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15 Toxic Foods For Dogs And Cats

Toxic foods for your pet

We all know that our pets can be carnivores or omnivores.

Dogs are omnivores, so they can eat what people are usually eating daily, but with a few exceptions.

Cats are carnivores, and this is the reason why they are less exposed to meals that don’t contain meat or milk and related products.

There is a pretty large list of common foods that could harm our lovely pets (dogs and cats), so we should never eat these foods in front of them to avoid a future intoxication.

Toxic Foods That Could Harm Your Pet

There are several foods that could be very toxic for your furry friends.

1. Coffee

Even if coffee is considered beneficial for people, it could harm dogs and cats in all its forms, due to the fact that contains caffeine and also dangerous components like xanthines.

Caffeine can be found in refreshments, chocolate, energy drinks and many other sweet things, so if your dog or cat ingests food containing caffeine, the substance can damage its nervous and urinary system.
A dog or cat that ingested caffeine can show signs of hyperactivity, vomiting, increased heart rate, restlessness, arrhythmia, tremors and seizure and in some of the worst cases, cardiac arrest and sudden death.

2. Chocolate

Dark chocolate is very beneficial for people, but is one of the most toxic food that cats and dogs can ever eat.

Milk chocolate

Chocolate is harmful for pets.

If your dog or cat has ingested a good amount of chocolate may show signs of excitation, will drink more water and urinate more often, and in the most severe cases you can see diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, seizure and maybe death due to cardiac arrest.

3. Alcoholic Beverages

If you like to drink alcoholic products in front of your dog or cat, they may consider that these products are very tasty, so don’t be surprised if you see them trying to do the same.

Alcoholic drinks attract dogs and cats, but can harm them due to the presence of ethanol and the carbonation process used to bottle these products.

A cat or dog that drank alcoholic products may show signs of ataxia (incoordination), bloating, excitement, a slow heart rate, depression, and if the amount of alcohol ingested is high, your pet can even die due to the high amount of alcohol in blood.

4. Fatty Foods

If your diet is based on fatty foods, your dog or cat can get used to eat the same food, and after a while will become obese and pretty ill.

A dog or cat that is used to eat fatty foods may show signs of stomach upset and after a longer period of time even signs of Pancreatitis.

A long diet based mostly on fatty and unhealthy foods will make your dog extremely fat and very ill.

5. Avocado

Avocados are very tasty and healthy fruits for people, but due to the presence of Persin (a fungicidal toxin) in its fruits, seeds, leaves and bark, are considered toxic for cats and dogs.

If your pet ate avocado seeds, leaves, fruits, etc., it may show signs of an upset stomach, which includes diarrhea and vomiting.

Avocado fruits

Avocados can be harmful for dogs and cats.

6. Onions

Onions like garlic, leek and chives can be very poisonous for dogs and cats because our pets lack an enzyme that helps them to properly digest them, which leads to a destruction of the body’s red blood cells.

Dogs or cats that ate onions may show signs of anemia, pale or yellow gums, bloody urine, abdominal pain, weakness/lethargy, and in extreme cases your pet could die without proper treatment.

7. Xylitol

Xylitol is pretty unknown to many people even if it can be found in many products used by people every day.

Being a sugar-free sweetener, we can find Xylitol in sugar-free gum, yogurts, ice cream, sugar-free sweets, peanut butter, gum, chocolate, sugar-free baking, honey, artificial sweeteners, condiments, sauces, protein bars, protein powder, toothpaste, skin care creams and other cosmetics.

Everything labeled sugar free contains Xylitol and is very harmful for dogs and cats.

Actually, Xylitol is maybe the most dangerous substance for dogs and cats (dogs are more sensitive in this case).

A dog or cat that ingested food containing Xylitol, may show signs of poisoning like dropped blood sugar level.

If you don’t see the signs of low blood sugar level in your dog or cat (weakness, lethargy, incoordination), after a period of about 24 hours, Xylitol can cause irreversible liver damage, maybe even coma and death.

8. Moldy or Spoiled Food

I suppose that you don’t consider your pet as being a trash can because feeding your dog or cat with spoiled or moldy food shows that you don’t respect your pet and maybe you can’t afford to have one.

