What’s Toxic To Dogs | Do I Really Know The Answer

As a dog parent I am constantly worrying about the many things that can harm my dogs.  I am always surprised when I come across something new that I didn’t know was capable of causing my dog to get sick.

There are many myths out there that claim they harm our pets, but in reality they do not.  One of the big myths out there is that Swifer Wetjet are toxic to dogs.  This is not true.  Swiffer Wetjet spray and wet pads are safe and not toxic to you dog in any way.

What’s toxic to dogs, and do you really know what these things are.  This is important information that needs to be shared to all dog lovers out there.

*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Please see my disclosure.

Surprising items that are toxic

Pets owners often struggle with making sure that their homes don’t smell like their dogs.  This leads us to use air fresheners and plug-ins to make our homes smell nice.

One of the surprising things that I found out that is toxic to dogs, are air fresheners and plug-ins.  These can cause reactions with in a few hours of being plugged in.

The signs that you dog may exhibit are things like: vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing and a lack of appetite.

They contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These VOC’s are things like acetone, ethanol, and acetate and are typically toxic.  They react with the air and can cause formaldehyde and ultra fine particles that are linked to heart and lung disease.

Cheaply made scented candles and incense are also things that can be very toxic to you dog.  When burned these products cause soot to be released into the air.  It is that soot that is left behind, that can be toxic to you dog.

A great alternative to using these types toxic type of fresheners is by replacing them with bamboo charcoal bags. These charcoal bags are Eco-friendly, 100% organic and non-toxic.  These bags are good for up to 2 years and are rechargeable by setting them outside in the sun every couple of months for 1-2 hours.

They are great at absorbing odors, mildew and preventing the growth of bacteria.  Your house will be odour free, by simply putting them in each room, closet or vehicle.

toxic to dogs

Toxic foods

There are many food items, that most dog owners know not to give their dog.  But I am going to discuss what the main ones are just in case there is something that you aren’t aware of.

The other reason I want to go through some food items, is for any new dog owners out there that may not know that these items can harm their dog.

Here is a list of some very toxic food items, that you want to keep away from you dogs:

  • chocolate (especially dark)
  • onions
  • garlic
  • grapes
  • coffee
  • macadamia nuts
  • avocados
  • raw meat
  • alcohol
  • mushrooms
  • spinach
  • milk
  • unripe tomatoes
  • sugarless gum
  • sugarless candy

Many of the items on this list contain something called Xylitol.  This can be found in items that are sugar-free, chocolate and in some cases in baked goods.  For this reason, it is important that if you are going to give you dog any table food what so ever, that you know 100% what ingredients are in that particular food.

what's Toxic to dogs Chart Screenshot

Honestly just to be safe I would refrain from giving you dog anything other than dog food and dog treats.

If you dog does somehow eat any of these items, these are some symptoms you dog will exhibit are things like, diarrhea, increased thirst, seizures, lethargic, vomiting, high temperature and shaking.

Please call you vet immediately and treat it like an emergency.

Vets say to avoid giving you dog any table scraps at all if possible.  It is recommended that you feed you dog approved dog food and dog treats.  You can even go one step further and really give your dog the best food possible.  Your dog will love TruDog.

Household items

Many household items are also extremely dangerous to your pet.  Most of them are household cleaning items, that you need to ensure you pet doesn’t get into.

As we know with children and toxic chemicals they don’t mix, the rules for dogs are very similar.  You want to make sure to keep items like these away from you dogs :

              1. bleach
              2. glass cleaner
              3. detergent (including pods)
              4. toilet bowl cleaner
              5. drain cleaners
              6. polishing agents
              7. spot remover

With any cleaning products, be very careful with the term “Natural,” that does not mean that they are safe for you dogs.  They can still contain ingredients that are toxic.  Just to be safe, if you are going to use these products, make sure to avoid storing these household items anywhere where you dog may have access.

Personally I use white vinegar to clean my hard wood floors, mirrors and bathrooms.  Putting the vinegar in a spray bottle makes it easy to use and does a fabulous job of cleaning while providing antibacterial protection.

Over the counter and prescription meds

There is a huge misconception that people have with over the prescription and over the counter medications and their dogs.  People like to think that they can give their dogs just a little of their prescription medication and that it won’t harm their dog.  Maybe you dog has aches or pains and you think it is OK to give things like Naproxen, or any anti-inflamatory type medications.  This is not true.  These drugs are toxic and can cause severe neurological problems.

cbd dogs oil

Never give you dog any over the counter drugs that you may have.  This includes things like ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or cough/cold medication.  If you did not get the medication from you Vet, or didn’t consult with you Vet it is a no no.  Giving you dog any of these over the counter drugs as they can lead to liver failure, stomach ulcers and kidney failure.

Drugs for ADHD/ADD like Adderall even in the smallest dose can cause seizures, tremors, elevated body temperature and can cause serious heart conditions.

Keep all of these medications up and out of the reach of any pets.  Personally I keep my medications in a cabinet far from the reach of my dogs.

What's Toxic To Dogs - Bamboo Charcoal



Everything that we bring into our house, we need to treat like we are caring for a child.  Keep out of the reach of children, should also say keep out of the reach of dogs.

There are a ton of other items, that we need to be super careful with around our dogs.  Things like insecticides, fertilizers, and rat poisons.

The one thing that people really seem to forget about, is that certain kinds of plants that we may have in our home, or in our yard can also be very toxic for our dogs.

