Having a pet like a cat or dog is often like having a baby. Well, perhaps not exactly like having a baby, but there are quite a few parallels. Among other things, you have to be careful not to leave dangerous products lying within reach. Especially if your pet likes to eat everything in sight with little thought to whether or not it may actually be edible (let alone dangerous).

As a responsible pet owner, it’s your job to provide your faithful companion a safe and healthy environment. But that can be tricky given that so many of the products we use on a daily basis can be toxic or even deadly to animals.

Products to avoid at all costs

Many pet owners mistakenly believe that what’s good for humans is also good for their four-legged friends. But what they don’t know is that many common household products can actually make pets sick or even kill them if ingested.

Did you know that onions, garlic and leeks are poisonous to cats and dogs? The same goes for chocolate, alcohol, nuts and chewing gum.


Surprisingly, many animals like the smell and taste of antifreeze, even though it is toxic and can be life-threatening if ingested.


Lawn and garden pesticides are neurologically toxic to animals. Beware of aerosols, insecticide solutions and even certain types of shampoo.


The toxicity of detergents (soap, dishwashing liquid, laundry soap, etc.) resides in their irritating and foaming properties. The biggest danger of detergents? Inhaling the foam, which can become lodged in the trachea and bronchus.

Household products

Household products often contain chemicals that can be harmful to animals. Ammonia, bleach, turpentine and even ethanol (found in hand sanitizers) are just a few examples. Fortunately, animal-safe products are increasingly common, such as multi-surface cleaners that contain no harmful chemical ingredients. Other pet-friendly cleaners include plant- and mineral-based products and odour neutralizers that destroy the odour-causing molecules without any health risks to pets. A great example of this is Oxy Pur from Wood Wyant. It’s an effective pet-safe cleaner that cleans up messes and eliminates even the most stubborn odours and urine stains. It can even be used as a laundry stain remover. It’s a great product with so many uses!

The bottom line: Be careful because the health of a (furry) family member is at stake!