Animal Poisons, Substances That Are Poison To Pets


Toxic Substances

There are many things that are potentially toxic to pets. Numerous household items, such as chemicals, cleaners, medications, plants, and even some foods, can harm our dogs and cats. It is crucial to keep pets away from potential toxins, both inside and outside of the house. Over 90% of pet poisonings reported to poison control centers occur in the home and result from animals ingesting toxic substances. Do not assume that dogs and cats “know” when an item is bad for them. Pets cannot differentiate between harmful and safe substances. As a matter of fact, some of the most deadly substances actually smell good and taste good to pets.

Animal Poison Control Hotlines

Pet PoisonsWe get many messages asking about the danger of animals ingesting various toxic substances. We advise pet owners to call their veterinarian, local emergency animal clinic or an animal poison control hotline IMMEDIATELY.

Do something right now that may save your pet’s life: Put a note next to all the phones in your home or office containing Animal Poison Control Hotline numbers.

Here are some USA national numbers:

National Animal Poison Control: 800-548-2423; $30 per call. 900-680-0000; $20 for the first 5 minutes, $2.95 each additional minute.

University of Illinois Pet Poison Hotline: 217-333-3611.

University of Georgia Pet Poison Hotline: 404-542-6751.

In a life and death situation when every minute counts for an animal, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for 24-hour emergency information.
888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435)

Texas Panhandle Poison Center
1501 S. Coulter
Amarillo, TX 79106
Emergency Phone: (800) 222-1222

If anyone has other USA numbers, numbers for other countries or regions, or updates on these, post them to us & we’ll keep this list current.


Many things around your home can be toxic to you & animals. Only parts of some are, others only at certain times of year, & others only in large quantities. Sprays or fertilizers may hurt & confuse symptoms. Check with your veterinarian or poison center. Common signs: Drooling, trembling, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma & disorientation.

Acorns; Alcohol-ethanol, methanol, isopropyl; Almonds; Alocasia; Amaryllis, Daffodil, Iris & Tulip bulbs; Anemone; Angel’s Trumpet (Datura candida); Anthurium; Apple seeds; Apple Leaf Croton; Apricot & Peach pits; Arrowgrass; Arrowhead; Asparagus Fern; Autumn Crocus; Avocado; Azaleas.

Balsam Pear; Baneberry; Bayonet; Beargrass; Begonia; Belladonna; Bird Of Paradise berries; Bittersweet; Black Cherry; Black-Eyed Susan; Black Locust; Bleeding Heart; Bloodberry; Bloodroot; Bluebonnets; Boston Ivy; Bottlebrush; Boxwood; Bracken fern; Branching Ivy; Buckeye; Buddist Pine; Buckthorn; Burning Bush; Buttercup.

Cactus; Caffeine; Candelabra; Caladiums; Calamondin Orange; Calla Lily; Candlenut; Cardinal Flower; Castor beans; Ceriman; Chalice Vine; Charming Diefenbachia; Cherries, Seeds & Laural; China & Christmas Berry; Chinese Gooseberry; Chinese Sacred Bamboo; Choke Cherry; Christmas Candle; Christmas tree water; Christmas Rose; Chrysanthemum; Cigars, Cigarettes & butts – all nicotine; Cineraria; Clematis; Cordatum; Clematis; Clusia; Common Box; Common Privet; Coral Plant; Coriaria; Corn, Cornflower & Cornstalk Plant; Corydalis; Crocus; Croton; Crown of Thorns; Cuban Laurel; Cutleaf Philodendron; Cycads; Cyclamen.

Daffodil; Daphne; Datura; Deadly Nightshade; Death Camas; Delphinium; Destroying Angel; Devil’s Ivy; Dicentrea; Dieffenbachia; Dogwood; Dracaena Palm; Dragon Tree; Dumbcane.

Easter Lily; Eggplant; Elaine Codiaeum; Elderberry; Elephant Ears; Emerald Feather; English Holly, Ivy & Yew; Eucalyptus; Eunymus; Euphorbia; Evergreen; Exotica Perfection Dieffenbachia.

Ferns; Fiddle-leaf Fig; Flax; Florida Beauty; Four o’Clock; Foxglove; Fruit pits; Fruit Salad plant.

