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Pet Health 101: The Six Most Dangerous Table Foods For Pets

dog puppy with chocolate cakeMany of us do not think twice before tossing our pet a snack from the dinner table. However, it is important to know that some foods we eat regularly may be harmful or fatal to our pets. Six of the most common foods dangerous to pets are listed below:

Chocolate
Chocolate contains caffeine and the chemical theobromine. Both are harmful to pets, and consumption of chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as respiratory and heart problems, hyperactivity, agitation and extreme thirst. Dark chocolate is especially dangerous, because the theobromine content is considerably higher than that found in milk chocolate. Instead, consider giving your dog white chocolate, which has different properties than regular chocolate and is completely harmless for your pet.

Avocados
Avacados contain a toxin called Persin that is harmful to some animals. The most frequent signs of ingestion are severe congestion, glandular inflammation and respiratory difficulties. A very small amount of avocado can cause serious problems and even death, so in the event of a pet consuming avocado, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately.

Grapes and Raisins
Grapes, and generally most pitted fruits, should not be given to dogs or cats. Grapes contain a currently unidentified toxin that induces a range of symptoms in pets, such as vomiting and lethargy. The toxin has also been associated with cases of kidney failure. Giving them small pieces of other fruits like bananas are a much safer choice. Here is a list of safe fruits and veggies for pets you can refer to when feeding your pet.

Xylitol
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in a number of common products. Sugar free foods, like gum, candies, and cookies may contain Xylitol. It is also used in toothpastes. It can lead to loss of coordination, lethargy, seizures and liver failure. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek professional care to prevent any serious complications, suggests experts at Central Animal Emergency Clinic, a 24-hour vet service in the Vancouver area. Waiting too long to treat symptoms can cause many problems and even be fatal.

Onions and Garlic
Normally, animals find raw, unseasoned onions and garlic repellant, but because they are used frequently in cooking, pet owners need to be careful of giving pets food containing onion. Ingesting onion can cause gastrointestinal problems and damage to red blood cells.

Raw Meat and Bones
There may be bacteria in raw meat, such as salmonella and E. Coli, that may be transmitted to a pet that eats it. Bones consumed by the pet may splinter inside its stomach, causing damage to the stomach walls and intestinal blockage.

If your pet consumes one of these food items, and you begin to notice any of the symptoms associated with them, it is important to act quickly and call your veterinarian. The best way to prevent illness and damage is to avoid the above foods foods and use an alternative snack instead.

About Stacy @Trupanion

Stacy Kowalchuk is a dog mom to her rescued Whippet-mix, Ellie. During the week, you can find Stacy surfing (the internet, that is) and managing Trupanion's presence in the social media world. In her free time, Stacy likes to bake, especially cupcakes! To balance her culinary affinity, she also likes to stay active, especially with activities that include her dog such as hiking and going to dog parks.

9 Responses to Pet Health 101: The Six Most Dangerous Table Foods For Pets

  1. Rigan says:

    Those foods are harmful to our pets. Choosing the right dog food. Just try looking up best natural wet, whiskas, dry grain free dog foods.

  2. Kathryn says:

    Just to clarify a point about Xylitol… It is a natural sugar substitute, not an artificial sweetener. Just like sugar comes from various plants, Xylitol is made from hardwood trees and is a low carb, healthy sugar substitute for people. It also aids in prevention of tooth decay. As for it being dangerous for animals, I appreciate finding this out!

  3. Dave says:

    I think an important clarification needs to happen here. Raw diet, as prepared by many leading Pet food companies like Primal, Stella & Chewys, K9 Naturals, is perhaps the healthiest diet that exists for our animals. To think that a highly processed kibble diet is best for pets is simply ridiculous. It may be best and most convenient for humans, but it’s not best for our pets. And Nylabones? I looked up one of the dura chews and the ingredients are as follows: Inert Soft Thermoplastic, Chicken Flavor. This is an alternative to nothing.

  4. Janet Jones says:

    I agree with everything except the raw meat and bones. Cooked bones are hard and splinter. The ‘right’ raw bones are good. Raw meat should not harm a dog either. They have higher stomach acids than humans and raw meat is natural for a dog to eat. However, mixing raw meat with other foods can affect the stomach acid and so affect their ability to deal with salmonella etc. People that raw feed know to leave it several hours between raw meat and any other foods given such as kibble

  5. Rachelle Richards says:

    Raw meat and bones are not harmful to dogs.
    Kibble has killed substantially more dogs than a raw diet has.
    Only cooked bones splinter (those bought from pet stores are cooked, they can also break teeth)
    I suggest you do a little more research on raw diets before posting an article.
    It is very rare for dogs to contract salmonella or e coli.
    Intestinal blockages are more likely to be caused from stuffed toys, sticks, and plastic, etc. Than raw bones.

  6. Ginette says:

    this is not totally correct… especially on the raw feeding issue, yes if you are going to have raw meat sitting around for long periods of time you are taking chances..my dog eats a raw diet and has been doing so for years, shes now 10 yrs old without the raw feed she will have life threatening seizures,….most commercial dog foods are not a good substitute fr a species appropriate diet.

  7. nnels says:

    This article contains misinformation. The mention of the brand name Nyla Bone speaks volumes. I advise the author to contact Avoderm dog food. http://www.avodermnatural.com/About/why_avocados.htm

  8. Hutch says:

    I feed my cats raw chicken breasts, and they do just fine. Since when have you seen animals cook the food they catch out in the open? Bones get brittle when they are cooked. I am sure the mice (live a raw) are not cooked down in a croc pot before my mouser eats them. Otherwise, I agree with the other ingredients that are unsafe for pets.

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