Top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet

While people food is generally not recommended for your cat or dog, we know there are times when humans think we’re giving our furry friends a special treat.  We also know that some pets have no problem cleaning up an unattended food plate or exploring a garbage can for a little snack.

Regardless of how your pet comes in contact with people food, it’s important to remind ourselves which foods can be toxic to pets. 

While there are many lists out there with foods to avoid, these are the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet:

Chocolate, coffee, caffeine:  Can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.  

Grapes and raisins:  Can cause kidney failure.

Onions, garlic, chives:  Can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. (See our blog post titled It isn’t just about bad breath… onions, garlic, and leeks are hazardous to your pet! for more info.)

Milk: Can cause diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Salt: Can produce excessive thirst and urination and sodium ion poisoning.  Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

 Raw or undercooked meat, eggs, or bones:  Can expose pets to Salmonella or E. coli, and lead to skin and coat problems.  Raw bones are often brittle and can be a major choking hazard.

Artificial sweetener (Xylitol): Can cause liver failure. 

Alcohol: Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Avocado: Can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. 

Macadamia Nuts:  Can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs.

Remember, if your pet should have an emergency The Animal Hospital of Polaris is trained and equipped to handle all sorts of emergencies on all species.  We’re open late and on weekends too!

(Source: ASPCA)


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