Garden Glow; Garden Sorrel; German Ivy; Giant Dumb Cane; Glacier Ivy; Glory Lily; Gold Dieffenbachia; Gold Dust Dracaena; Golden Chain, Glow & Pothos; Gopher Purge; Green Dragon; Green Gold Nephthysis; Ground Cherry.

Hanh’s Self-Branching English Ivy; Heartleaf Philodendron; Hellebore; Hemlock; Henbane; Holly; Honeysuckle; Horsebeans; Horsebrush; Horse Chestnut; Horsehead Philodendron; Horsetail Reed; Hurricane Plant; Hyacinth; Hydrangea.

Impatiens; Indian Laurel; Indian Rubber Plant; Indian Splurge Tree; Iris; Ivy.

Jack-In-The-Pulpit; Janet Craig Dracaena; Japanese Plum & Yew; Java Beans; Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum); Jessamine; Jimson Weed; Jonquil; Jungle Trumpets.

Kalanchoe; Kentucky Coffee Tree.

Lacy Tree Philodendron; Lantana; Lantana Camara; Larkspur (Delphinum); Laurels; Lily; Lily-Of-The-Valley; Lily Spider; Lima Beans; Locoweed; Lobelia; Lords & Ladies; Lupine.

Madagasgar Dragon Tree; Malanga; Marble Queen; Marigold; Marijuana; Matrimony Vine; Medicine Plant; Mescal; Mexican Breadfruit; Milkweed; Miniature Croton; Mistletoe; Moccasin Flower; Mock Orange; Monkeypod; Monkshood (Wolf bane); Monsteras; Moonseed; Morning Glory; Mother-in-Law; Mountain Laurel; Mushrooms.

Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo); Narcissus; Needlepoint Ivy; Nephthytis; Nicotiana (Ornamental tobacco); Night Blooming Jasmine; Nightshade; Nutmeg; Nux Vomica.

Oaks; Oleander; Onion; Oxalis.

Panda; Peace Lily; Peach, Pear & Plum seeds; Pencil Cactus & Tree; Peony; Periwinkle; Peyote; Philodendron; Philodendron Pertusum; Pigweed; Pimpernel; Plumosa Fern; Poinciana; Poinsettia; Poison Hemlock, Ivy, Oak & Sumac; Pokeweed; Pongam; Poppy; Potato leaves & stem; Pothos; Precatory Bean; Primula; Privet; Purple Foxglove; Pyracantha.

Red Angel’s Trumpet; Red Emerald; Red Princess; Red-Margined Dracaena; Redwood; Rhododendron; Rhubarb leaves; Ribbon Plant; Rosary Pea; Rosemary; Rubber Plant.

Saddle Leaf Philodendron; Sage; Sago Palm; Sandbox Tree; Satin Pothos; Schefflera; Scotch Broom; Shamrock; Silver Pothos; Skunk Cabbage; Snapdragon; Snowdrops; Snow on the Mountain; Soapberry; Solandra; Split Leaf Philodendron; Spotted Dumb Cane; Spurges; Squirrel Corn; Staggerweed; Star Of Bethlehem; String of Pearls/Beads; Striped Dracaena; Sweetheart Ivy; Sweetpea; Swiss Cheese plant.

Tansy Mustard; Taro Vine; Thornapple; Tiger Lily; Toadstool; Tobacco; Tomato; Tree Philodendron; Tree Tobacco; Tropic Snow Dumbcane; True Aloe; Tulip Bulbs; Tung Tree.

Variable Dieffenbachia; Variegated Philodendron; Variegated Rubber Plant; Venus Flytrap; Virginia Creeper.

Warneckei Dracaena; Water Hemlock; Weeping Fig; Western Yew; Wild Call; Wisteria.

Yellow Allamanda & Jasmine; Yew.


Common examples of human medications that can be potentially lethal to pets, even in small doses:

  • Pain killers
  • Cold medicines
  • Anti-cancer drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Vitamins
  • Diet Pills
  • Toothpaste
Cold Weather Hazards
  • Antifreeze
  • Liquid potpourri
  • Ice melting products
  • Rat and mouse bait
Common Household Hazards
  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Roach powder
  • Batteries
  • Tobacco
  • Liquid Potpourri Cool Tip
  • Don’t leave cigarette butts in ash trays where your dog or cat can get to them. If eaten, cigarette butts can lead to nicotine poisoning.
Additives In Pet Food

Now, what we have is extremely low level food, with contaminants galore. To compensate for nutrient loss in the manufacturing process, they add some chemically isolated vitamins and minerals with high tech names such as Pyroxidine hydrochloride, calcium pantothinate, iron carbonate, potassium chloride and manganous oxide.

