14 Human Foods That Can Harm or Even Kill Your Beloved Dog or Cat

14 Common Foods that Can Kill Your Pet

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:

1. Chocolate

Many people love chocolate, and I’ve written in the past about the health benefits of dark 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.

2. 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.

Xylitol 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.

3. 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.

4. Grapes & 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. It is best to avoid them completely.

5. 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.

Alcohol can affect the liver and brain in same way it affects humans. The smaller the dog, the greater the effect.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Raw/Undercooked Meat, Fish and Eggs

This may be a controversial recommendation: according to webMD website, raw meat, fish and eggs may cause food poisoning to pets due to bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli.

Raw eggs also contain an enzyme which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems.

Some raw fish can contain a parasite that can cause your pet vomiting, fever and enlarged lymph nodes and can even be fatal for them.

I know that many people feed their pets with these kinds of foods and wild dogs and cats don’t cook their raw meet before eating it, but I guess this recommendation is more for domestic rather than wild dog or cat.

In any case, I got a lot of comments from people who feed their pets with raw meet. This is your choice, however you need to be aware of the risks, and if you choose to feed your pet with raw meat, you can reduce the risks by:

  • Purchasing meat from a trusted source.
  • Using the meat immediately, or freezing it in individual serving-sized packets for future use.
  • Using safe food handling techniques (clean and sterilize all equipment).

11. Fat Trimmings and Bones

Another controversial recommendation from webMD website relates to the remains of your foods that may include meat fat and bones.

Fat trimmed from meat, whether cooked or uncooked, can cause inflammation of the pancreas in dogs.

Bones are dangerous for pets as they can cause your pet to choke on it, and sharp parts of them can injure the digestive tract. However I got a lot of comments from people who choose to feed their pets with the above foods. In any case, this is your choice as this is your pet, but you should be aware of the recommendation.

12. Milk and dairy products

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.

13. Salt

Eating large amounts of salt can cause poisoning in pets. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, high body temperature and even death.

14. Sugar

Sugar is not toxic but too much sugar can affect pets as it affects humans, and can lead to dental problems, behavioral issues, obesity and even diabetes.

What about spoiled food?

This is an old argument. Some people argue that it is OK to feed your pet food that has “gone bad.”  They claim that dogs/cats eat dead and spoiled things in the wild.

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, spoiled food is not a good choice for our pets. It may have bacterial contamination (salmonella, e. coli) which can be life threatening. Dogs/cats in the wild may not have a choice on what to eat, but yours do.

Feeding your pet the right food and keeping an eye for unusual symptoms that may indicate a food poisoning will enable you and your pet to enjoy each other’s company for many years to come.

What About coconut Oil?

The health benefits of coconut oil for humans have been well documented. However, not everyone knows about the health benefits of coconut oil for dogs and cats.

For more information please read the article: Coconut Oil for Dogs, Cats and Other Pets – The Ultimate Guide

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Healthy and Natural World