Many pet owners are aware of the more commonly known toxic foods for dogs and cats, such as chocolate and grapes. But did you know that there are several more foods that can spell danger to your fluffy friend if they help themselves to these problematic human snacks?
Well, let’s get into it! In this article we will go over the dangerous people foods that could land your pet at the emergency vet.
Chocolate, Garlic And Raisins! OH MY!
Sure, while many of us are familiar with the top few toxic human foods for dogs and cats, there are certainly more that will leave you surprised. Here is a longer list of the foods that you should keep away from your dog and cat.
- Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
- Macadamia Nuts
A few other foods that should not be given due to the potential for extreme gastrointestinal upset and other serious complications are raw dough, meat and eggs.
*It is worth mentioning that while our feline friends can eat liver, it is important that it is in small quantities as eating too much can lead to a vitamin A toxicity. No matter how little they ate, what the situation was, and the size of your pet, it is imperative that you call your veterinarian right away if you suspect that your pet has ingested any of the above foods.
No Chocolate or Caffeine for Our Furry Friends
Who can blame a dog for snooping around the Halloween candy? It is delicious after all! Unfortunately for our pets, chocolate is bad for both dogs and cats. The biggest issue with this sweet treat is that it contains an ingredient called theobromine, which is very similar to caffeine in its effects. Neither canine nor feline bodies can metabolize it properly, leading to possible vomiting/diarrhea and hyperexcitement or lethargy, or even potentially fatal heart arrhythmias and neurological symptoms such as seizures.
Depending on the amount of chocolate that was ingested and the length of time between then and getting them to the vet can seriously affect their recovery rate. In cases where a pet ingested a toxic level of chocolate and there was no treatment provided (or at least provided too late), death can occur. All forms of chocolate are potentially dangerous but the worst is baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate due to their higher theobromine content. Milk chocolate has less theobromine in it than dark or baker’s. Also, even though white chocolate has the word in its name, it’s actually just milk, sugar and butter and is not actually toxic (but it could still cause stomach upset).
Keep Away From Grapes And Raisins
Grapes, raisins, and currants are potentially toxic to both dogs and cats. Cats are especially sensitive to these fruits and even a small amount can cause acute kidney failure in our feline friends. When it comes to dogs, they will see the same negative effects from ingesting grapes, raisins or currants as cats, but the kidney damage will be slightly less severe.
Unfortunately, science hasn’t really been able to pinpoint the reason behind why these fruits can cause such major issues in our furry friends.
When a dog ingests grapes or raisins, it can take almost 24 hours to see clinical signs. Typically, owners will notice lethargy, lack of appetite and sometimes diarrhea, but by that time acute kidney failure has already set in. These symptoms are minor, which is why it is imperative that you call your veterinarian right away if you suspect your dog has eaten grapes or raisins.
Felines will usually show clinical signs a little earlier than dogs.
It is imperative that you reach out to your veterinarian if you suspect that your dog or cat has ingested any amount of raisins, grapes or currants. The faster that you get your pet to the vet, the more successful their treatment will be.
What’s Wrong WIth Onions And Garlic?
Onions and garlic are delicious additions to many different human recipes. Unfortunately, these two ingredients can be toxic for dogs and cats in certain quantities thanks to thiosulfate. Thiosulfate causes damage to their red blood cell production, leading to hemolytic anemia.
Very small quantities can be fine but you should still speak with your vet if you suspect that your pet might have eaten something with garlic or onion in it.
Macadamia: The Bad Nut
Another yummy addition to cookies next to chocolate are macadamia nuts. Other nuts, such as pecans and almonds are non-toxic but can cause some minor stomach upset.
Scientists are not quite sure what the toxic mode of action is with the macadamia nut, they know it causes vomiting, weakness, stumbling, tremors, and hyperthermia. In most cases, unless severe, your veterinarian will correct any nausea and send them home with strict monitoring. In situations where the pet was not doing well, they may have to stay in the hospital on IV fluids.
Xylitol: The Sneaky Toxic Ingredient
The dangerous artificial sweetener, xylitol, is something that many veterinary professionals hate. Even the thought of a pet ingesting a piece of food or gum with xylitol present strikes fear into the hearts of many veterinarians due to the extreme onset of hypoglycemia. If left untreated, xylitol toxicity can lead to death.
Xylitol is in a lot of foods, including some brands of peanut butter, candy, and gum. So, without packaging material to tell you the ingredients, you may not even know your dog ate anything containing xylitol. Even an already chewed and spit out piece of gum can contain enough xylitol to be life-threatening.
Sorry, Dogs And Cats. No Alcohol Allowed!
Alcohol can certainly land your dog or cat at an emergency vet if they decide to drink even just a little. It does depend on the quantity ingested vs the pet’s body weight, but it only takes about 15 minutes before clinical signs are seen.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. With mild cases, lethargy, staggering, nausea, and disorientation can be seen. In more severe cases owners can see acute blindness, tremors, coma, and respiratory depression. Any kind of fatality from alcohol ingestion in dogs and cats is pretty rare, but not completely impossible.
Conclusion: Avoiding Toxic Foods With Dogs And Cats
Pets are naturally curious; I mean, who isn’t? That’s why it is so important to always keep an eye on your pet, especially when it seems they’re getting into some mischief. Toxic and poisonous foods are incredibly dangerous, however they are absolutely avoidable. Be sure to keep the dangerous food items out of reach from your furry friends.
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