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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 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.

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.

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. Instead, give your dog bones that can be found at most pet stores, like Nylabones, which they love to chew on, but can’t break off small, damaging pieces.

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. 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.

2 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!

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