Their eyes can speak a thousand words, and mostly they involve ‘feed me’, but there are some foods we really shouldn’t be giving our beautiful beasts no matter how loudly they ask. Below is a list of 50 foods, some of which the effects can be fatal, and some we just need to be mindful of. There are some surprises in there so read on:
Xylitol – TOXIC
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener which can be found in chewing gum, sweets, diet foods, toothpaste and one to watch out for peanut butter. It can cause a sudden release of insulin that may lead to hypoglycemia and liver failure. Signs of xylitol toxicity include vomiting and tiredness, which can appear from 30 mins – 2 days and can be fatal if untreated.
Alcohol – TOXIC
Alcohol affects the liver and brain in the same way it does for humans, so our beautiful beasts will be in danger if they drink it. It can cause vomiting and diarrhoea but with enough, it could also lead to breathing difficulties, coma even death. Smaller animals are more at risk, for them even small amounts could cause them damage.
Caffeine – TOXIC
Caffeine can be found in tea, coffee, energy drinks, colas, chocolate (which causes its own problems) and some human medication. Caffeine can be fatal, its a stimulant which can cause high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, tremors, and seizures, which may cause secondary complications and lead to death.
Chocolate – TOXIC
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, a chemical which in large enough quantities can be fatal. The type of chocolate ingested alongside the size of the dog will determine how much is needed to lead to serious problems, symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid heart rate, muscle tremors, and seizures can also occur. Dark chocolate or unsweetened baking chocolate is the most toxic, however, no amount of any chocolate is considered ‘safe’.
Avocado – TOXIC
Avocado tree leaves, pits, plant bark, and the fruit contain the compound, persin. Symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea would indicate they have ingested too much of this toxin. They also have a high-fat content which is not great on their stomachs. Avocado pits can also be an obstruction hazard if they get stuck in the intestines or stomach, which could be fatal.
Onions, Garlic, Scallion, Shallot, Leek, and Chives – TOXIC
Foods in the Allium family contain a chemical which damages the red blood cells of our beautiful beasts, which can cause gastroenteritis, bloody urine, or anaemia. Although fresh foods would need a large amount to cause severe problems (and cooking reduces the toxicity) however powders are concentrated so pose more of a threat. Signs to look out for include vomiting, weakness, and breathing problems.
Grapes, Raisins, Sultanas and Currants – TOXIC
It’s not really known why these are toxic but these fruits can cause acute kidney failure. Grapes are believed to be the worse offenders. Signs include vomiting, diarrhoea, and tiredness which may occur within 24hrs of ingesting.
Macadamia Nuts – TOXIC
Many nuts can cause upset stomachs in our beautiful beasts but macadamia nuts produce the worse effects. It doesn’t take many to cause vomiting. 6 raw or roasted could be enough and mix with chocolate and it may even lead to death. Look out for signs such as vomiting, muscle shakes, high temperature and pale gums.
Salt – TOXIC
Avoid giving your beautiful beasts too much salt, in large enough quantities it can lead to sodium poisoning, Look out for signs of vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, and seizures. Salt in smaller quantities (Ham, salty snacks) may cause your pet to drink too much and lead to bloat. Bloat will stretch their stomachs, and potentially twist, this is known as *GDV (Gastro-Dilation Volvulus) and needs immediate surgery to fix.
Liver – TOXIC
Our beautiful beasts do enjoy liver, and it’s a great training aid when given as baked or dried treats, however, large amounts of liver can cause vitamin A toxicity, which severely affects muscles and bone, can cause extreme weight loss, spine stiffness or excessive bone growth.
Raw Bread Dough – TOXIC
Bread dough before its cooked needs to rise. If this is inside your cat or dogs stomach the swelling (bloat) will stretch their stomach, and again cause the problem *GDV (Gastro-Dilation Volvulus). What makes the dough rise is the fermenting of the yeast, this fermentation causes the production of ethanol, which can be potentially fatal due to the alcohol poisoning.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda – TOXIC
These agents help baking goods to rise by producing a gas when it’s heated. (and we all know how warm our beautiful beasts stomach are!) this heat creates the gas which similar to yeast, can cause *GDV. Large amounts of baking powder or soda could also cause electrolyte imbalances, muscles spasms, or heart failure.
Nutmeg – TOXIC
Nutmeg is toxic for pets due to the compound myristicin, in tiny amounts, you may not see any side effects, but in high doses, they could suffer from diarrhoea, vomiting, increased heart rate, abdominal pain, and seizures
Orange and Lemon Tree – TOXIC
The orange and lemon tree is toxic due to its psoralens and essential oils. This includes the seeds, peel, leaves or stem of this tree. Signs of poisoning include vomiting and diarrhoea and depression.
Wild Mushrooms – TOXIC
Certain mushrooms can be fatal if eaten by our beautiful beasts, abdominal pain, seizures, vomiting and diarrhoea could be experienced. The toxins can induce shock and eventually lead to death.
Milk & Dairy Products – AVOID
A lot of dogs are lactose-intolerant, so having milk and milk-based products (ice cream, yoghurt) can cause diarrhoea in dogs and other digestive problems. Cheese is also high in fat, given sensibly it makes for a tasty treat, however too much and you increase the chance of pancreatitis.
Raw Potatoes, Rhubarb, and Tomatoes- AVOID
Potatoe peels, green or raw potatoes, rhubarb and tomato tops contain oxalates which affect your pets digestive, nervous and urinary tract systems. Symptoms could include weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle twitching and seizures.
Fat Trimmings and Bones – AVOID
Large amounts of fat has the potential to cause pancreatitis in dogs. Fat trimming, fatty cuts of meat, and bacon, are all possible culprits. Bones have their own dangers, especially cooked bones, they can splinter, cause mouth injuries, or block and damage their digestive system.
Corn on the Cob – AVOID
Corn itself is not bad for our beautiful beasts, but the cob is a huge choking hazard, and extremely dangerous. If not removed could be fatal, so ensure cobs are thrown out where they cannot be snuffled out.
Coconut and Coconut Water – AVOID
Whilst coconut products may be the ‘in thing’ for us, our beautiful beasts can suffer upset stomachs and diarrhoea from it.
Sugar – MINDFUL
Too much sugar from food or drinks (even white bread) will do the same to our pets as it does to us, unhealthy weight gain, tooth decay, and diabetes.
Persimmons, Plums, Peaches, Apricots, Cherries, Apples & Pears – MINDFUL
With these fruits, it’s the stones or pits which are hazardous to cats and dogs as their intestines could get blocked. Peaches, plums, cherries, and apricot pits, along with apple and pear seeds have cyanogenic glycosides in them (wilting or rotting fruit is more potent) your beautiful beasts won’t know to eat these, and although unlikely, there is a risk of cyanide poisoning.
Raw Eggs – MINDFUL
Some people do feed their dogs a raw food diet which may include raw eggs, however, vets can be of the opinion that the risk of food poisoning from bacteria, such as salmonella or E.coli, means this should be avoided. Signs of food poisoning may include vomiting, fever, and larger lymph nodes.
Raw Meat and Fish – MINDFUL
Like raw eggs, food poisoning can occur from bacteria found in raw meat and fish. Fish can also harbour a parasite which is killed by the heat of cooking.
Whilst our beautiful beasts may not be able to enjoy the all of our favourite foods, there is still plenty they can be treated to. Be sure to read our upcoming articles for some delicious tasty treat ideas. Healthy, exciting and perfect for Summer!
*If you would like to know more about GDV you can read our article on slow feeding and how to prevent this life-threatening problem.