For pet owners, often when we sit down to have a snack or eat a meal, and there are some lingering eyes on us (or at least our plates). It’s your pet. They smell something tasty, they see you enjoying it, and they want whatever you have. So, they look up at you with those sweet big eyes, just begging for you to toss them a bite (though some may be more aggressive in their tactics, simply jumping up and taking a bite for themselves). That look is just heart-melting! And of course, many of us cave to those desperate looks because we love them, and we eventually break down to share a special treat with them. Of course, this isn’t a healthy habit and can in fact be dangerous for your pet.
Not all human foods are safe to share with your pet. Some pose very serious risks that can result in everything from stomach upset, to seizures and even death. We know it’s hard to resist giving your pet a table treat when they flash those innocent eyes and start whimpering. But, you must resist, as there are several food items that are absolute no-no’s, no matter how much your pet begs. Here are just a few of the most common human foods that you should never feed your pet:
- Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine – All of these products contain substances found in cacao seeds. Methylxanthines can cause vomiting, hyperactivity, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, frequent urination, abnormal heart rate, seizures and even death. Darker chocolate and baking chocolate is even more dangerous than milk chocolate.
- Milk – Milk and milk-based products can cause digestive upset.
- Raw or Undercooked Meat, Eggs & Bones – Risks of ingestion include getting Salmonella and E. coli, as well as the development of skin and coat problems.
- Grapes & Raisins – Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure.
- Avocado – Avocados can cause dogs to experience diarrhea and vomiting. It’s especially bad for pet birds and rodents.
- Garlic, Onions, Chives – All of these can cause gastrointestinal irritation and have the potential to cause damage to the red blood cells. Cats are more susceptible than dogs to these effects, but both can experience illness.
- Alcohol – Alcohol consumption can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, and even lead to comas and death.
- Salt – Increased amounts of salt can lead to excessive thirst and urination. In some cases it can even lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, elevated body temperature, tremors, seizures and even death.
- Yeast Dough – Ingested yeast dough can cause painful gas in your pet’s digestive system. In the worst cases, the rising gases can even lead to the rupture of the stomach or intestines.
- Xylitol – This sweetener is often used in products including baked goods, candy, gum and toothpaste. Ingestion can lead to liver failure, and early signs include lethargy, vomiting and loss of coordination.
This is just a short list of items you should make sure your pet never ingests, but the list doesn’t stop here. While some human foods can be consumed by your pets and are even good for them, there are many that can be dangerous. So, take the time to educate yourself on the foods you should avoid at all costs, and talk to your veterinarian to make sure your pet stays healthy and happy.