cleaning hazards for pets

Pandemic-related Poisons in Homes Are On the Rise in Cats and Dogs

In Animal Health, cat behavior, cat cpr, cat first aid, Cats, Dog CPR, dog daycare owner, dog training, dog walker, Dogs, Fall pet safety, Kitties, pet care professional, pet cpr, Pet Death, Pet First Aid, Pet Industry, Pet Safety by Cara Armour

By Arden Moore Pro Pet Hero Instructor Director and Master Pet First Aid/CPR Instructor

Household Pet Poison Calls Are on the Rise

As the pandemic stubbornly continues, one cherished benefit is getting to spend more time at home with our pets. However, everyday household items pose hidden dangers to our dogs and cats.

In a new report from Pet Poison Helpline, the 24-hour animal poison control service staffed by veterinary toxicologists, calls related to household pet hazards are being fielded at record-breaking rates.

Since the onset of COVID-19 in March, the helpline reports these increases in calls:

  • 390 percent increase regarding dogs and cats ingesting yeast. Unbaked bread dough can expand in the pet’s stomach and cause bloat. Also, the alcohol in the dough can cause drops in blood sugar and blood pressure and lead to seizures and death.
  • 220 percent increase in pets drinking brewed coffee. Just a few licks of coffee can elevate a pet’s heart rate, cause tremors, trigger seizures and even lead to death.
  • 171 percent increase in pets lapping wine and 169 percent increase in pets licking alcoholic cocktails. Vomiting, high body temperatures, excessive panting, muscle tremors, kidney damage and even death can occur in pets who have access to unsupervised glasses of wine or cocktails.
  • 145 percent increase in pets getting into art supplies. Acrylic and oil paints are fairly non-toxic, but pets who ingest glues, glazes, markers and other art supplies can choke, suffer breathing problems, incur liver and kidney damage and even chemical burns.
  • 80 percent increase in pets ingesting edibles or cigarettes containing marijuana. The active ingredient – Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – causes psychotropic effects, difficulty walking, vomiting, tremors and seizures in pets.

In addition, a new hashtag has been released — #stopbleachingfido. The reason? The Pet Poison Helpline has responded to a 100-percent increase in calls since the coronavirus regarding pets who have been exposed to products containing bleach, isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Pets are suffering from chemical burns or corrosive injuries when their skins come in contact with – or lick and swallow – these household cleaning products.

The Dangers

Consider this: mixing chlorine bleach with ammonia to rid your floors, countertops, door knobs and kitchen island of the coronavirus can product a toxic chloramine gas that is corrosive to the lungs of pets. 

Although you use hand sanitizers to keep the coronavirus at bay, do not wipe your pet’s paws with products containing isopropyl alcohol. It can poison your pet, drop his blood sugar level, create stomach upset and cause breathing difficulties. Rubbing alcohol is actually twice as toxic to pets than alcohol in beer or wine.

alcohol and pets

As for 3-percent hydrogen peroxide readily available in drug stores and supermarkets, exposure to pets can cause skin and eye irritation as well as vomiting and damage to the blood vessels. The only safe use of hydrogen peroxide for pets is to be given orally – and under a veterinarian’s guidance – to induce vomiting if a pet should swallow a poison and is far from a veterinary clinic. 

The Bottom Line

Keep pets out of rooms being cleaned until the surfaces have thoroughly dried. And, as the holidays approach, prevent your pets from access to such temptations as uncooked bread dough on the counter or festive drinks containing alcohol.

To learn more, visit and keep this toll-free number handy: 800-213-6680.

common pet poisons

Learn more on ways to keep your dogs and cats safe by visiting Consider taking our veterinarian-approved online pet first aid/CPR course. Enter this code: CPR – ARDEN MOORE and receive a 10 percent discount! And, if you are interested in becoming a Pro Pet Hero instructor, please click on the BECOME AN INSTRUCTOR button on the home page for more details.