animal

If You Keep These 12 Items Around Your Pets, You Need To Move Them Now

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Most people with pets feel that they’re truly members of the family. They sleep in our beds, they eat our food, and they play with us — what more could you want from a furry little friend?

But many pets are mischievous little buggers, always getting into things they’re not supposed to and playing with things that are definitely not toys.

And while most of the time it’s completely harmless (albeit a little annoying), sometimes it’s more dangerous than you might realize.

Houses are full of items that are dangerous for pets — and not just the things you’d think. We all know that dogs can’t eat chocolate, but there are probably some items in your home that you don’t know could hurt your beloved animals.

“To protect your pet, simply use common sense and take the same precautions you would with a child,” the Humane Society of the United States recommends.

Read on to learn about 12 items that could be very harmful for your pets.

1. Poisonous Household Plants

Cat smelling pot of flowers
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

You probably wouldn’t think twice about putting a plant in your home.

But some plants — like azaleas, lilies, mistletoe, and philodendrons — can actually be poisonous for pets.

If your pet likes to chew on random household items, you should check to make sure the plants you’re buying are nonpoisonous.

2. Holiday Decorations And Lights

Dog tangled in string lights
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Not only can your pets get tangled in holiday string lights, but ornaments and other holiday decorations can be choking hazards, according to the Humane Society.

When you set up decorations, make sure your pets can’t reach them, and try to confine them to a decoration-free area when you leave the house.

3. Mixed Nuts Or Trail Mix

Puppy sniffing bowl of almonds
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

It’s always a good idea to keep human food far from your pets’ reach — but mixed nuts can be especially dangerous for your fur babies.

Almonds can cause digestive distress in animals, but it’s not even the most dangerous nut for pets.

Walnuts contain a toxin that can cause seizures in animals, which can be terribly dangerous.

Make sure you always research which human foods are safe for animals and which aren’t.

4. Human Medication

Cat pawing at table
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

When you’re not feeling well, it’s easy to just leave your medicine on the bedside table next to you — but you shouldn’t do that if you have a pet.

According to Rover, human medication is almost always extremely dangerous for pets, so make sure you’re diligent about putting your medicine in safe places.

Even if you don’t have a pet around, it’s always best to keep your medicine locked up or out of reach.

5. Deicing Salts

Cat with owner sprinkling ice on snow
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Deicing salt can irritate a pet’s paws — and if licked off, it can be poisonous.

The Humane Society recommends always washing off your pets’ paws when they come back inside, or buying them booties.

6. Insecticides

Applying insecticide on arm with dog at feet
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Bug sprays and insecticides can be poisonous for pets if consumed.

Although they will probably be OK if they eat or drink a small amount, they may suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, or tremors.

Some insecticides can actually be life-threatening for pets, though, so it’s best to just keep them away from your furry friends.

7. Used Food Cans

Cat with head stuck in can
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

If you keep your recycling or garbage out, cats and small dogs can get their heads stuck in empty cans while trying to lick them.

The Humane Society offers a really easy solution: Just press the edges of the can together so your pets can’t fit their heads inside.

But even if your cans are flattened, be sure to keep your garbage and recycling bin lids secure so curious animals can’t go prowling!

8. Plant Food Or Fertilizer

Dog approaching bag of fertilizer in garden
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Chemicals used in plant food or fertilizer can be fatal for pets, so make sure you don’t leave both unattended together.

Always keep your gardening supplies locked up and out of reach — and when you’re working in the yard, be sure your pets keep their distance.

9. Antifreeze

Dog walking to antifreeze container
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Antifreeze has a chemical substance in it that causes it to smell sweet, which makes it appealing to many animals.

Even if consumed in small quantities, antifreeze can be fatal for animals, so never leave it within reach of a pet.

10. String, Yarn, And Rubber Bands

Dog playing with ball of yarn
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

It might seem like all fun and games to leave strings around for your pets, but they can actually be more harmful than you might realize.

If swallowed, yarn, string, and rubber bands can cause intestinal blockages in your pets — which can be very hard to detect on sonograms and X-rays.

Keep your craft rooms closed off, and dispose of yarn and string in a safe place.

11. Fabric Softener Sheets

Cat sniffing fabric softener
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

If your pet eats fabric softener sheets or drinks liquid fabric softener, it could be toxic to them.

The effects range, but often pets will need to be hospitalized if exposed to fabric softener.

Keep your laundry room closed off, and all your supplies on a shelf that your pets can’t reach.

12. Leftovers

Dog licking plate of leftovers on floor
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Pets love human food. It doesn’t matter what you’re eating — they want it.

While a lot of human foods are harmless, many leftovers, like cooked bones, can be very bad for pets (as much as they may love them).

The Humane Society recommends always checking before feeding your pet any human foods.

Please SHARE this important information with other pet owners you know — you could save an animal’s life!