You’ve probably heard that chocolate is poisonous to dogs and poinsettias are poisonous to cats, but did you know that there are other items in your home that are just as dangerous?


This common sugar substitute is used in toothpaste, breath mints and gum. It is incredibly toxic to dogs, especially smaller dogs. Even if your dog sneaks just one piece of gum or a breath mint, the Xylitol can cause their blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning initially include vomiting, and can progress to fainting, seizures, staggering and weakness.


Lillies are beautiful flowers, common especially around Easter. While you would never feed your cat a lily, some felines can’t resist munching on plants. Ingestion of even the tiniest amounts of lilies may cause drooling, vomiting, lethargy and even fatal kidney failure in cats. All parts of the plant are toxic, even the water from the vase. Unlike cats, dogs ingesting lilies may experience minor stomach upset but do not develop kidney failure.

Salty and Fried Foods

We know we should avoid eating salty and fried foods, but it’s important that dogs aren’t given these treats, either. In addition to the choking risks of say, a pretzel stick, salty foods can cause sodium ion poisoning in dogs. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, excessive thirst, kidney damage, seizures and vomiting. Fried foods, especially fried chicken, can cause pancreatic inflammation, which can be life-threatening.

Garlic and Onion

When we’re cooking in the kitchen, odds are our pets are in there with us. It’s difficult to resist those begging whimpers or saucer-shaped eyes, but when you’re cooking garlic and onions, or any food containing garlic or onion as a spice, do not share it with your dog. These ingredients can cause hemolytic anemia, which can damage a dog’s red blood cells. Symptoms include disorientation, fatigue, rapid heartbeat and darkened urine or vomiting as the disease progresses.

Grapes and Raisins

Dogs especially tend to be prone to health risks from eating grapes or raisins, but cats and other pets may be at risk too for poisoning from grapes and grape products. In addition to producing abdominal pain, loss of appetite and diarrhea, some varieties of grapes can also cause kidney failure.

If your pet accidentally ingests any of these toxins, it is important to call your vet immediately. Be prepared to tell the vet how much and what was ingested, as well as your pet’s breed and weight. At PetWow, our experienced staff can help your pet stay healthy so they can live their best life. More than 20,000 pet parents in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky have trusted our experienced team for more than 20 years, and we can’t wait to meet you. For more pet care tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn!

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