Common Household Dangers for Pets

2 min read
May 14, 2023

There are many potential hazards for our pets around the house. Please review the following list of dangerous household items and make the necessary changes in your home to keep your pets safe.


Cleaning products containing phenol (Pine-Sol and Lysol) are especially toxic to cats. When ingested, they can cause muscle twitches, coma and respiratory distress. De-icing salts are not only toxic when ingested, but they are paw irritants as well. Also, anti-freeze containing ethylene glycol is extremely poisonous. Symptoms include panting, vomiting and convulsions. Look for anti-freeze with propylene glycol as a safer alternative. All chemicals should be stored so that pets can't open them or tip them over. If a spill occurs, be sure to clean it thoroughly according to the instructions on the label. If you suspect poisoning, contact your vet immediately.

Human Food and Medication

Foods that should never be given to pets include chocolate, onions and grapes. Even a small amount of chocolate can cause excitability, tremors and even seizures. Onions can cause anemia, and grapes are known to cause kidney failure in dogs. Leftovers that contain bones are a choking hazard and can puncture the stomach or intestines if ingested, so be sure to discard them. Pain killers, cold medicines and diet pills are dangerous for animals and should be kept sealed and stored in a cabinet or on a shelf away from pets.  The same safety measures should be taken with any food products containing xyltiol.


There are several plant varieties that are toxic to dogs and cats. For a list of toxic plants visit Plants should be kept out of reach, and if you believe your pet is having a reaction to a plant, see a vet immediately.


Rubber bands, string and yarn can cause strangulation and should be kept off the floor at all times. Also, small toys and rawhide chews can pose a choking hazard, so allow your pets to have these only when under supervision. Electric cords should be kept hidden or covered so that a curious dog or cat can't chew through them.

Taking steps to "pet-proof" your home is the best way to prevent accidents and emergency trips to the vet. That being said, accidents do happen.  That's why having an active pet insurance policy can be a good idea. 

Consider Investing in Pet Insurance 

Looking for more ways to keep your pets happy and healthy? Consider investing in a pet insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1  Our dog insurance and cat insurance policies may be able to help you provide your pets with coverage and care.  Get your free quote today. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.