Toxic Household Items For Dogs

Which household items are toxic to dogs?

How do I make the holidays safe and stress-free for my dog?

As we approach the Holidays, we need to think about the physical and mental health of our pets during this time.  For example, how are the holidays going to affect the emotional status of your dog? Are we having visitors to our house and how will that affect my dogs?  Will they be nervous and scared or will they welcome them and enjoy the time with our family?   Will there be loud fireworks and banging noises at New Years?  There are a lot of over the counter holistic calming medications you can get for your pet, and if their anxiety is severe enough, you may need to contact your veterinarian about anxiety medications to get them through their experiences.

Does your dog get into things?  Christmas plants like mistletoe, poinsettias, holly, and ivy can be toxic to your dog depending on their size and amount ingested.  Be careful what plants you have access to.  If you have a “chewer,” you can always go to your local hobby store and get some nice artificial plants, but you have to make sure they are not eating the plastic and wires that are in these as well.  Watch what you are cooking, fatty foods and meats can cause pancreatitis and gastritis if your dog is a table or counter surfer.  Make sure these are out of reach and under constant surveillance if you have one of these sneaky little guys.  Holiday chocolates can also cause a wide range of medical problems from vomiting to racing hearts and death.  Put away the sweets, or even better, just eat them yourself as soon as you get them.
Make sure you watch the tree!  The Christmas lights can contain a chemical called Methylene Chloride, it can be toxic if ingested and lethal in large quantities.  Again, if you have a curious little one that likes to chew, this can be a huge hazard.  You can also have electrical shock concerns as well with the strings of lights.   Christmas ornaments can cause cuts in the mouth and can be dangerous if ingested.
We all want to enjoy the holidays.  We want them to be stress free and safe for us and our pets.  I can’t think of something more stressful than ending up at an ER with your pet on Christmas Day.   Keep them safe and you can enjoy the holidays with your pets. There are many household items you need to keep away from your dog especially if it’s a food-obsessed breed such as a labrador or hunting dog. 


One Christmas-eve morning an emergency happened. Rosie found some sugar-free gum in my daughter’s stocking and ate almost a whole plastic container full. Quickly, she became lethargic and, luckily, my staff member was there to spring into action. She called the doctors at my animal hospital and was instructed to bring her in immediately. On the way to the hospital, Rosie had a seizure and became limp.  She was suffering from extremely low blood sugar from the Xylitol in the gum. We were close to losing her. Right away my staff started IV treatments and soon Rosie was doing better. She required observation for the rest of the long weekend; they stayed by her side until we were able to get home. I’m happy to report Rosie is doing well and back to her normal “ food searching” self. 

What Foods are Toxic to Dogs?

Even the vet’s animals get sick and have emergencies! Because of that, I wanted to give you a list of some of the more common household toxins. If you suspect your dog has ingested any of them please rush to your local veterinarian. 

  • Sugar-free gums and peanut butters with Xylitol
  • Chocolate
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Grapes and raisins: tartaric acid and potassium bitartrate are found in high concentrations in grapes, which can lead to kidney failure in breeds that have a sensitivity to the substance.
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Raw yeast dough

What Plants are Toxic to Dogs?

  • Autumn crocus
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Hyacinth
  • Lily of the valley
  • Lilies
  • Moth Balls
  • Oleander
  • Sago palm
  • Tulips
  • Poinsettias
  • Rodenticides

Items People Also Ask About...

  • Blueberries
  • Roses
  • Lillies
  • Ferns
  • Apple
  • Mushrooms
  • Pothos
  • Acorns
  • Geranium
  • Crayons
  • Coneflowers
  • Lemons
  • Plumbs
  • North American Frogs
  • Sunflowers
  • Pecans

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About the Author

Rich Coleman

Rich Coleman

Dr. Rich Coleman grew up in Fairfield, Ohio and began his journey into veterinary medicine as a kennel attendant at the age of 15. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati before graduating from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Dr. Rich took over Plum Veterinary Clinic in December 2006, changed the name to Four Paws Animal Hospital in 2007, built a new facility in 2012 and began a remodel in March 2019 to allow for more growth and opportunities for our community. Dr. Rich Coleman is the Chief Veterinary Officer for NatrixOne™ and completed our 100 dog study in 2018. After seeing results firsthand, he joined the NatrixOne team!