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Items in Your House Right Now that are Hurting Your Pet

Updated on March 11, 2016
An avocado. Don't feed this to your pet!
An avocado. Don't feed this to your pet!


Although it probably isn't a very common animal treat in the first place, don't give your cat or dog any avocado. The fruit contains a chemical called persin, which is extremely toxic to most animals. If your pet ingests some avocado, they may have difficulty breathing, develop severe congestion, and could even have fluids accumulate around the heart, in severe cases resulting in death. So, don't share your guacamole with your pet!

Human medicine is a big no-no for your pets.
Human medicine is a big no-no for your pets.

Human Painkillers

Say that your cat or dog is not feeling well. Maybe their arthritis is bothering them, and you just want them to have some relief from the pain. You go to your medicine cabinet, grab some ibuprofen, and give it to your pet. You made sure that you didn't give them a full dose since they aren't human, after all. A small amount should be safe, right? Wrong! Absolutely, under any circumstances, do not give your cat or dog any human painkillers, such as ibuprofen. They are extremely toxic to pets and will lead to significant health problems, including diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and possibly even death. If you suspect that your pet is in pain, take him to your veterinarian, and go over treatment options with them. There are pain medicines specifically designed for pets that are completely safe for them when given the right dosage.

No tasty onion for your cat or dog.
No tasty onion for your cat or dog.

Onion and Onion Powder

Surprisingly, even a very small amount of onion can harm your cat or dog. It doesn't matter if it is cooked or raw, onion is simply not safe for your pet to eat. If you happen to drop some onion while chopping it up for dinner and your pet licks it up, they can get something called onion poisoning. This breaks down red blood cells, which can cause your pet to become anemic, as well as extremely tired and depressed, and lose weight. A lot of websites that teach you how to make homemade dog treats seem to have onion powder in their recipes. This is not a good idea. If you choose to make your own dog treats, exclude this ingredient.

Lilies are beautiful, but very harmful to cats and dogs.
Lilies are beautiful, but very harmful to cats and dogs.

House Plants

That's right! Your pretty potted plant might harm your pet if they decide to snack on it. Geraniums, lilies, daisies, and popies are among the most common house plants that are harmful to pets. If your pet ingests any of these plants, make sure that you take your pet and a leaf from the plant to your veterinarian right away. These plants are known to cause kidney failure. If you are unsure about what plants are and are not poisonous to your pet, there is a list on this site: If you must have lilies or some other plant that is poisonous to your pet in your house, make sure you have it in a safe area where the pet can't get to it.

Although a good size for a treat for your pet, grapes are very harmful to them.
Although a good size for a treat for your pet, grapes are very harmful to them.

Grapes and Raisins

Despite the fact that grapes are the perfect size for a doggie treat, they are a big no-no for Fido or Ms. Kitty. Surprisingly, scientists do not know what is in grapes that makes cats and dogs sick. But, they have been known to give both cats and dogs kidney failure. Steer clear of both grapes and raisins as treats for your pets.

This can be a fun toy for a cat, though!
This can be a fun toy for a cat, though!

Dairy Products

You have probably heard that it is okay to give milk to kittens, or cats as a treat. This is not true! Dogs and cats do not possess the same ability that humans do to break down cow milk. This can result in your pet having bouts of diarrhea if they are given milk. If you do have a puppy or kitten that is very young and needs to have milk, give them cat milk. You can buy it in most pet stores and even some grocery stores.

Now that's a happy dog!
Now that's a happy dog!


Although it seems like you are giving your pet a nice treat, stay away from giving your dog or cat any raw bones. Small steak or chicken bones are easy for your pet to choke on. Even larger raw bones can splinter, and become lodged in your pet's gums and digestive tract. Some bones are relatively safe for dogs, though. Many you can find in the store are safe, such as a cow knuckle or femur. Just make sure that you aren't giving your dog a raw or soup bone, as these are the ones that are most likely to splinter. Be aware that even if you are giving your dog a "safe" bone, there are still risks. Your dog can crack or chip their teeth on the bone, and there is always a risk that bone fragments can still get lodged in their intestines. If your dog is a bone-a-holic, choose their bones carefully.

It's hard to resist that cute face!
It's hard to resist that cute face!

Table Scraps

A lot of the food that we eat is not good for cats or dogs. Their food does not contain nearly as much salt as ours does. So, if you consistently give your pet table scraps, you are putting them at risk for sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of sodium ion poisoning include diarrhea, body shakes, elevated temperature, seizures, and in severe cases, even death. There are some table scraps, however, that are healthy for your dog, such as carrots and celery (in moderation).


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    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      2 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Avocado is not dangerous to dogs, unless you happen to choose to feed them a diet of pits.


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