Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Pets

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8 Responses

  1. Ali Isaac says:

    Gosh Rachele, if these foods are doing this to our pets, they must do the same to us! I have heard of a raw food diet for dogs which can be kept in the freezer. Do you know anything about this?

  2. Hi Ali. On the subject of feeding raw meat to pets, I am in agreement with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) that such foods should be avoided. Here is an excerpt on this subject from an article entitled “Raw or Undercooked Animal-Source Protein in Cat and Dog Diets” on the AVMA website (

    “The AVMA discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans. Cooking or pasteurization through the application of heat until the protein reaches an internal temperature adequate to destroy pathogenic organisms has been the traditional method used to eliminate pathogens in animal-source protein, although the AVMA recognizes that newer technologies and other methods such as irradiation are constantly being developed and implemented.

    Animal-source proteins of concern include beef, pork, poultry, fish, and other meat from domesticated or wild animals as well as milk and eggs. Several studies reported in peer-reviewed scientific journals have demonstrated that raw or undercooked animal-source protein may be contaminated with a variety of pathogenic organisms, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, Escherichia coli, Listeria, and Staphylococcus. Cats and dogs may develop foodborne illness after being fed animal-source protein contaminated with these organisms if adequate steps are not taken to eliminate pathogens; secondary transmission of these pathogens to humans (eg, pet owners) has also been reported. Cats and dogs can develop subclinical infections with these organisms but still pose a risk to livestock, other nonhuman animals, and humans, especially children, older persons, and immunocompromised individuals.”

  3. valsilver says:

    Thanks for the helpful list. My sister’s dog just had pancreatitis and fortunately recovered. Cause unknown as she feeds her a strict diet of mostly raw food. Speaking of, I’ve read that parasites are killed in raw food if kept frozen for at least two weeks. Is this accurate?

  4. Hi Val. In answer to your question, according to Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN (board certified specialist in animal nutrition) in the proceedings of her lecture from the 2012 Convention of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, “Most of the bacteria found in raw meat diets can easily survive freezing.”

  5. Rachelle says:

    I started feeding my dog peanut butter treats because I thought it would resolve the problems associated with tainted meat and meat by-products. Surely, one or two of these treats a day won’t cause problems, will they?

    Also, I’m not sure I agree with garlic being bad. I’ve been told that it’s the dose that determines if it is good or bad.

  6. Hi Rachelle (nice to meet someone with “almost” my name 🙂 ). Thank you for your interest in my blog post. The recommendations contained in my blog post are consistent with the recommendations found on the ASPCA website:

    The ASPCA has an Animal Poison Control Hotline and is an excellent resource for information about toxic plants, toxic foods, and other toxins for pets. Here is a link to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control page:

    Regarding whether the peanut butter treats you are feeding your dog will cause problems, it is high fat foods that have the potential to cause pancreatitis in pets. I would expect that a peanut butter flavored dog treat would not have as high a fat content as pure peanut butter. You can read the label of the dog treats to determine the amount of fat in the product.

    I checked the ASPCA website to see if I could find a toxic dose for garlic in pets. I found an answer from the ASPCA to a person enquiring about garlic in dog foods. Here is their reply:

    Treats with Garlic

    “I understand that garlic is poisonous for dogs, but why is it often an ingredient in dog treats?” -Michelle

    “Good question, Michelle. Garlic does have toxic potential to pets, and is generally more potent than onion, also a member of the Allium species, in causing changes in red blood cells in dogs and cats. This is true in raw, cooked or powdered forms.

    Even at low levels of exposure to garlic, some change in red blood cells is likely; it is typically only when a significant number of red blood cells are altered that their oxygen-carrying capacity is noticeably compromised and clinical signs develop. Generally, it takes either a fairly large single ingestion or chronic exposure. These effects are also somewhat more likely to be seen in cats, as their red blood cells have shorter life spans and they’re more likely to have bone marrow issues. However, the possibility exists that some dogs may also be genetically more susceptible to problems from garlic ingestions.

    The lowest observed effect level in dogs in the scientific literature that we are aware of is 2.5 mg/kg of encapsulated garlic powder; slow heart rates and increased urination were seen. For comparison, a 20-pound dog consuming 1000 mg of garlic powder is exposed to a dose of 110 mg/kg.

    The bottom line, Michelle, is that we do not definitively know at what dose any given dog may experience problems. An occasional low dose, such as those found in most commercial pet foods or treats, would not likely cause problems. A conservative approach might be to avoid exposure to more concentrated garlic-based products.”

  7. Most recently I learned about dogs and the dangers of yeast. I thank you so much for posting information such as this post. No matter how long we’ve loved and cared for pets – we can never ever become complacent about “re-educating” ourselves about pet safety in all areas. Thanks again.

  8. You’re welcome, and thank you, Groovy Goldendoodles!