk, scavenging on the way.

Your dog may chew on a rat that has been poisoned or get to eat the rat poison set to kill rats, if this happens, take the rat container to the vet to help in treating your dog since rat poison contains different toxic ingredients with different concentration levels.

3. Raw Meat

Raw Meat

Raw meat can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to dogs (and humans). Eating raw meat  can lead to skin and coat problems.

4. Slug bait

Slug Bait

As a dog owner, you should keep slug bait away from your dog because it contains metaldehyde which can be fatal to your dog. Ingesting this chemical can lead to panting, vomiting, seizures, and tremors.

5. Breath Mints and Strips

Breathe Mints

Breath freshening products may contain menthol or xylitol, which can irritate the tissues of the mouth and the gastrointestinal tract. 

If your dog has bad breath, talk with the vet for appropriate oral and dental health options for dogs.

6. Cleaning products

23 Household Items That Can Kill a Dog Instantly

Household items for cleaning usually contain ammonia, chlorine, glycol ethers, or formaldehyde can be very harmful for your dog.

There are several non-toxic, pet-safe household cleaning items that are dog-frindly.

7. Xylitol


Xylitol is among household items with sugar substitute often used in gum, mints, and even toothpaste. While it isn’t harmful to humans, Xylitol can be highly toxic to dogs. It can cause dangerously low blood sugar or liver failure in your dog.

Xylitol is harmful at 100 mg per kilogram of a dog’s bodyweight, the higher the dose, the higher the liver failure risk.

8. Certain medicines

Certain medicines

Tylenol, or acetaminophen as a human pain killer could be detrimental to your dog’s well being. Acetaminophen is toxic to dogs and can cause liver damage.

9. Onions and garlic

23 Household Items That Can Kill a Dog Instantly

These items (in natural or powder form) contain thiosulphate, 

10. Avocados


Avocados (fruit, seed, and leaves) are poisonous to your dog because they contain persin, which can lead to breathing difficulties.

11. Chocolate and caffeinated products

Chocolate and Caffeinated Produ

Chocolate is dangerous for your dog, and some types can be fatal since they contain toxic substances, theobromine and methylxanthines. The worst is dark chocolate or baking chocolate because they have higher levels of theobromine.

Ingesting these substances can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.

12. Plastic bags

Chips, candy, cereal, food storage and other plastic bags are made from different types of plastic materials that are sometimes layered, particularly in the case of potato chip bags. These plastic materials include Mylar (polyethylene terephthalate, or PET), aluminum-laminated polypropylene, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). its acronym in English). These materials make the bags lightweight and flexible, which is perfect for storing food. However, it is a bad combination for pets that stick their heads inside the bags.

Dogs can suffocate in less than five minutes when their heads get caught in these bags.

13. Grapes 

Grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs if ingested. It’s unknown what substance in grapes is so toxic to dogs, but they have significant negative effects on a dog’s renal system.

14. Alcoholic Beverages

Similar to alcohol poisoning in humans, a dog who drinks alcohol can experience vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

15. Yeast Dough

Yeast Dough

Eating raw bread can get your dog drunk. That’s because yeast produces ethanol and can rise while it’s in your dog’s stomach, causing painful gas to accumulate in her digestive system.

16. Cigarettes and Vaping Liquid

Cigarettes and Vaping Liquid

These contain nicotine, and the same as alcohol, can be harmful to your dog, leading to severe vomiting, depression, elevated heart rate, decrease in blood pressure, seizures, respiratory failure and, in severe cases, even death.

17. Petroleum Jelly

Dogs could mistakenly eat petroleum jelly as they are known for eating everything. This could lead to  diarrhea and possibly vomiting, if ingested in large quantities.

18. Soaps

Sweet-smelling soaps can be irresistible to a dog’s sniffer and taste buds. If swallowed, it can cause loose stools, diarrhea, or vomiting, dehydration as a result of severe diarrhea. 

19. Marijuana


Recreational marijuana significantly increases marijuana (THC) poisoning in dogs. 

CBD oil or any marijuana products is taken/assumed by dog owners, as a cure-all for practically any ailmen which has increased vets requests from dog owners to treat their dogs with these products. Vets claim that it’s illegal to recommend CBD oil and marijuana products for dogs.

20. Nuts

Please, keep her away from nuts as the high fat content in nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially, pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia.

21. Coconut products

Coconut products

These oils ingested in large quantities  can cause stomach upset, loose stools, or pancreatitis. Coconut water is high in potassium and harmful to your dog.

22. Dairy Products

Dogs don’t have enough lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), so dairy-based products can cause digestive upset and diarrhea.

23. Salty Foods and Snacks

Heavy doses of salt makes your dog really thirsty and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

Imagine this:

You’re enjoying a quiet evening, and suddenly, your dog starts acting out of the ordinary. Could it be something they ate?

If you think your dog has ingested something harmful, recognizing the signs of poisoning can be the difference between life and death for your furry friend. Let’s dive into the symptoms you should be on the lookout for.