Some of the most common toxic plants include: Daffodil bulbs, Day Lilies, Ivy, Lilly of the Valley, Hydrangeas, Azalea, Umbrella Plants, and Dieffenbachia.  There are other plants that are also on this list, so make sure to research any new plants that you are thinking of buying, to see if they are toxic to dogs.

Essential oils are also a huge risk to our dogs like: Cinnamon, Citrus, Penny royal, Peppermint, Pine, Sweet birch, Tea tree (melaleuca), Wintergreen and Lavender.

This makes sense seeing as essential oils are extracts that come from plants.

The bottom line on what’s toxic to dogs, is that there are many things that we need to ensure we keep away from our dogs.  As always the responsibility falls on us as dog owners, to make sure that we are on top of all things that can potentially cause our dog harm.

We all know that accidents do happen, so if you dog does happen to get into something toxic, make sure to call the poison hot line and your vet immediately.



10 thoughts on “What’s Toxic To Dogs | Do I Really Know The Answer”

  1. Excellent article and very informative! I’m a cat owner and I often foster kittens too. A lot of essential oils are toxic to them so I don’t use diffusers, but I wasn’t aware they could hurt dogs too! It’s a very important subject because lots of people try treating their pets with homeopathic and aromatherapy stuff as if they were humans, completely unaware how dangerous this can be. I only stick to candles and incense in scents I know are safe, and I check ingredients, but you now have me worried about those. I’m going to Google the heck out of incense and cats, just to be safe. My mother used candles and insense for decades with no ill effects on her dogs or cats, but better safe than sorry!

    Oh! I read a warning about some peanut butter makers using xytol in peanut butter now and that’s a common trick to medicating your puppy. I haven’t looked into it, but you might be interested in researching that. I don’t have a dog so wasn’t concerned.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Selenity,

      I really appreciate your wonderful comments on my post. Peanut butter with Xylitol, no way, wow, that could certainly throw a lot of people into a tailspin. Thank you for the heads up.

      It seems like there is a a lot of things that cross over between cats and dogs that are toxic. Obviously some differences, but some the same also.

      I burn candles in my home all the time, but I don’t buy cheap ones, and I have never had any issues. I really think it is the cheap $1 store type candles. Seems like if you were going to have issues with the incense, you already would. But check out your brand online just to be sure. Best of luck

      Thank you for sharing your story and your input.


  2. Hello, I really appreciate your time and effort on writing about products that are toxic to dogs. Some of the things on your list is definitely very surprising as I do spray air fresheners around my house almost everyday, so I was hurting my dog without even realizing it.

    So many of these food items like garlic and onions are things we usually have on our dinner plates, and some of our dogs like to lick up our left overs so it’s definitely important to know these things. Are these food items on your list all of it or are there more we should be aware of?

    • Hi Son,

      I really appreciate your comments on my post about toxic things and our dogs. I knew before I started writing this post, that many people would find some of the things on my toxic list surprising.  This was a huge reason that I decided to write it.

      My goal is really to pass on this very important information to all dog owners, to make them aware, that they need to be careful what things we give our dogs.

      Onions, garlic and chocolate are 3 super toxic foods for dogs. They can quickly cause serious effects and even death.

      I listed off the main and most common items, but yes there are more things that are toxic to dogs. A few more items, that I didn’t include are things like citrus, coconut and coconut oil.

      I suggest to anyone that has a dog, to really do  your research, before you give your dog anything that isn’t dog food and dog treats.

      Thank you again


  3. Hi Coralie. A great article and very informative for all dog lovers out there. While reading, I remember my friend who gave her puppy a chocolate drink almost every morning; she was not even aware that chocolate is not suitable for dogs. Her dog got sick, and she brought it to her vet, but never recovered and eventually died. Good thing that you mention it as one of the toxic food for dogs.

    • Hi Raquel,
      So nice of you to add such wonderful comments on my post. Telling me your story about your friend, is the exact reason that I wrote this post. Such a heartbreaking story about your her dog. There are many people that don’t know that giving chocolate to your dog can have a tragic end.

      My hope is that with people reading this post, we can stop these types of sad stories from happening. Even if it helps one person save their dog, it will be a success.
      Thank you Raquel.

  4. Thank you for a very informative article. It’s good that the information is out there as I’m sure there are many people that don’t know about what isn’t good for their pets. Especially their own medication although you would think this to be common sense.
    Thanks again for an informative article.

    • Hi Lee-Ann,
      I am so glad that you enjoyed my post. Your are so right, that many people do not know what is toxic to their dogs. Spreading this information is so important to me. No dog should become sick or even worse die, just from a lack of knowledge. Sadly not everyone stops and thinks about what they give their dog. My hope is that people will read this and be vigilante not to give their dogs things that are toxic.
      Thank you for comments.

  5. This is really helpful. I really didn’t have any idea about some of the things but after reading your article I got a lot of useful information. There are people who use medicine without a vet and buy them without proper information. They don’t understand how harmful is it for their dog. If we bring home a dog then we really treat them as our family and our children I really appreciate that.

    • Hi Ranveer,
      Thank you for sharing your comments on my post. You are so right, that many people give their dog, the same medication that they take. That was really one of the main reasons, that I wanted to share this post. I want to make sure that everyone knows, that we cannot give our dogs regular human medication. Speaking to your vet and making sure to give your dog only pet medication is the responsible dog owner thing to do.

      Just as you said, dogs are members of our family, so we need to make sure to protect them from things that are toxic.
      Thank you.


Leave a Comment