10 Common Pet Health Risks Inside Your Home

When you’re getting ready to bring home a new infant, it’s important to babyproof your home. However, did you think about the potential hazards in your home before bringing home your new pet? There are lots of pet health risks inside your home. Some of them can be fatal. You can protect your companion by being aware of the potential hazards and taking steps to rectify the situation.

If you are in or near Traveler’s Rest, SC and your pet is in need of veterinary care, contact Balanced Pets. Their veterinary center offers primary and integrative care for your companions.

In this article, we’ll explore the potential hazards in each room of your home.

Kitchen Hazards

There are several things in your kitchen that are 100% safe for humans- but could be harmful or deadly for your pets.


Make sure that you keep the following food items away from your pet:

  • Alcohol
  • Anything containing xylitol
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fatty foods
  • Garlic
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Tea
  • Yeast dough

Also, make sure to keep trash- especially rotting foods- out of your pet’s reach because those contain molds/bacteria that could give them food poisoning.

Cleaning Products

Most household cleaners are safe to use around your pets. However, you must make sure that you are reading and following the instructions on the label. For example, if the label says that you should keep pets/children away from the area until dry, make sure to follow this to avoid potential health risks.

Cleaning products that contain bleach can be used to disinfect surfaces but may irritate the respiratory tract if inhaled in high concentrations or may cause an upset stomach, vomiting/diarrhea, drooling, and severe burns if ingested. Skin contact may cause chemical burns.

Cleaning products should be kept in the original packaging, clearly labeled, and tightly sealed.


Just like with cleaners, it’s important that you read and follow the instructions on the label before you use any type of pesticide around your pet. For example, if a flea/tick product is labeled “for dogs only”, you should not use it on your feline friend, as it could cause serious, life-threatening problems. Discuss the safe use of these products with your vet.

If your pet ingests rodenticide, they may develop a serious or life-threatening illness. So, if you are trying to get rid of rodents in your home, make sure to place poison in areas that your pets cannot reach.

Bathroom Hazards

Your bathroom also contains several pet health risks:


Medications that are made to treat human health conditions can make your pet very sick, so never give them any type of medicine unless your vet says that it’s okay. Make sure to keep all medications closed tightly and stored out of reach of your pet. Common medications that pose a high risk include the following:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • Cold medicines
  • Diet pills
  • Prescription medications
  • Vitamins


Things like bath soaps, hand soaps, sunscreens, and toothpaste need to be kept out of reach of your pet. If they ingest them, they may get an upset stomach or have diarrhea or vomiting. Make sure you keep the toilet lid closed to keep them from getting into treated toilet bowl water that could irritate their digestive system.

Bedroom/Living Room Hazards

Though they may smell good and make the house smell nice, liquid potpourri is made with ingredients that may cause oral ulcerations and other problems- so keep them away from your pets.

In fact, just one mothball can make your cat or dog very sick. They contain a chemical known as naphthalene, which can cause serious health problems, including:

  • Kidney damage
  • Blood cell damage
  • Digestive tract irritation
  • Seizures
  • Brain swelling
  • Coma
  • Respiratory tract damage
  • Death (if ingested)

Other things in your living room and bedroom that are pet health risks are:

  • Alkaline batteries
  • Pennies
  • Tobacco products

Garage/Yard Hazards

The last area in your home that we’ll look at is your garage and yard. There are a few pet health risks here as well:


Antifreeze and coolants, especially those containing ethylene glycol, can be fatal for your furry companion, even in very small quantities. Antifreeze products containing propylene glycol are less toxic, but still pose a threat to your pet. Some other substances often stored in your garage that are considered pet health risks include:

  • Weed killers
  • Fertilizers
  • Insecticides
  • Gasoline
  • Ice-melting products

If you have chemical treatments applied to the grassy areas of your yard, check the manufacturer’s recommendations for how long you need to keep your pets away. If they are exposed to these chemicals and it sticks to their legs/body, they may lick it later, which may cause stomach upset and other serious issues.


Adhesives are found in a variety of household products and may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. The expanding wood glues are especially dangerous, as they could create an obstructive gastrointestinal mass if ingested. It will form an expanding ball of glue in your pet’s esophagus and expand 4 to 8 times the original volume. It will typically form within a few minutes of your pet ingesting it.


Paint solvents may cause irritation and/or chemical burns if your pet swallows them or if your pet comes into contact with them.

Most latex paints cause minor stomach upset- but some specialty paints contain heavy metals and volatile substances that may be harmful if ingested or inhaled.


Plants are beautiful and can do a lot for the health of the air in your home. However, many of them can make your pet very sick. Some of the common greenery that need to kept away from your pets include:

  • Lilies
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Sago palms
  • Azaleas
  • Rhododendrons
  • Castor bean
  • Amaryllis
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Shamrock
  • Fungi

Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all of the dangerous plants because there are so many. However, this is some of the more common plants that people have in their home.

Protecting Your Pet’s Health

Ideally, you will be able to protect your pet from coming into contact with these pet health risks. However, sometimes accidents happen. If your pet does come into contact with the above- or anything else that poses a threat to their health- contact a vet immediately. When you come in, make sure that you let the vet know what your pet was exposed to and the symptoms they are displaying. This will help them treat the issue as quickly as possible.

If you are in or near Traveler’s Rest, SC, contact Balanced Pets to handle your pet’s veterinary needs. They offer primary care, as well as integrative care for your pet. They can help you keep your pet happy and healthy for a very long time.