Common Household Chemicals That Harm Your Dog’s Health

Common Household Chemicals That Harm Your Dog’s Health

Unless you’ve already Marie Kondo’d your house of toxic, chemical-laden products, then you probably have a few things hanging around that could potentially harm your dog’s (and your family’s) health! 

These could be everyday products that are sitting in your laundry room, under your kitchen sink, in your garage, and even out in your yard.

As humans, we usually know how to stay away from toxic substances, but unfortunately, dogs aren’t as in tune danger. Curiosity can lead to an unexpected visit to your vet which is why, as a dog owner, it’s important to know which chemicals are harmful to your pups, what household products they are found in, and take action accordingly!

Harmful Effects Toxic Chemicals Have On Dogs

While chemicals can be toxic to both adults and kids, pets are particularly at risk for anemia, cancer, liver, and kidney damage. Some of the products mentioned below can be dangerous to your dog if ingested, inhaled, or if they make contact with your dog’s skin or eyes. 

That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself on the ingredients in common household items. Not only are they potentially harmful for your pets, but they can have a negative impact on the environment, too! 

If you’ve already started switching to more eco-friendly brands, then you are off to a great start. Luckily, plenty of eco-friendly and pet-safe brands are out there to swap out for those chemically-heavy brands like Pine-Sol,  Mr. Clean, Clorox, Tide, Windex, and so many more. 

If you do decide to keep these chemicals in and around your house, you’ll want to move them out of reach from doggy access, store them in a secure location, or get rid of them altogether.

Toxic Household Substances That Can Harm Your Dog

Home Cleaning Supplies

Think of products you use to clean your floors, bathrooms appliances, your windows, and even your laundry. Many store-bought brands contain extremely harmful chemicals that can be a danger to your dog’s health. 

Here a few common chemicals found in household cleaning products.

  • Ammonia - found in glass cleaners, oven cleaners, stainless steel cleaners, and other surface cleaners
  • Bleach - found in laundry detergents and stain removers
  • Chlorine - found in disinfectants, dishwashing gels, detergent, and toilet bowl cleaners
  • Glycol ethers - found in glass cleaners, carpet cleaners, spot removers
  • Formaldehyde - used in soap products and some pet shampoos
  • Cationic detergents - found in fabric softeners (liquid, pod, and dryer sheets) 

When in doubt, choose eco-friendly and pet-safe brands like Ecover, Nature Clean, Down East, Branch Basics, Nature’s Miracle, Ecos, Puracy and others. If you decide to use toxic cleaners, they should never be used when your pet is in the same room. The room should also be aired out after cleaning and never leave any residue behind for your pup to come in contact with. 

Garden and Yard Products

When using garden and yard products, always choose organic options when availavble. Not only is it healthier for the garden, but it’s healthier for your dog, too. Fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and even some mulches that contain harmful toxins for your dog. Just because these products  are on the shelves in your local store, but that doesn’t mean they are the safest option for your garden or your pets.

Insecticides are used in ant killer sprays, mosquito spray, and many other insect killers. Insecticides contain toxic chemicals like Bendicard,  Avermectin B1, Allethrin, Organophosphates, Carbamates, Rotenon,e and Orthophosphates.

Pesticides like rat poison contain chemicals such as warfarin, coumatetralyl, bromadiolone, brodifacoum, bromadiolone, and difenacoum. Herbicides - used in weed killers and can have negative effects if ingested or touched. According to Montana State University, “fertilizers that do not contain herbicides or pesticides will usually not harm pets.”

While mulch is usually okay for your dog to be in and around, beware of mulch made from cocoa shells, as they cocoa is toxic to dogs in particular. 

Ethylene Glycol 

The chemical ethylene glycol is extremely harmful to everyone’s health and, most especially, your dogs. Unfortunately, Ethylene glycol is used in a wide variety of products including PET, one of the most common plastics out there (another reason to go #plasticfree!). 

Other products that contain Ethylene glycol include windshield de-icing agents, hydraulic brake fluid, motor oils, lighting fluids, solvents, paint, inks, wood treatments, hair products, nail polish, and makeup. So keep these products outs of reach from your pups (and children!). 

Antifreeze in particular (which contains ethylene glycol) is extremely dangerous for your dog, not only because of the chemicals found in antifreeze but because dogs are naturally attracted to the sweet smell and taste, making for a dangerous combination. Be mindful of leaking cars, and make sure to store antifreeze in sealed containers. 

  • Sierra makes antifreeze made from propylene glycol with is considered to be more pet-safe than the traditional version.

Battery Acid. Certain batteries contain potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, which can react badly when in contact with tissue membrane.  Other batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, zinc, cobalt, lead, nickel, or cadmium, which can all harm your pup if ingested.

Other Toxic Household Products

There are plenty other household items that contain harmful chemicals, but just a few common ones include glues (the resin contains cyanoacrylate is an irritant), lead (a heavy metal found in old furniture, old paint, old flooring, and construction dust can be toxic to both humans and dogs alike), varnish, sealants, solvents, stains, paint thinners and swimming pool chemicals. 

Drugs and medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc., should also be in a secure location.

What To Do If Your Dog Is Poisoned

Dog poisoning symptoms vary but can include lethargic behavior, poor appetite, salivation, a decline in coordination, tremors, and convulsions. 

If you think your pup has eaten or played in something harmful, call your veterinarian or pet poison control center immediately.

  • Pet Poison Helpline, 855-764-7661,
  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, 888-426-4435,

Always learn more about the ingredients found in your household products before you purchase and use them in your home. Think Dirty is a great (and free!) app to find out the toxicity level of products in your home.

At the end of the day, there are plenty of pet-friendly brands out there to keep your home toxin-free and worry-free for yourself and your fur babies. If you do need to keep toxic chemicals handy for whatever reason, make sure they are in a secure location and out of reach of your pup!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published