PEOPLE FOODS TO AVOID FEEDING PETS

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435

I cannot express how important it is to know what people foods to avoid feeding your pets. Our Animal Poison Control Center experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. Moreover, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435. please read my article on homemade foods you CAN feed your dog

Alcohol


Avoid people foods like alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol, which can cause vomiting & diarrhea, in addition to decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma, and even death. Under no circumstances, do not give your pet any alcohol. If you suspect your pet has ingested alcohol, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.

Avocado


Avocado is primarily a problem for birds, rabbits, donkeys, horses, and ruminants, including sheep and goats. Equally important, the biggest concern is for cardiovascular damage and death in birds.  Horses, donkeys, and ruminants frequently get swollen, edematous head and neck.

Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine


These products all contain methylxanthines, found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee, and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. Additionally, when ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest. In short, it is recommended to avoid feeding pets these people foods.

Citrus


The stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. Small doses, such as eating the fruit, will not likely present problems beyond minor stomach upset. However, it’s a good idea to avoid feeding peels & seeds around your pets.

Coconut and Coconut Oil


When ingested in small amounts, coconut and coconut-based products will not likely cause serious harm to your pet. The flesh and milk of fresh coconuts contain oils that may cause stomach upset, loose stools, or diarrhea. Because of this, we encourage you to use caution when offering your pets these foods. Do not feed high potassium filled coconut water to your pet.

Grapes and Raisins


Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. Until more information becomes known about the toxic substance, it is best to avoid feeding pets grapes and raisins.

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Macadamia Nuts


Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Milk and Dairy


Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other dairy-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Nuts


Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats. Not to mention, the fats can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis in pets.

Onions, Garlic, Chives


These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs, and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones


Avoid people food like raw meat and raw eggs containing Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets and humans. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), leading to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.

Salt and Salty Snack Foods


Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Furthermore, Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures, and even death. As such, we encourage you to avoid feeding salt-heavy snacks like potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn to your pets.

Xylitol


Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Yeast Dough


Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach to bloat and potentially twist, becoming a life-threatening emergency. The yeast produces ethanol as a by-product, and a dog ingesting raw bread dough can become drunk (See alcohol).

Credits: ASPCA