Dogs and cats often beg for human food. However, some of these foods can be harmful for pets. In order to prevent illness and other problems, owners need to know which foods are appropriate for their pets and which may be harmful.
Dangerous Human Foods
Some of the foods that may be dangerous for pets include:
- Chocolate, caffeine and coffee – When pets ingest these substances in large amounts, they may experience panting, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and other symptoms. If the dose is high enough, death may occur.
- Grapes and raisins – Grapes and raisins contain a toxic substance that can cause kidney failure for pets.
- Xylitol – Xylitol is used to sweeten toothpaste, candy, gum and other products. When pets eat this substance, it causes them to release insulin and may lead to liver failure. Pets who have consumed xylitol may become uncoordinated and lethargic. They may also vomit or have seizures.
- Dairy products – Pets don’t produce large amounts of lactase, which is required to break down the lactose found in dairy products. When pets eat too much dairy, they may develop vomiting and diarrhea.
- Chives, garlic or onions – These items can damage red blood cells and cause gastrointestinal upset. Although these substances are most dangerous for cats, dogs may react badly as well.
- Macadamia nuts – Macadamia nuts are dangerous for dogs. They can cause tremors, vomiting and weakness.
- Salty foods – Pets that consume too much salt may develop sodium ion poisoning, which can be severe and may be fatal. Pet owners should avoid feeding pets anything containing a large amount of sodium.
- Yeast dough – If a pet consumes yeast dough, the dough may rise in the pet’s stomach, leading to bloating and pain. In some cases, rising yeast dough may cause the stomach to twist, which may be life-threatening and requires immediate medical treatment.
- Cooked bones – Cooked bones may splinter in the pet’s digestive system, which leads to internal bleeding, intestinal perforation and other complications.
- Alcohol – Pets should not consume alcoholic beverages or food products, as alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, tremors, decreased coordination and other problems. Some doses of alcohol may be fatal.
What Foods Are Safe for Pets?
Some human foods are safe for your pet, as long as you feed them to the pet in moderation. Some of the foods pets can eat safely include:
- Cooked meat
- Peanut butter
- Cooked eggs
- Sweet potatoes
Although many pets enjoy human foods, feeding your pet the wrong food can be dangerous and even deadly. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian to make sure a specific food is safe for your dog or cat before you allow the pet to eat it.
- Debunking Dog Food Myths
- People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets
- Human Foods Dogs Can and Can’t Eat
- Fruits & Vegetables Dogs Can and Can’t Eat
- Human Foods that are Dangerous for Cats
- Don’t Feed Your Dog These Foods, FDA Warns
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