Dogs and cats eating spoiled food will get sick pretty quick, and your perfectly healthy pet could turn into a very sick animal in just a couple of hours or days.

If your pet ingested spoiled food by mistake, just try to make him or her to vomit to remove that nasty thing from the stomach.

Other signs include diarrhea, muscle tremors, ataxia (lack of coordination), increased body temperature, excessive salivation and in the most severe cases liver damage.

A visit to the vet is required in such cases.

9. Raisins and Grapes

Raisins and grapes are very tasty and healthy for us, but very harmful for dogs and cats.

Tasty grapes

Grapes are tasty for people but toxic for dogs and cats.

We don’t know what substance in grapes and raisins is causing the intoxication when dogs and cats eat these fruits, but because our pets are way more sensitive to different foods and substances than we are, they could even die after eating only a small amount of raisins or grapes.

10. Macadamia Nuts

Like grapes, the substance in these nuts that affects cats and dogs is not well understood.

However, we are talking about a substance that is not very dangerous for our pets.

If more than 2.5 grams/kg body weight is ingested, you may see signs of incoordination, weakness, vomiting, increased body temperature and depression.

Deeply affected dogs may need supportive care to prevent more serious problems from developing, but if you don’t see sever signs of intoxication, you dog or cat can recover in about two days.

11. Apples, Cherries, Apricots, Plums And Peaches

All these healthy fruits for people contain a substance called cyanide, which is very toxic for dogs and cats.

Avoid feeding your dog with these fruits, there are many other healthy foods for dogs and cats that could replace them.

Besides the fruits, also the leaves, stems and seeds of these fruits contain cyanide, and is enough to only play with leaves, seeds, stems or these fruits to see signs of cyanide poisoning such as: apprehension, difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, and hyperventilation.

12. Green Potatoes And Potato Peelings

All these plants contain solanine and other toxic alkaloids, which are very toxic for cats and dogs.

If your dog or cat ate solanine or other toxic alkaloids contained in these veggies, you may see the following signs of intoxication: vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, drooling, depression, drowsiness, weakness, changed behavior, confusion, dilated pupils and a reduced heart rate.

13. Bread Dough

If you like to bake at home, you need to be aware of the fact that the bread dough left to rise is very tempting for dogs and maybe cats.

The warm stomach of your pet is ideal for the yeast to get to work and increase its size and volume, which will stretch the stomach and could lead to a blockage of blood supply that will twist the stomach or will cause breathing difficulties.

In more severe cases, the yeast will start to ferment and produce alcohol, which will cause even more problems for your pet.

This can be treated, but better avoid this from happening to your four-legged friend.

14. Corn Cobs

This is not considered poisonous for cats and dogs, but it can have deadly results because parts of the corn cob ingested are not broken down in the stomach of your pet, and when passing in the small intestine, it can get stuck producing an intestinal obstruction.

In this case, surgery is the only option to save your pet.

15. Bones

Many dogs enjoy a bone from time to time, and they are not affected at all.

Of course that dogs are more interested in eating bones than cats, and there are dogs that are used to eat bones regularly without being affected because they don’t get more than maybe a painful fractured tooth.

However, other dogs may get a bone trapped across the roof of their mouth, while some dogs will get severe constipation due to the build-up of sharp bone shards that can only be removed with an enema under anesthetic.

Eating bones (especially cooked ones) can also cause an intestinal obstruction that could then develop a hole in the intestines and lead to the death of your pet due to septic peritonitis.

How To Avoid Poisoning Your Dog Or Cat?

Now that you know what foods are harmful to your cat and dog, you should always hide these foods from them.

There are many cases when not the owner fed the dog or cat with poisonous food, but the pet ate that food due to the negligence of the owner.

Hide poisonous foods from your pet, and if you see signs of poisoning, call your vet right away for advice.

Prevention is always better than cure.

Article written by:

Darius Savin is a lifelong animal lover and protector and the chief editor of Checkmember. He writes and edits articles and is also the creator of the distribution maps for all the creatures featured here.