With holistic pet care for dogs and cats, etc. we are very concerned about these chemicals, which include:

Propylene glycol – Normally this is used as a de-icing fluid for airplanes. It is put into pet foods to maintain moisture and texture. It is added to prevent bacterial growth but also inhibits the growth of friendly bacteria within the intestines. Propylene glycol decreases the amount of moisture in the digestive tract leading to constipation and cancer.

Ethoxyquin – This was originally designed as a rubber stabilizer and herbicide but before its approval, it was considered a poison. At the outset, it was to be used as a grain preservative in feed for animals not expected to live for more than two years before they are slaughtered. It has been reported to cause liver cancer in dogs and malformations or even death in newborn puppies.

BHT and BHA – This has been very poorly tested. It is reported to cause liver damage, metabolic stress, fetal abnormalities and serum cholesterol increases. It is added to preserve already rancid fats in the food. Fats in this form are very difficult to digest and can lead to a host of health problems including diarrhea, gas, bad breath and vomiting.

Artificial Coloring – This doesn’t have to be labeled with any more definition than that. They are all coal tar derivatives which have been implicated in anything from cancer to birth defects.

Sodium Nitrate – This converts in the body to nitrosamines, which are very carcinogenic. They are added to retain the red colour to make the meat look fresh. Yeah – Right!

Heavy Metal Toxicity – Because meat is high on the food chain, contamination with heavy metals such as lead and mercury is very much a concern. Spot checks on cat food have revealed lead levels ranging from .9 ppm to 7.0 ppm and dog food anywhere from 1.0 to 5.6 ppm. It should never be over .5ppm.

Thimerosal is a mercury containing preservative used in vaccines. Mercury is a known neurotoxin. There is a vast amount of research/discussions going on globally at this point in time relating to mercury in dental amalgams, vaccinations and the environment in general. Many researchers are linking mercury to the tremendous increase in autism in children. If you do decide to immunize your animal, please, for their sake, insist on thimerosal-free vaccinations. They do exist..but they do not have the same shelf life, so many companies try to sell the vets on the preserved issues for….you got it..profits!

More Common Poisons
  • Chocolate (especially dogs)
  • Aspirin & aspirin substitutes
  • Lysol, Pinesol, Phisoderm
  • Hexachlorophene
  • Coal & Wood Tar derivatives
  • Anti-freeze
  • Pesticides (Be careful if you have an exterminator come into your home!)
  • Some chemical flea products
  • Fertilizers
  • Tinsel, ornaments, ribbons, wrappings
  • Christmas tree water
  • Bug spraying
  • Ant traps
  • Pest/rodent exterminating
  • Toilet bowl cleaners your pet can drink
  • Matches around the house (sulfur)
  • Lawn fertilizer/grass chemicals
  • Room deodorizers/sprays
  • Chlorinated pools your animal can drink from
Holiday Don’ts

• Some common holiday plants are toxic to cats and dogs. Don’t keep holly, poinsettias, lilies or mistletoe on or near the floor, where pets have easy access to them.

• If you have a live tree in your home, don’t let pine needles accumulate on the floor, as these needles can perforate the intestinal lining of dogs and cats. Additionally, trees should be tethered to a wall or the ceiling to prevent them from falling on pets.

• Don’t leave unfamiliar extension cords fully exposed, as these can resemble chew toys, which could result in serious injury to your dog. Hide the cords if possible. Don’t leave lights plugged in when you are not at home.

• Don’t let your companion animals have access to holiday tree water, as it quickly becomes stagnant and can contain harmful chemicals or bacteria.

• If you are decorating with tinsel, hang it out of reach of your pets, especially cats, as they are known to eat tinsel, which can result in intestinal distress.

Keep a pet poison safety kit on hand for emergencies.

Your kit should contain:

  • A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide 3% (USP)
  • Can of your pet’s favorite wet food
  • Turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medical syringe
  • Saline eye solution to flush out eye contaminants
  • Artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes after flushing
  • Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid for the animal after skin contamination
  • Rubber gloves
  • Forceps to remove stingers
  • Muzzle (Remember, an excited animal may harm you.)
  • Pet carrier
  • Blanket