Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Pets
By Rachele Baker, DVM – While small amounts of some people foods are safe to feed your pet, others can be quite dangerous. Here is a list of foods to avoid feeding your pets.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets
Alcoholic beverages can cause vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, depression of the central nervous system, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, and death.
Animal bones can splinter and the sharp edges can lacerate or perforate your pet’s esophagus, stomach, or intestines. In addition, animal bones can cause choking or become lodged in your pet’s mouth, esophagus, stomach, or intestines. Intestinal obstruction requires surgery to remove the obstruction. Since animal bones are quite hard, they can also fracture your pet’s teeth.
The leaves, fruit, seeds, and bark of avocados contain persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Baby food may contain onion or garlic powder – see Onions and Garlic below. If you need to feed your pet baby food for a short period of time (i.e. to encourage eating in a sick pet), make sure to check the ingredients list before you buy and avoid baby foods containing onion or garlic.
Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Caffeinated Beverages
These products all contain methylxanthines. Methylxanthines can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and death.
Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. For example, toxic dosages of the various types of chocolate for a fifteen pound dog are: milk chocolate: 15 ounces, dark chocolate: 4.5 ounces, and baking chocolate: only 1.7 ounces.
Fat and High Fat Content Foods
Feeding fat or high fat content foods (i.e. turkey, chicken, or duck skin, gravy, hamburgers, french fries, peanut butter, etc.) can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a serious disease causing persistent vomiting which usually requires extended hospitalization.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure.
Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia (elevated body temperature).
Because pets do not possess significant amounts of the enzyme that breaks down lactose, milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic can cause gastrointestinal irritation and damage red blood cells resulting in anemia.
Raw eggs may contain a bacteria called Salmonella.
Raw meat may contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli.
Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products. It can stimulate the release of insulin which can result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), vomiting, lethargy, incoordination, and seizures. High doses can cause liver failure.
Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in the stomach and intestines which causes a great deal of pain and may cause the stomach or intestines to rupture.
If you suspect your pet has eaten something potentially toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 (a consultation fee is charged when you call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center).
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