Immediate Symptoms

Vomiting: It’s never a good sign when your dog starts to vomit unexpectedly. If it’s out of the blue and especially if they’ve been around any suspicious items, it’s a red flag.

Dogs may vomit occasionally due to various reasons, but if it happens suddenly and repeatedly, it’s time to take action. Frequent vomiting could indicate poisoning, and it’s essential to consult your vet immediately. Keep an eye on the vomit’s color and consistency as well, as this information can help your veterinarian in their diagnosis.


Seeing your dog have a seizure can be one of the most terrifying experiences. If they start shaking uncontrollably or lose consciousness, it’s a clear sign something’s wrong.

Seizures can result from a wide range of causes, including poisoning. When your dog experiences a seizure, ensure their safety by removing any nearby objects that could harm them during the episode. Make a note of the duration and intensity of the seizure to provide crucial information to your vet.

Sudden Lethargy

Is your usually energetic pup suddenly acting tired and uninterested? Sudden lethargy can be a telltale sign of poisoning.

When your dog becomes lethargic and unresponsive, it’s a concerning sign. Poisoning can lead to a decrease in energy levels and enthusiasm. Pay attention to any sudden changes in your dog’s activity, and if they seem unusually tired, seek professional help promptly.

Behavioral Changes

Dogs are creatures of habit. If they suddenly start acting differently, like being more aggressive or withdrawn after munching on something they shouldn’t have, it’s time to raise an eyebrow.

Unexplained behavioral changes are often linked to underlying health issues, including poisoning. If your dog’s demeanor takes a sudden turn for the worse, it could be a sign of distress caused by ingesting harmful substances. Monitor their behavior closely, especially after exposure to potential toxins.

Dealing with a Potential Dog Poisoning: A Quick Guide

We’ve all experienced it – one moment, you’re enjoying a peaceful afternoon, and the next, panic sets in because your beloved dog might have consumed something hazardous. It’s a pet owner’s worst nightmare. But fear not! Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to handle the situation if you suspect your furry friend has ingested something toxic.

a. Immediate Steps

Contact a Veterinarian or Helpline Right Away: Time is of the essence. If you suspect that your dog has ingested a harmful substance, don’t waste any time. Immediately reach out to your local veterinarian or reliable helplines like the Pet Poison Helpline or ASPCA Animal Poison Control. Every second counts, and seeking professional advice promptly can make all the difference.

Understanding Poison Control’s Role: You might wonder what poison control does. They are the true experts when it comes to toxic substances affecting pets. With an extensive database detailing countless items and their effects on animals, they can provide you with invaluable guidance in times of crisis. Whether it involves immediate first aid instructions or directing you to the nearest veterinary clinic, they are your go-to resource when facing a poisoning emergency.

b. Preventative Measures

Safeguard Your Home from Dangerous Items: As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take proactive steps to ensure that harmful items are securely stored in places your dog cannot access. Utilize high shelves, lockable cabinets, or designate certain rooms as off-limits to your furry companion. These precautions can be genuine lifesavers.

Read Household items/Product Labels Carefully: Have you ever glanced at the back of a product and noticed a warning about keeping it away from pets? Consider it a red flag. Many products, especially common household cleaning agents, contain harmful substances that can prove lethal to dogs. The next time you shop, take a moment to scrutinize the label. If it indicates that the product is harmful to pets, store it in a secure location.

While we cannot always predict accidents, being prepared and informed can significantly impact the outcome in an emergency. By knowing how to respond swiftly and taking preventative measures to create a safe environment, you can ensure the well-being and safety of your cherished pet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What should I do if I suspect my dog has been poisoned?

A: If you suspect poisoning, contact your veterinarian or an emergency pet poison hotline immediately. Provide as much information as possible about what household items your dog may have ingested.

Q: Is it safe to induce vomiting in my dog if I suspect poisoning?

A: Inducing vomiting should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian. In some cases, it may worsen the situation. Always seek professional advice first.

Q: How can I prevent poisoning in my dog?

A: Keep harmful household items out of your dog’s reach, educate yourself about toxic foods and plants, and be vigilant about your pet’s environment.

Q: Are there home remedies for dog poisoning?

A: No, it’s crucial to seek professional veterinary care for suspected poisoning. Home remedies can delay proper treatment and worsen the condition.

Q: Can my dog recover from poisoning?

A: The prognosis for poisoning depends on several factors, including the substance ingested, the amount, and the promptness of treatment. With swift action, many dogs can recover fully.

Q: How can I make my home safer for my dog?

A: Store household items, like chemicals and medications, securely, keep toxic foods out of reach, and regularly inspect your home and yard for potential hazards.


Recognizing the symptoms of poisoning in dogs is crucial for ensuring the well-being of your beloved pet. Immediate action is essential when you suspect poisoning, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help. By understanding the signs, being vigilant about your household items, dog’s surroundings, and taking preventative measures, you can help keep your furry friend safe and healthy.

If you think your dog is poison: 

Call: ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: (888) 426-4435

Important Site:

Pet Poison Helpline or ASPCA Animal Poison Control

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