Lakeside Animal Clinic

2501 South Kirkwood
Houston, TX 77077


Toxins Around the House

This list is NOT meant to be all-inclusive or comprehensive.  Many food items, medications, and other things that we have around the house or use or eat on a regular basis can be toxic to dogs and cats.  Their biology is different than ours, so they are not able to metabolize many things that we can.  They are also much smaller than we are, so it takes less of a substance to cause toxicity in pets than it does in us.  Before giving any medication prescribed or marketed to humans, consult with your veterinarian.  Listed below is a list of many substances that are toxic to some degree in dogs and cats.  Not all of these items will be fatal if ingested, but they should all be avoided for a variety of reasons.  If you have any questions, please call us at (281) 493-9995.  ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number is (888) 426-4435



Reasons to Avoid

Alcoholic beverages

Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.

Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources

Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.

Cat food

Generally too high in protein and fats.

Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine

Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems.

Citrus oil extracts

Can cause vomiting.

Fat trimmings

Can cause pancreatitis.

Grapes and raisins

Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys.

Hops (found in beer)

Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.

Human vitamin supplements containing iron

Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.

Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Naproxen (Aleve)

Cats cannot break down these drugs like people can, so they become toxic and lead to severe anemia.  Dogs and cats both can develop stomach ulcers, liver failure, and kidney failure with these drugs.

Large amounts of liver

Can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.

Macadamia nuts

Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.


Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.

Milk and other dairy products

Some adult dogs and cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.

Moldy or spoiled food, garbage

Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.


Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.  Remove backyard mushrooms, which are known to be toxic to dogs.

Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder)

Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.


Seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.

Pits from peaches and plums

Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.

Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves; potato and tomato stems

Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock.

Raw eggs

Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.

Raw fish

Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.


If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.


Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."

Sugary foods

Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.

Table scraps (in large amounts)

Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.


Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.


Sugar alcohol used as a sugar substitute in many foods, particularly sugarless gum, sugarless candy, and kid's multivitamins.  Causes insulin release and hypoglycemia, which can lead to seizures, coma or death.  Liver failure can also occur.

Yeast dough

Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.