Household Dangers for Cats and Dogs

If you have pets, it’s really important to view your home from their perspective and secure certain standard household items, which could in fact be hazardous to your pet’s health.

I’ve decided to break down the list in terms rooms where such dangers are most likely to occur.


  • Electrical cords should be your number one priority. This is a serious trouble zone. Chewing through wiring can give your cat or dog painful burns on its tongue and mouth area. An electrical shock can lead to pulmonary edema, which is a build up of fluid on the lungs. It can occur very quickly and can be fatal.
  • Beware of candles. Never place them on a table with a tablecloth. Cats often attempt to climb up tablecloths and bring the burning candles to the floor, creating a fire hazard for the entire household. A dog can do this too.


  • The cords make great feline toys because they swing when batted by feline paws. They can be extremely dangerous if a cat gets entangled and could choke. Consider hooking them up out of harms way.


  • Cats are much safer if they enjoy an indoor lifestyle. Ensure that all open windows and sliding doors are screened and that there are no holes. Put a note on the inside of all doors leading outside to remind family members when opening the door to ensure to close it properly behind them.


  • Many common houseplants are toxic to animals generally. These include asparagus ferns, cala lilies, dieffenbachia, cyclamen, geraniums, miniature crotons, morning glory oleander, tiger lilies. For a detailed list of plants and first aid tips, go to and check out the plant lists and the information about the Animal Poison Control Center.


  • Ensure the toilet seat is always down. Cats and puppies can drown in a toilet and if you use cleaners, the water is toxic to their health.
  • Replace open garbage bins with a peddle-type or swing lid so that your pet doesn’t have access to its contents.
  • All cosmetics, shampoos, toiletries and cleaning materials should be locked away in a cupboard with a childproof lock.


  • Apart from the same safety measures for garbage and cleaning materials, the biggest change in the food department is to never leave food out on counters! This applies to food ready for preparation, to be served and also leftovers. Certain seemingly harmless foods like mushrooms and grapes are toxic to pets.


  • The garage should always be off limits to pets. Products such as antifreeze, various lubricants for cars and garden fertilizers are all potential hazards.

If you plan ahead and put yourself in your pet’s “paws”, you will be less likely to have any accidental incidents. Did I miss anything that you know is hazardous to pets? Share your advice in the comment below…


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