Deadly Dozen: 12 Foods That Can Be Toxic to Pets

tablefoodfeatureWe all love our pets. And one of the ways we show it, much like we do with friends and family, is by treating them to food. Sure, giving a pet treat can make us (and our pets) happy, but we also occasionally sneak in some people food as an added treat.

You might want to think twice about that, though, because there are certain foods and drinks that can be very harmful to your dog or cat. Here is a list of everyday grocery items that can be hazardous to your pet’s health.

Alcohol—Alcohol in any form can cause problems for your pet. Much like it does with people, alcohol can cause liver damage and brain damage; however, because pets are much smaller than us, the damage happens much more rapidly. The smaller the pet, the quicker the damage car occur.

Avocado—This fatty fruit contains a substance, persin, that can be harmful to dogs, causing digestive and breathing problems. Whole avocados are doubly dangerous because of the pits, which are choking and digestive hazards.

Chocolate—Even a small amount of this sweet treat, especially dark chocolate and baking chocolate, can make your pet seriously sick because it contains theobromine, a substance that’s toxic for dogs.

Caffeine—Keep caffeine far away from your pet, as it can be a very poisonous for him. Like chocolate, caffeine contains methylxanthines, which can cause heart palpitations, rapid breathing, and even death.

Citrus—Fruits such as oranges and lemons are simply too acidic for your pet to handle in large doses. The more citrus eaten, the more it can affect your pet’s digestive system.

Garlic and Onions—These vegetables can affect your pet’s red blood cell production and cause anemia, causing your pet to be listless and weak. Cats are particularly affected.

Grapes and Raisins—These bite-sized fruits may seem harmless, but for reasons not yet known by the scientific community, grapes and raisins can quickly cause vomiting and even kidney failure in pets.

Milk and Other Dairy—This may seem odd concerning cats, but dairy products like milk cause digestive problems for pets because they don’t have enough enzymes to break down the lactose in dairy.

Nuts—Overall, nuts are too oily and fatty for your pet to handle. Certain varieties, such as macadamias, can be poisonous to dogs and cause serious health problems, including paralysis and death.

Salty Foods—Too much salt isn’t good for humans, so it certainly is more problematic for pets. Excess salt can lead to dehydration or, worse, sodium ion poisoning.

Xylitol—This artificial sweetener, found in gum and candy, can create elevated insulin levels and blood sugar issues for your pet, which can quickly lead to liver failure.

Yeast Dough—If eaten uncooked, the yeast in dough will expand in your pet’s stomach and wreak havoc on his digestive system; plus, when it rises it can cause ethanol, an alcohol, which, for reasons explained above, can double down on the danger.

Now that you’re aware of the dangers of these foods, you shouldn’t give any of them to your pet. As an added precaution, make sure that when you eat, prepare, or use these foods or drinks, you carefully dispose of them to keep your pet safe. You love having a healthy pet, so keep him that way!