Maintain Sharp Vigilance! 14 Everyday Foods that Can Kill Your Pet


You love your pet, and as with any family member, their health and safety is a priority. Yet oftentimes we can take their well-being for granted.  While safe and nutritious for you, some foods can cause serious illness, or even death, to your furry friend.  Below is a list of common foods that should be avoided during feeding time.

1. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute used by diabetics.  Although harmless to humans, Xylitol can be fatal to dogs.  Symptoms may include low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, or death.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine is found in many foods, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, sodas, and energy drinks.  It can cause seizures, tremors, rapid heart beat, heavy breathing, and restlessness in dogs and cats.

3. Chocolate

Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, with dark chocolate being excessively toxic due to higher levels of cocoa.  It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heartbeat, seizures, kidney failure, or death. The toxic effect depends on the weight of the pet and amount of cocoa consumed.

4. Grapes & Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause health problems in some animals and ingesting them can cause kidney failure or even death.

5. Alcohol

Depending on the size of the pet, alcohol may cause decreased coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, or death.  It can affect the liver and brain, as it does in humans.

6. Onions and Garlic

Garlic and onions, whether raw, powdered, or cooked, can cause gastrointestinal problems that may cause anemia and red blood cell damage. Cats are at higher risk but it can adversely affect dogs as well.

7. Nuts

Nuts are harmful to dogs.  Macadamia nuts, or products containing them, can cause vomiting, tremors, weakness, and high body temperatures.  Most nuts are not easily digested and can cause an upset stomach.

8. Fruit

Large amounts of avocados can cause vomiting and diarrhea.. The seeds from persimmons can affect the intestines, while peach and plum pits contain cyanide, toxic to you and your pet.

9. Yeast Dough

Ingesting yeast dough can affect your pet’s digestive system and cause excess gas and abdominal pain. When the yeast ferments, it produces alcohol, which is also bad for dogs.

10. Raw/Undercooked Meat, Fish and Eggs

While many pet owners feed their dog or cat raw or undercooked meat, fish, or eggs, it is highly recommended  you avoid this practice. Raw meat, fish, and eggs may cause food poisoning due to bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli. Raw eggs contain an enzyme which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), and can lead to skin and coat problems. Raw fish may contain parasites that cause vomiting, high fever, and swollen lymph nodes in your pet.

11. Fat Trimmings and Bones

Another contested process includes animal fat and bones. Fat trimmed from meat, cooked or uncooked, may cause inflammation of the pancreas. Bones are dangerous for pets as they may cause choking, while sharp edges may damage the digestive tract.

12. Milk and dairy products

Dairy products may cause upset stomach and diarrhea because pets lack the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose in dairy products.

13. Salt

Salt may be poisonous, causing symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, high body temperature, or death.

14. Sugar

While not life-threatening, sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes, and dental issues in your pet.

Following these simple suggestions will ensure you and your pet a long and healthy life together.

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Liu Jiao
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