The below list originally appeared in the May 16, 2014 issue of Home and Garden, and is posted here for reference purposes.
Lots of people have pets and they treat them as an integral part of their family, but while there are foods that are safe and delicious for us, they might be dangerous for our pets. Some of them may just cause a stomach upset, but some of them can be fatal. Below you will find a list of common people foods to avoid feeding your pets. While no matter how cautious you are, your pet may still eat something it shouldn’t. If you suspect your pet has a food poisoning, contact your local vet or the closest emergency clinic.
Find here the top common foods to avoid feeding your pet:
Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is used by diabetics and others who suffer from blood sugar issues. It is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that is found in low concentrations in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables. It is added to some chewing gums, candies, baked goods and other oral care products such as toothpastes to prevent tooth decay and dry mouth. Although it is considered harmless for humans, don’t leave xylitol out around your pets as even small amounts can be fatal for dogs. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination, while advanced signs include low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure and death.
Caffeine. Caffeine can be found in many food items such as coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, sodas and energy drinks. If caffeine is consumed in large amounts, it can cause dogs and cats seizures, tremors, rapid heart bit and breathing and restlessness.
Chocolate. Many people love chocolate, but chocolate is toxic for dogs and cats, and dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate due to its higher levels of cocoa. When chocolate is consumed by pets, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, abnormal heartbeats, seizures, kidney failure and death. The toxic effect of this substance depends on the weight of the pet, so little pets are at higher risk, and in the amount of cocoa in the product.
Grapes and Raisins. It is unknown why grapes and raisins can cause health problems in some animals, but ingesting them can cause kidney failure which can be life threatening. Note: a few grapes here and there never hurt my dogs, but probably not the best idea to let them gorge on them.
Alcohol. Ingesting even a small amount of alcohol can cause dogs various problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, decreased coordination and even death, depending of the amount of alcohol consumed. It can affect the liver and brain in same way it affects humans. The smaller the dog, the greater the effect.
Onions and Garlic. People have been using garlic as a medicinal herb for a very long time, but eating high amounts of garlic and onions, raw, powdered or cooked, can cause dogs and cats gastrointestinal problem that can cause life-threatening anemia and damage to red blood cells. Cats are more at risk but it can also affect dogs if large amount is consumed.
Nuts, especially Macadamia nuts. While eating nuts is good for us, most nuts are bad for dogs, especially Macadamia nuts. Eating macadamia nuts, or products containing them. They can cause your dog vomiting, tremors, weakness and high body temperature. Other nuts are not easily digested and can give your dog an upset stomach. Note: I’ve had a personal run-in with Macadamia nuts; they made both Britta and Friday very, very ill. For safety purposes, we don’t keep Macadamia nuts in the house, period.
Avocados, persimmons, peaches and plums. Eating large amounts of avocados can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The seeds from persimmons can affect the intestines, and the pits from peach and plum contain cyanide which is toxic for both humans and dogs.
Yeast Dough. When you bake bread, the dough needs to rise. Ingesting yeast dough can affect your pet’s digestive system and cause excess gas and abdominal pain. Also when the yeast ferments, it produces alcohol which is also bad for dogs. After the dough is cooked and you have a bread, pets can have small pieces of bread as treats.
Milk and dairy products. Large amounts of dairy products can cause upset stomach and diarrhea for pets because they don’t have a large amount of the enzyme lactase which breaks down lactose in dairy products. Note: a bit of cheese never hurt my dogs.
Have more to add? Please contact me and let me know. Thanks!