Foods Pets Should Not Eat

You and the family are sitting at the dining table eating dinner, and Fido is looking up at you as if to say, “If I’m part of the family, where is my serving of the food you are eating?”  It smells so good to him, and you want to enjoy your meal without looking at that pitiful face and feeling guilty, so it’s tempting to “accidentally” drop a piece of food to satisfy him. What your pup doesn’t understand, (and a lot of times we don’t either) is that a lot of the foods we eat and enjoy that are good for us aren’t necessarily good for him.

Is Chocolate Really Bad For Pets?

With the Halloween holiday around the corner, this particularly comes to mind with all of the candy around the house.  Kids especially may not know the importance of keeping these sweets from their best friends.  We’ve all heard that chocolate is toxic to dogs, and this is not just an old wive’s tale.  Chocolate can be poisonous, even just a small amount.  But there are other foods that can have the same impact.

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Other Foods Pets Should Not Eat

A reliable source for the information we need on this subject is the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Animal Poison Control.  They have put together a list of the top toxic people-foods that shouldn’t be given to your pets – cats as well as dogs.  These foods include:

  • Alcohol – foods and beverages containing alcohol can cause things like vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, breathing difficulty, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma, and even death
  • Avocado – this is most dangerous for pets such as birds and rabbits
  • Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine – these products all contain methylxanthines which cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and even death
  • Citrus – can cause central nervous problems
  • Coconut and coconut oil – can cause stomach upset
  • Grapes and Raisins – can cause kidney failure
  • Macadamia Nuts – risk of weakness, vomiting, and hyperthermia
  • Milk and Dairy – possibility of stomach problems
  • Nuts – can cause stomach problems and potentially pancreatitis
  • Onions, Garlic, Chives – can lead to blood cell damage
  • Raw / uncooked Meat, Eggs and Bones – risk of Salmonella and E. Coli – also, raw bones can cause choking, or splinters going down throat
  • Salt and Salty Snacks (popcorn, potato chips, pretzels) – chance of excessive thirst, stomach issues, seizures, and even death
  • Xylitol – used as a sweetener in products such as gum, toothpaste, baked goods.  It can cause insulin release that can lead to liver problems
  • Yeast Dough – can lead to life threatening emergency

AKC also includes ice cream in the list, as our pets cannot digest it properly, and also cinnamon, as it can affect the inside of their mouths, their digestion, and give them difficulty in breathing.

Bacon is considered a no-no as well, as it’s rich in fat, and can lead to pancreatitis.

What To Do If Your Pet Eats Harmful Foods

As you can see, these foods can be quite harmful to our pets, from causing them to get very sick, all the way to death. I’m sure you’ve heard at one time or another the danger of some of these foods to our four-legged friends, but some of them might have been a surprise.  It’s so easy to think that we are making our pet happy by giving him some of these table foods as a treat, when in reality we might unknowingly be making him sick. So it’s important to be aware of these warnings.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of the foods listed, immediately contact your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

photo credit: splorp Trout & Snout via photopin (license)


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