Facts about the animal kingdom

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: October 4, 2017
Household Products that Can Kill your Dog

See files for Dogs

Dogs are curious animals by nature and it is normal that sometimes this curiosity ends up getting them into trouble. They use their mouth to investigate anything that is put within their reach.

This may generate problems when they find something that is harmful for their health, especially if we have not taken adequate preventive measures.

To help prevent puppy accidents next in AnimalWised we present a list of the 10 common household products that can kill your dog, remember it is very important to keep these in mind as they can have dire consequences for your dog.

You may also be interested in: 5 Signs that your Cat is Bored


  1. Chocolate
  2. Paracetamol
  3. Alkalis
  4. Mothballs
  5. Detergents and fabric softeners
  6. Mouthwash
  7. Antifreeze
  8. Clothing whiteners
  9. Fruit seeds
  10. Decorative plants
See more >>

1. Chocolate

Although chocolate is a treat for us humans it is not a good idea that you give it to your dog. We have explained before in AnimalWised the reason why you should not give your dog chocolate and to reiterate this we remind you that chocolate contains a substance called theobromine that is toxic.

Theobromine is an alkaloid that is obtained from the cocoa plant and stimulates the central nervous system, causes bronchodilation and has different cardiovascular effects. Dogs are not are capable of eliminating theobromine with ease and therefore this becomes a toxic agent for them. It is estimated that as little as six grams for each kilo of dog weight can be lethal.

The biggest concern is dark chocolate black as it contains 10 times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Signs of canine chocolate poisoning include: increase in overall activity, diarrhoea, vomiting, urinary incontinence, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, tremors and spasms. So... no chocolate for your dog!

A good substitute for chocolate is carob, a food that dogs are able to synthesize correctly. Discover the carob as a substitute for chocolate for dogs.

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog - 1. Chocolate

2. Paracetamol

Who has not taken a paracetamol at some time? Paracetamol is an excellent analgesic that removes headache and other ills of modern life. However, this medication is poison for our dogs.

It is among the human medicinal products which are prohibited for dogs. Poisoning with paracetamol in dogs occurs because the Painkiller damages the liver and red blood cells. As a result, a dog poisoned by paracetamol may die from liver necrosis.

The lethal dose is estimated at 150 milligrams of acetaminophen per dog kilo. This means that two tablets of acetaminophen can kill your dog. So... no paracetamol for your dog! Even if it has a headache.

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog - 2. Paracetamol

3. Alkalis

The common alkalis in the houses are bleach, potassium permanganate and ammonium hydroxide. These substances are in liquid to unclog pipes, in detergents for bathrooms, ammonia and washing up liquid. They are also present in alkaline batteries, including watch batteries (button type).

If a dog ingests any of these things it will irritate and burn the mucous membranes of the digestive tract: mouth, oesophagus, stomach, intestine and colon. These are usually fatal.

Symptoms of alkali poisoning are: oral mucosa irritation, chest pain, seizures, drooling, loss of appetite and lethargy. Death usually occurs within 24 hours after ingestion. You must take caution and not leave these things near your dog.

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog - 3. Alkalis

4. Mothballs

Mothballs are extremely dangerous when ingested. Obviously, the same danger exists if your dog eats one of these balls. Poisoning by mothballs damages the dog's liver and affects the central nervous system. Its symptoms include vomiting and seizures. Be very careful where you put these balls and, if possible, do not use them.

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog - 4. Mothballs

5. Detergents and fabric softeners

Although detergents can be toxic if your dog ingests them, fabric softeners are extremely toxic and can cause death. Fabric softeners contain cationic detergents, which are also in disinfectants and germicides.

Symptoms of poisoning with these substances include: salivation (drooling), lethargy, vomiting, burns to the mouth, seizures, shock and coma.

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog - 5. Detergents and fabric softeners

6. Mouthwash

Some mouthwashes contain boric acid, which is highly toxic to dogs. Other common elements in a household that contain boric acid are contact lens cleaning solutions and solutions for cleaning dentures.

Symptoms that may be present in a dog suffering boric acid poisoning include vomiting, drooling, seizures and coma.

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog - 6. Mouthwash

7. Antifreeze

Antifreezes are among the greatest risks for pets. Many dogs die each year because of antifreeze poisoning.

The reason why many dogs die from antifreeze is because these substances have a pleasant smell and taste for dogs. So it is not uncommon for dogs to decide to try that thing that smells so good.

The toxic component of antifreeze is ethylene glycol, which affects kidney function and cause symptoms such as seizures, vomiting and lethargy.

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog - 7. Antifreeze

8. Clothing whiteners

Clothing whiteners such as bleach and products that contain chlorine are very toxic for dogs. Symptoms these produce include vomiting, drooling and abdominal pain. Never leave these substances within the reach of your dog.

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog - 8. Clothing whiteners

9. Fruit seeds

Many seeds are toxic for dogs. Some seeds are so large that they can obstruct the respiratory tract, but others are simply toxic.

Two of the most toxic seeds if eaten by a dog are peach and apricot.

Dogs, though more omnivorous than carnivorous, did not evolve to feed on seeds. As a result the digestive system can not process these elements correctly. The result can be disastrous, so avoid your dog from ingesting seeds.

Check out our list fruits and vegetables that are toxic for dogs to discover what other plant foods can be harmful to your pet.

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog - 9. Fruit seeds

10. Decorative plants

Like the seeds from fruits, many ornamental plants are toxic for dogs and other animals. Although dogs often eat grass, apparently to improve their digestion when they lack fibre in their diet, they are not able to tolerate all vegetables.

The symptoms produced by plant poisoning may vary depending on the species ingested, but typically these include vomiting and effects on the central nervous system.

Some toxic plants for dogs are: tomato, spinach, azalea, autumn crocus, avocado (leaves), oleander, actaea, nightshade, belladonna, foxglove, hemlock, water hemlock, yew, castor and lily of the valley. There are other plants that are also toxic for dogs, so lets prune the garden!

Household Products that Can Kill your Dog - 10. Decorative plants

If you want to read similar articles to Household Products that Can Kill your Dog, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

Write a comment
Add an image
Click to attach a photo related to your comment
What did you think of this article?
1 comment
Julian Hilt
This article is completely useless except for the chocolate and fruit seeds. Who in the right mind would ever feed their dog bleach in the first place? You would need to focus on more unknown foods or items that dogs can get like grapes.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Julian,

This article is on household products which might be eaten by dogs who will consume them by accident, not about people feeding them to their pets. Unfortunately, it is not only cats who are curious. Dogs can get into kitchen cupboards, trash bags or many other places where there may be harmful products. If you want to know more about foodstuffs forbidden for dogs, you can take a look at these articles here:

1 of 11
Household Products that Can Kill your Dog