The holidays are here, and with them, the year’s tastiest eats that tempt even our four-legged family members.
And while it’s difficult to deny those puppy dog eyes begging from underneath the dinner table, not sharing your ‘people food’ is often in the best interest of your pet’s health.
This graphic and the details that follow identify eleven poisonous foods for pets that are particularly dangerous. Share to help fellow pet parents be cautious in sharing their food:
11 Poisonous Foods for Pets
Alcohol: Just like humans, pets can suffer from alcohol poisoning if their blood alcohol level is too high. But because pets are smaller, it takes far less alcohol to induce poisoning than it would for humans.
Never give your pets alcohol on purpose. While there may not be cause to panic should he or she get a few laps of spilt beer, consumption of hard liquor or more than a small amount of beer or wine can lead to poisoning and you should seek vet help.
Avocado: Though healthy for people, avocados contain a toxin called persin that can be moderately poisonous to dogs and lethal to other pets. Symptoms can include vomiting or diarrhea, but the biggest danger is obstruction of the intestinal tract should your pet swallow a whole avocado seed.
Caffeine: Whether in the form of coffee, tea, or energy drinks, caffeine can have a deadly effect on pets. Like alcohol, the amount of caffeine safely ingested by humans can have dangerous effects on the smaller bodies of animals. Symptoms include increased heart rate, vomiting, and seizures.
Citrus: The peel, flesh, and seeds of many citrus fruits will cause irritation in your pet’s digestive tract. However, grapefruits have been proven toxic. Beware of symptoms including drooling, sensitivity to light, trembling, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and depression.
Cocoa: Chocolate contains two toxins–theobromine and theophylline–that are stimulants which can cause vomiting, seizures, and heart trouble in dogs if ingested in large amounts.
The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is: it takes only 3oz of unsweetened baking chocolate for a 20lb dog to exhibit signs of poisoning, whereas 6-9oz of milk chocolate will make a dog ill. Symptoms may take a few hours to manifest and could include incoordination, trouble breathing, increased heart rate, and fever.
Bread Dough: Rising bread dough that contains yeast is very dangerous for pets for two reasons:
1. The mass of dough in the stomach continues to rise and expand, causing distended abdomen.
2. The warm environment of the stomach (like an oven) promotes ongoing fermentation of the yeast in the dough, which can result in ethanol toxicosis (aka alcohol poisoning)
Symptoms take 30 minutes to 2 hours to appear and begin with distended abdomen and gassiness (from the rising dough ball), followed by signs of alcohol poisoning like vomiting, loss of coordination, incontinence, and central nervous system depression.
Grapes: Though their specific toxin is unknown, grapes (and especially concentrated in the form of raisins) are dangerous for pets. Vets do know that the toxin is contained in the grape skin–not the seeds or flesh– and is water soluble, meaning it travels through your pet’s system faster.
A dangerous dosage would be about 19g of grapes per kg of body weight, or 3g per kg for raisins. That’s about 40-45 grapes for a 20lb dog. Symptoms include vomiting, stomach pain, and in severe cases, kidney failure.
Gum: Gum and other artificially flavored candies often contain a sweetener known as xylitol, which is extremely dangerous to pets. If ingested even in small amounts, xylitol can cause seizures, liver failure, and even death.
Symptoms appear within 15-3o minutes of ingestion and include vomiting, lethargy, incoordination, tremors, seizures, and coma. If you suspect your dog has consumed xylitol, seek emergency vet care immediately.
Macadamia Nuts: Macadamias and many other types of nuts are high in phosphorous an can lead to bladder stones. Macadamias also contain an unknown toxin that has been shown to cause neurological problems.
As a general rule, avoid giving your pet any type of nut. Coconut oil, however, is safe and even healthy for pets as a source of essential fatty acids.
Onions: While your pet will most likely experience gastrointestinal irritation, your pet’s red blood cells may also be damaged after ingesting onions, chives, or garlic- ultimately leading to anemia. Cats are most at risk, but dogs can also suffer if ingesting in large quantities. Weakness, vomiting, and trouble breathing are typical symptoms.
Salt: Extreme thirst and dehydration are signs of mild salt consumption. However, sodium ion poisoning is possible if your pet ingests large amounts of salt. They may be at risk if you notice symptoms like vomiting, depression, diarrhea, tremors, or seizures.
Know of other poisonous foods for pets? Show what you know in the comments below, or on Facebook!