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  • Writer's pictureKaaya Sharma

Toxic foods for your pets

When pet owners are having a delicious meal and their pet looks up at them with those big, loving eyes, it can be very difficult not to offer them something. Although it is good to give pets extra treats sometimes, there are some human foods that can actually be very toxic for pets. It is best that pet owners steer clear of these food items no matter how persuasive or cute they look! If you're unsure if something is toxic and it isn’t mentioned in this list, feel free to do a quick search on the internet just to be sure. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

1. Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine

Most pet owners are already familiar with this one! Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine contain methylxanthines, a substance that is extremely toxic to pets. Within hours, your pet can be experiencing side effects such as hyperactivity, restlessness, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and even death, especially if the pet ingests these items in large amounts.


2. Citrus fruits, grapes, raisins

Citrus fruits can cause irritation and depression in your pets. However, small quantities of citrus fruit or juice do not present problems beyond minor stomach upset. Grapes and raisins, on the other hand, can cause severe vomiting and kidney failure. Ingesting grapes or raisins, even in small amounts, can be fatal, especially for dogs.


3. Avocado and fruit pits

While many flesh of fruits like bananas, mango, apples, pears, cherries, and peaches are usually safe for your dogs and cats, their stems, leaves, and pits are not. Not only can they cause obstruction in the intestines, but they also contain the poison cyanide. In addition, avocados contain persin, which is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, and heart congestion. The most dangerous part of the avocado is the pit because it is not only full of persin, but also a choking hazard. Avocados are especially extremely harmful to birds, rabbits, horses, donkeys, sheep, and goats.


4. Raw meat and bones

Although pets are generally meat-eaters, uncooked and raw meat can often contain bacteria that could be dangerous to your pet. For example, Salmonella and E. Coli are common bacteria that can be transferred to pets through meat that is not properly cooked. Bones can be a serious choking hazard and can cause grave injury if it punctures the pet’s intestine. Therefore, make sure all meat is well cooked and bones are removed before serving.


5. Onions, garlic, chives

Too much onion, garlic, and chives can lead to dogs and cats getting a condition called hemolytic anemia. This affects the red blood cell function of the pet. It can also cause gastrointestinal problems for your furry friend. Although cats are more at risk, dogs can fall sick as well if a large amount is consumed.


6. Alcohol and tobacco

Alcohol is highly toxic for your dog or cat. When pets ingest alcohol, it depresses their central nervous system and can cause poisoning. This results in intoxication, breathing problems, vomiting, diarrhea, nauseousness, and sometimes even coma or death. Tobacco contains nicotine, which can be very dangerous for your pet as well with symptoms ranging from vomiting to abnormal heart rate and weakness within an hour.


7. Almonds, macadamia, and other nuts

Although not all nuts are toxic, most are, so it is better to avoid feeding these to your pets. For example, almonds, macadamia, pecans, and walnuts are very dangerous for pets as they contain fats and oils that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, fever, upset stomach, and on rare occasions, even paralysis.


8. Milk and dairy products

A very common misconception about dogs and cats is that they can intake milk, cheese, and dairy products. However, this is not exactly true! Most dogs and cats are lactose intolerant and dairy products can cause them to experience diarrhea or other digestive upset. Although dogs can tolerate small amounts of milk and cheese, ingesting in large quantities will also upset their stomach. It is best to avoid too much dairy in your pets' diet.

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