The Common Kitchen Item That Can Accidentally Kill Your Pet

Thousands of pets die each year from accidentally ingesting foods and medicines that are meant for humans, according to Dogtime. Eating such things can lead to gastrointestinal and neurological problems, and worse conditions such as respiratory and cardiac failure — and, in a worse-case scenario, death. That's why so many pet owners cautiously consider where they place items like rat poison (which contains bromethalin and can cause seizures or paralysis), chocolate (even the few chips in a cookie can cause problems), and household chemicals (laundry detergent often makes ulcers in the mouth or stomach). Unfortunately, there are too many things a nosy cat or dog might consume that incapacitates them.

Those innocent plants that decorate your home might also prove problematic for you furry babies. Sago palms, for instance, according to Dogster, look beautiful but any dog that eats it could succumb to liver failure, a condition that starts with vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea ... and can lead to death. Additionally, foxtail can pop up in a yard, infiltrating it with its grassy weed. The seeds are dangerous to dogs and can dig through their skin causing havoc, including swelling, abscesses, and pain (per WebMD). Holiday celebrations also become threatening: Poinsettia, holly, mistletoe, even your Christmas tree can hurt your animals, if ingested. Plus, more than one exploring cat has knocked over the holiday fir, injuring themselves in the process (via PetMD).

There are also hidden problems, too; Common items around your house, like garbage, can become deadly.

Garbage that can cause your pet to die

The family BBQ and the garbage it leaves behind offers all kinds of issues for your pets; corn cobs, peach pits, and meat bones cause all sorts of harm. Those deliciously flavored husk remains, full of residual sweet butter and meat juice, and sugary fruit pits can cause bowel obstruction in pets. Bone fragments from saucy ribs and chicken also can block your pet's esophagus or intestine. Even food wrappings, such as foil or plastic wrap, become dangerous when consumed by our furry friends and create barriers for digestion inside your pet's body. Wooden skewers can puncture an animal's esophagus, stomach, or intestine if swallowed, so be careful when you engage in this bit of summer fun that you dispose of all garbage properly (via MSPCA Angell). 

Inside your home you need to watch as well; something as simple as a snack bag can suffocate your cat or dog in less than five minutes. "My aunt's dog died like this when I was a kid," said a Redditor on a forum. "Got into the trash while home alone and got a Frito's bag stuck on his head." Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association quoted a Preventive Vet survey that said 39% of the pet's owners were at home when their pet died from asphyxiation. "It is so preventable, and it's just so gut-wrenching when it happens," said Dr. Jennifer Hamm, medical director of East Bay Veterinary Emergency in Antioch, California.