Things You Shouldn’t Own If You Have a Dog

You might not know these common household items are dangerous to dogs.

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holey trash can
Family Handyman

An Open Trash Can

Since dogs are known to get into trash cans, it’s best to have a lid on a trash can so they can’t start eating things they aren’t supposed to. Plus, some items in your trash could be indigestible for your dog and created a choking scenario.  Check out this solution to get rid of a nasty trash can smell in less than 10 seconds.

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Lucas Tscherteu/Shutterstock


Potpourri can make your dog sick if he ingests it and may cause vomiting or diarrhea. Potpourri with tiny pine cones or bark chips can create a choking hazard for your pooch. Plus, here’s how to build a beautiful dog washing station.

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woman sleeps on top of an electric blanket

Electric Blankets

Using your electric blanket on your dog isn’t a good idea because humans and dogs have different body temperatures. There are electric blankets available just for dogs that work on low voltage so they’re safe for dogs, according to the American Kennel Club. But be careful with older electric blankets because some may not have chew-resistant cords. Check out our 17 best tips for pet care and pet safety, including a way to make electrical cords chew-proof. In case, you pet has already done the deed and you’re left with damaged electronics, here’s a tip on how to fix chewed cords.

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Family Handyman

Classic Mousetraps

Classic, spring-loaded mice traps are not considered safe to use if you have a dog at home because they can get into them accidentally. Instead try a mousetrap that lures the mouse into a self-contained trap, like this one from Amazon.

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Illegal naphthalene moth repellent products are hazardous to pets and young children and should not be used outside of what the product’s label allows. Most modern mothballs are not as toxic but they contain insect repellent, which can cause illness in dogs if ingested. Keep your home clean with these tips every dog or cat owner should know.

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HH Handy hint swiffer floor sweeper dryer sheets
Family Handyman

Fabric Softener Sheets

Fabric softener sheets and dryer sheets can cause problems for your dog because they contain cationic detergent and fragrances that can cause skin and respiratory irritation.

Are you aware of these 11 household items that are seriously hazardous for your pets?

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Rawhide Chew Toys

Some people like to have rawhide chew toys around for their dog because it helps with their chewing needs, but there are some risks associated with them. Rawhide chew toys can get contaminated and can contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals, according to WebMD. There are also subject to Salmonella or E. coli contamination. Plus, the chew toy can be difficult for your dog to digest or it can get stuck in their esophagus or digestive tract. Take a look at one of these 10 high-tech gadgets you and your pet will love.

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air freshener spray

Liquid Air Fresheners

Like fabric softeners and dryer sheets, liquid air fresheners contain cationic detergent. If your dog shows difficulty walking, vomits or paws at his face, he might have been poisoned from an air freshener, according to Cheat Sheet.

Check out 15 pet products with nearly perfect reviews on Amazon.

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Bowl of Xylitol


Xylitol is used as an artificial sweetener that’s found in gum, candy and toothpaste. While it’s safe for humans, it can cause low blood sugar in dogs and possible liver failure, according to NomNomNow. Puppy proof your home to make sure your house is a safe space for your dog.

Up next, learn the real cost of owning a dog.