We all know those puppy eyes look our furry kids give while begging for food. Although a little treat once in a while may not hurt, not all human foods are safe for pets. Hence it is important as a pet parents to know what foods are dangerous and be careful about what they get their paws on.
Pets are more sensitive to intoxication effects, what only make you drunk can be extremely poisonous to them. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcoholic beverages and/or food products containing alcohol. Depending on the type of alcohol and the size of your pet, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.
Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Other Caffeine
While many are well aware of the chocolate warning, it is pointed out that chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which are considered methylxanthines. Methylxanthines are found in cacao seeds that were used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When consumed by pets, it can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thrist and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Hence, on top of chocolate, it is important to keep your pets away from caffeinated beverages as well.
Raw / Undercooked Meat and Fish, Raw Eggs & Bones
Raw meat and fish or raw eggs can cause food poisoning from bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. Raw eggs contain avidin, an enzyme that decreases the absorption of biotin which lead to skin and coat problems. Some fish can also have a parasite that causes “fish disease” that lead to vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes.
Many people associate dogs and bones however it can be very dangerous feeding them one. They might choke on bones, or get injured should the bone splinter and block or cause cuts in your dog’s digestive system. Cooked bones are more brittle than their raw ones, making them more likely to splinter when a dog chews them.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener which was used as a sugar substitute. It was commonly found in candy, gum toothpaste, baked goods and some diet foods. Ingestion can cause a life-threatening drop in your pets blood sugar levels and can eventually lead to liver failure. Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, seizures and loss of coordination. A simply guide is to avoid stuff with xylitol listed as the first three to five ingredients.
Nuts (Especially Macadamia Nuts)
Nuts in general contain high amounts of oils and fats that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and potentially pancreatitis in pets. For unknown reason, macadamia nuts are exceptionally dangerous to your pets. A dose of about two nuts per pound of body weight can result in poisoning that can lead to a temporary inability to walk.
Onions and Garlic
Foods that are part of the allium family contain compounds that can cause gastroenteritis irritation and serious damage to the red blood cells. Consume in large quantity will make your pets anemic, severe enough to require a blood transfusion.
Fruits like Avocados, Peaches & Plums, Grapes & Raisins
Avocados are dangerous to your pets for two reasons. First, they have a high fat content and contain the toxin persin which can upset your pet’s stomach. Second, the slippery, hard pit is easy to swallow and can lead to a gastrointestinal obstruction.
That being said, we should also be cautious with fruits contain large pits, such as peaches and plums. Peach and plum pits contain glycosides, a.k.a. cynide which is poisonous to both humans and pets. People know not to eat them but your pets don’t.
While grapes and raisins may seem harmless, they can cause kidney failure in some dogs. It is best to avoid them too.
No matter how careful you are, your pets might find and swallow something they shouldn’t. Keep the number of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435 with you. If you suspect your pets may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, reach out for help right away!
Disclaimer: The above list is not exhaustive and only meant for precaution. Please consult your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your pet.