Common sense can tell you that if you shouldn’t eat a triple cheeseburger, your dog or cat probably shouldn’t either. But when it comes to giving your pet people food, some foods that are okay - or even great - for you, can be harmful or toxic foods for dogs or cats. It’s best to stick with a dog food or cat food, dog treats and cat treats that are made just for your furry pals, especially if you’re unsure.
Symptoms that your pet may have eaten harmful foods include lethargy, tremors, seizures, increased body temperature, explosive diarrhea and vomiting, loss of coordination, and even more serious problems, such as kidney and liver failure.
Here are a few of the most toxic foods for dogs, cats and other pets:
1. Alcoholic beverages / Drugs – One of the most obvious toxic foods for dogs and cats. Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.
2. Apple seeds – Contain cyanide, so avoid giving pets a whole apple and use slices instead. Anything with cyanide is a cat or dog food to avoid.
3. Apricot stems, leaves and pits – Contain cyanide, which is why pets should never chew on the pits.
4. Avocados – Toxic to horses, cattle, goats and birds; the leaves, fruit, seeds, pit and skin may contain a toxic substance called persin.
5. Caffeine – Contains methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. A lot of food and drinks you didn’t think had caffeine can contain this stimulant including candies like chocolate, also tea and coffee products.
6. Gum and candy – Any candy containing the toxic artificial sweetener xylitol that can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure, should be avoided.
7. Fruit pits – Cherry Stems, leaves, seeds and pits contain cyanide—basically everything but the fruit itself. Be careful to not let cherry pits drop to the floor where your pet could eat them. Peach pits can cause brick red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting and shock. Be sure not to throw these in the yard where your dog can chew on them.
8. Garlic, onions, onion powder and chives – Contain toxin N-propyl disulfide, which causes vomiting, breakdown of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia, Heinz body anemia), blood in urine, weakness, high heart rate and panting.
9. Grapes and raisins – While its unknown what exactly makes this a dog food to avoid, grapes and raisins have been known to cause kidney failure and are not worth the risk.
10. Hops (used in home beer brewing) – Toxic to dogs; causing panting, high body temperature, seizures and death.
11. Nuts – Oils and fats in almonds, pecans and walnuts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs.
12. Milk and dairy – Can cause diarrhea or other digestive upset in pets, because they do not have enough lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk) to process dairy products.
I hope this list helps you in the future to raise a healthy pet. Please share with people you think this will help. If you have any personal experiences please leave them in the comments below.