Many 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.