Is Your Home Safe?

Many dangers for your children, pets and even you, are lurking in unexpected places in your home. What are these dangerous, poisonous and potential "killers"? It will shock you when you find out, better safe than sorry.


Of all the poisonous dangers facing your dog or cat, antifreeze is perhaps one of the most dangerous.

 ASPCA poison control experts warn that the toxic dangers of antifreeze can turn a simple stroll into a devastating event for our furry friends.

Used to protect cars from extreme temperatures, antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, a colorless and odorless alcohol known for its sweet taste.

 The HSUS recommends pet owners use a safe antifreeze in their vehicles. Look for antifreeze that contains propylene glycol, which is safe for animals if ingested in small amounts.

“Antifreeze is a serious safety concern for both cats and dogs,” says Mindy Bough, Vice President of Operations for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. “Unfortunately, just a few licks can cause kidney failure and death in a matter of days—even a small amount that may be licked off a paw is enough to cause serious harm.”

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Increased thirst 
  • Lethargy and depression 
  • Poor coordination progressing to coma 
  • Kidney Failure
What to Do if Your Pet Drinks Antifreeze

Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has consumed a product containing ethylene glycol! Timing is crucial if your pet is to survive; treatment after 24 hours following ingesting the poison is often futile. See emergency telephone numbers to call listed below.

Your veterinarian may recommend that you try to induce vomiting by giving him hydrogen peroxide before taking him to the hospital, especially if you've just seen your pet consume the poison.

Other products containing ethylene glycol
  • Photographic developing solutions 
  • Latex paints 
  • Brake fluid 
  • Food 
  • Medicines 
  • Cosmetics 
  • Skin and Hair products
Exposure to lower amounts of ethylene glycol in HUMANS can cause:
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Weakness 
  • Bloody or no urine 
  • Rapid breathing 
  • Hypothermia 
  • Facial paralysis 
  • Dizziness 
  • Blue lips and fingernails 
  • Low or high blood pressure 
  • Rapid heartbeat 
  • Headaches 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Disorientation 
  • Feeling intoxicated 
  • Irritated skin, eyes, nose and throat
New health concerns are being raised over some common but possibly dangerous ingredients in hair shampoos, skin creams, toothpastes, and other personal care items.

Researchers in the U. S., Germany, Switzerland, Japan, found these ingredients may be linked to premature baldness, cataracts, environmental cancers, contact dermatitis, and possible eye damage in young children.

If you think your health has been affected by exposure to ethylene glycol, contact your health care professional. For poisoning emergencies or questions about possible poisons, please contact your local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. (see more telephone numbers below)

Household Cleaners

I used to have a cat that threw up several times a month, until I realized it could be the household cleaners I was using. If these cleaners were irritating my nose & made me a little queasy, I could only imagine what it was doing to my cat.

I was getting into "natural" ingredients for myself, so why not for my cat? As I investigated more into using "natural" and green solutions, I decided to throw away all my cleaning solutions, and started using solutions I made myself...much easier on the pocket book I must say.

I now use vinegar with a drop or two of lemon essential oil, in a spray bottle shaken before each use, which does wonders for the entire house.

If the smell of the vinegar is too strong, it can be diluted with some water. Also good for getting rid of "pests" when you add a drop of or two of peppermint essential oil on a small cotton ball and place them in your cabinets. This will get rid of ants, roaches and even mice as they don't like the smell. 

Essential oils are anti-bacterial and can be used for many extraordinary things when the oils are "diluted."

There is a terrific website which helps explain how using a small number of  VERY simple and inexpensive products which, when diluted and combined as necessary depending on the job, can help avoid unnecessarily introducing toxins into your and your cat's environment.

Please note, that many of the sites on "nontoxic" cleaning recommend using ingredients like tea tree oil for certain purposes. Tea tree oil--and indeed many essential oils--are highly toxic to cats in their pure, undiluted form. Some commonly used household products that contain phenols include:
  • Lysol 
  • Pine-Sol 
  • Spic-n-Span
These are often used for cleaning and disinfecting near cats' feeding areas or litter boxes but these can sometimes be fatal.

Moth Balls
Mothballs slowly turn from solids to toxic vapor. When you smell mothballs, you are inhaling the insecticides. Mothballs can also be dangerous if they are chewed or eaten. Children, pets and wildlife may mistake them for food or candy and eat them.

Cats love to play in out of the-way places like closets, but danger could be lurking there if you use mothballs. A chemical in moth balls called naphthalene is toxic to cats, even if they just smell the fumes.

Serious damage to your pet include:
  • Vomiting 
  • Liver Damage 
  • Loss of coordination 
  • Coma 
  • Death if eaten
If you must use moth balls for your clothing, keep them zipped in garment bags or in secure trunks, where cats can't really get to the mothballs. If you think your cat has come in contact with mothballs, you need to call your veterinarian immediately.

Cans and Garbage

Poses a danger when cats or smaller dogs attempt to lick food from a disposed can, sometimes getting their head caught inside the can. To be sure this doesn't happen, squeeze the open end of the can closed before disposing.


More than 700 plants have been identified as producing physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals.

Poisonous plants produce a variety of toxic substances and cause reactions ranging from mild nausea to death. Certain animal species may have a peculiar vulnerability to a potentially poisonous plant.

Certain animal species may have a peculiar vulnerability to a potentially poisonous plant. This is a partial list of the most common house plants that are toxic to cats. Click here for the entire list of toxic plants for cats and dogs.
  • Philodendron 
  • English Ivy 
  • Iron plant (snake plant) 
  • Umbrella plant 
  • Dumb Cane 
  • Cactus 
  • Lily's 
  • Poinsettia
Plants and Flowers that cause death 
  • Agapanthus 
  • Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia) 
  • Foxglove 
  • Lantana 
  • Larkspure 
  • Mistletoe 
  • Oleander 
  • Rhododendron
  • Sago Palms

String, yarn, rubber bands, and dental floss

These are easy to swallow and can cause intestinal blockages or strangulation.

Traps and poisons

Pest control companies frequently use glue traps, live traps and poisons to kill rodents. Even if you would never use such methods to eliminate rodents, your neighbor might. Dogs and cats can be poisoned if they eat a rodent who has been killed by poison (called secondary poisoning).

Toys with movable parts 

Squeaky toys or stuffed animals with plastic eyes—can pose a choking hazard to animals. Take the same precautions with pets as you would with a small child.

Rawhide dog chews 

May be contaminated with Salmonella, which can infect pets and humans who come in contact with the chews. These kinds of chews should be offered to a pet only with supervision, as they can pose a choking hazard as well.

Holiday decorations and lights 

These pose a risk to cats and dogs. Keep these items out of the reach of animals, and if possible, confine your pet to an un-decorated area while you are out of the home.

TOXIC CHEMICALS in your home which effects EVERYONE  

Immediate Care

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of the poisons listed above, please note the amount ingested and call your veterinarian, the nearest animal hospital or contact one of the following Poison Control Centers: