10 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog Or Cat

When you bring a dog or cat into your home, you want to treat them like a valued member of the family. It can be tempting to give them extra treats or share your food with them. That idea is perpetuated by taking home a “doggy bag” from a restaurant as well as how we see pets portrayed in movies and television shows.

While with some foods it is perfectly fine to share, there are foods that can lead to serious health problems or even death in your pet. Many commonly thought of “treats” are instead foods that are dangerous for your dog or cat. These two lists include foods to avoid for both dog and cat owners.

Five Foods to Avoid for Dogs:

Zylitol

Zylitol is a sweetener that can be found in baked goods, gum, and some diet foods. If your dog eats something containing Zylitol, it can cause a drop in blood sugar. If you think your dog has gotten into something with Zylitol, here are some early symptoms to look out for: vomiting, coordination problems, and lethargy. If not treated, this can lead to seizures and liver failure within a matter of days.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and Garlic, in any form, are harmful for your dog. If ingested at all, they can kill your dog’s red blood cells, which eventually leads to anemia (a condition marked by a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood). If your dog eats a large quantity, even just once, it can lead to poisoning. Things to watch out for if you think your dog has ingested onions or garlic including breathing problems, weakness, and vomiting.

Caffeine

Caffeine is in so many things in your house, including: coffee, tea, chocolate, caffeinated soda, medication, and energy drinks. Ingesting any of these things containing caffeine can be fatal to your dog. If you suspect your dog has gotten into something with caffeine, take them to the vet immediately.

Macadamia Nuts

It only takes six macadamia nuts to make your dog sick. The symptoms to look for if your dog has eaten macadamia nuts include: high temperature, vomiting, weakness in back legs, and muscle shakes. Macadamia nuts are dangerous on their own, but mixing chocolate with macadamia nuts can lead to death in your dog.

Pitted Fruits

Persimmons, peaches, and plums should be kept out of reach of your dog. While the fruit is okay (although not ideal) for your dog, the pit is dangerous. There are two issues with these fruits, both are found in the pits. The pits from these fruits can cause an obstruction in the small intestine, if swallowed. Secondly, cyanide is present in peach and plum pits, which will poison your dog if ingested.

Five Foods to Avoid for Cats:

Alcohol

Alcohol can become a serious issue for your cat. Not only can cats get drunk, which is not healthy for them, it also takes a very small amount of alcohol to cause brain and liver damage. If your cat ingests as little as a tablespoon of alcohol, they could lapse into a coma. More than a tablespoon can lead to death.

Dairy

Milk and dairy products, while commonly associated with cats, can cause digestive problems. Cats are generally lactose-intolerant, so it is safer for your pet to not place down that saucer of milk.

Grapes

Grapes and raisins have been known as treats for cats, but they should not be. A small amount of grapes or raisins can make your cat hyperactive and vomit repeatedly. While some cats tolerate grapes and raisins well, others react so poorly it is best to keep them out of reach of all of your cats.

Raw Eggs

Raw eggs can cause the same issue for cats that they do for humans. If there is any bacteria in the raw egg, it could lead to food poisoning. Raw eggs can also create an issue with your cat’s absorption of biotin, which can cause skin and coat issues.

Tuna

Tuna is another thing that the people think is good to give to your cats, when in fact it can lead to health issues. There are two types of tuna, one for humans and the other for cats. Feeding a cat a tuna-based cat food is just fine, the trouble comes in when you feed tuna for human consumption to your cat. Tuna that is made for humans does not have the nutrients needed to support your cat’s nutritional needs and can also cause inflammation of the fat cells in your cat’s body when fed on a regular basis.

Having pets is a joy as well as a responsibility. Hopefully these lists of dangerous foods, while not exhaustive, are a good place to start in keeping a happy and healthy pet in your home. If you think that your pet has gotten into anything on these lists, or any other food that is potentially dangerous, please contact your veterinarian immediately for further advice.