By: Judy M.
September 18, 2017
Follow Judy at @judymolland
Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on August 22, 2015. Enjoy!
A number of dogs around the country are not happy with their dinner these days. And that’s due to repeated scares about pet food safety. From euthanasia drugs to wires, some of the reported ingredients are downright scary.
Obviously we don’t want to feed our pets anything that could threaten their health, so let’s use this opportunity to take a look at ten foods that you should never give your cat or dog.
All alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can have disastrous effects on the human liver and brain — and the effects are amplified for our pets. Even a tiny amount of alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.
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This fruit contains Persin, a toxic component which has adverse effects on the heart and lungs of our pets. It can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.
I love my morning coffee — and, indeed, tea and coffee are known for their beneficial effects on human health. But the same is not true for our pets. These products all contain methylxanthines, and when ingested by pets, this can chemical can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm and seizures.
You probably already know this one, but you should never share a bite of your favorite chocolate bar with your pet. The theobromine in chocolate can cause irregular heart beats in dogs and cats, which could prove fatal. Don’t even let your dog lick the chocolate frosting on that cake.
- Grapes and Raisins
It’s unclear why grapes and raisins create problems for pets, but these fruits can lead to kidney failure in dogs and cats. Don’t leave any lying around!
As a child, I watched my mother give our cat Timmy a bowl of milk every day, so this one came as a total surprise to me. Mom made a big mistake: Cats do not possess significant amounts of lactase — the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk — which means that milk and other milk-based products may give them diarrhea or cause other digestive upset.
- Onions and Garlic
You may love to cook with a perfect combination of these two ingredients, but onions and garlic are highly toxic to animals. Onions, in particular, have a destructive effect on your pet’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia, breathing troubles and weakness.
- Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs, Bones
Some people may consider raw bones to be a natural food for dogs, but they definitely pose a choking hazard. Raw meat and raw eggs also may contain Salmonella and E.coli bacteria, which can affect your pet’s health. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that restricts the absorption of biotin — a B vitamin — leading to skin and coat problems.
Too much salt produces excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium poisoning. Don’t let your pet have any of those salty chips, or you may find that she experiences vomiting, diarrhea, tremors or an elevated body temperature.
Candy, chewing gum and baked goods may contain a sweetener called Xylitol, which can cause insulin release in most species, potentially leading to liver failure. The increase in insulin triggers a sudden fall in blood glucose level, potentially causing seizures and/or loss of coordination.
Of course, even if you know what to avoid feeding your cats or dogs, they do have minds of their own, and accidents can happen. If you suspect your pet has eaten any of these foods, note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
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