Pictured: Matches

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate, depending on the amount ingested

Common signs to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Depression or agitation
  • Walking drunk
  • Hypotension
  • Life-threatening low heart rate
  • Death

Matches are dangerous to pets, as they contain hazardous chemicals such as potassium nitrate, which is an oxidizing agent. Matches can also contain charcoal or sulfur and coloring agents, which are potentially dangerous heavy metals. When ingested, pets can develop gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, a painful abdomen, and bloody diarrhea. The severity of pet health issues resulting from ingestion will depend on the amount of matches that was ingested. Pets ingesting large amounts can suffer tremors or seizures, along with acute kidney failure, bone marrow changes, shallow breathing and jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin.

Poison type: household_items

Alternate names: heavy metals, potassium chlorate