There was something strange in my dog’s food bowl. I stooped down low to get a good look at the light-colored, smooth-looking substance. It was Swiss cheese and I knew exactly who had given it to the dog! I quickly went into my pantry, grabbed a yellowing newspaper clipping that I had cut out and posted on the pantry bulletin board years ago, and showed the “Never Feed Your Pet . . ” article to my husband. My husband loves our little Romeo so much that he forgets Romeo is a dog and he lovingly feeds Romeo scraps of human food. This obviously is not the first time I’ve had this conversation with my husband and I’m not sure what it’s going to take, other than Romeo developing an extreme illness, to really get my husband’s attention. It was a good thing Romeo was smart enough (this time) to know better than to eat the cheese.
To all pet owners, if you really love your pets, please be aware that your “loving ways” could be harming them. Below is a list I recently compiled to help refresh my family members as to the items that should not be fed to dogs and/or cats. Each category heading is followed by a D, a C, or by both to denote whether the item is harmful to dogs, cats, or both. This list is only meant to be a helpful reminder. Your veterinarian should be consulted with any questions regarding what your pet should or should not eat.
Lastly, if your pet has ingested any of the items on this list, call your veterinarian, an emergency animal clinic, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. The number for the Animal Poison Control Center is (888) 426-4435. It is manned 24/7 and a consultation fee can be charged to your credit card. I called this number a few years ago, because my dog managed to unzip my daughter’s purse and ingest six sticks of sugar free gum. Needless to say, we make sure the chewing gum in our house does not contains Xylitol.
HARMFUL TO YOUR PETS
Alcohol (D & C)
Alcoholic drinks and food made with alcohol should be avoided. The harmful effects range from vomiting and diarrhea to death.
Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plum (D, C?)
These fruit contain a type of cyanide compound that can poison your dog if he eats enough of the stems, seeds and leaves. This can result in dilated pupils, breathing difficulties, hyperventilation, and shock. Pits from peaches, plum, and apricots can also cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
Avocado (D & C)
Avocados contain a substance called Persin which is highly toxic in most animals. Just a little can cause your pet to vomit and have diarrhea. In addition, if you grow avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit.
Baby Food (D & C)
It can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs and cats. (Please see onion listing below). Consumption of baby food can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.
Bones From Fish, Poultry, or Other Meat Sources (D & C)
Bones can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system. Bones can also cause tooth fracture.
Canned Tuna (C)
Large amounts of tuna (for human consumption) can cause malnutrition, since it lacks proper levels of vitamins and minerals.
Cantaloupe can lead to kidney failure for cats that ingest it.
Cat Food (D)
It’s generally too high in protein and fats for dogs.
Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine (D & C)
These contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems. Dark chocolate is more dangerous than white chocolate.
Citrus Oil Extracts (D & C)
Items containing these can cause vomiting.
Corn on the Cob (D)
Ingesting one of these is one of the most common ways a dog can get a blocked intestine. The dog bites off a piece, swallows it, and the cob blocks the small intestine. This can kill a dog if it’s not removed surgically.
Dog Food (C)
Generally this is not a problem if small amounts are ingested, but if fed repeatedly, it may result in malnutrition and diseases affecting the heart .
Fatty Foods and Fat Trimmings (D & C)
Excessive amounts of fatty foods can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis signs include abdominal pain, acute onset of vomiting, and diarrhea. The pain can show through a hunched posture when you pick up your pet.
Miniature and toy poodles, cocker spaniels and miniature schnauzers are especially prone to pancreatitis.
Grapes and Raisins (D & C)
They contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.
Ham (D & C)
Ham and other salty meats and foods are very dangerous to pets. In addition to being high in fat, they are also very salty which can cause serious stomach ache or pancreatitis. Also, large breeds of dogs that eat salty food may drink too much water and develop a life-threatening condition called “bloat.” This is where the stomach fills up with gas and within several hours may twist, causing the pet to die.
Hops (D, C?)
An unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
Human Vitamin Supplements Containing Iron (D & C)
Vitamin supplements containing iron can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Kitchen Pantry Items (D & C)
Many other items commonly found on kitchen shelves can harm your pet. Baking powder and baking soda are both highly toxic and so are nutmeg and other spices. Keep food items out of your pet’s reach and keep pantry doors shut.
Liver (D & C)
In large amounts liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.
Macadamia Nuts (D & C)
These nuts contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle. They can cause a wide range of symptoms – from depression to tremors to hyperthermia.
Marijuana (D & C)
Marijuana can depress the nervous system and cause vomiting and changes in the heart rate.
Milk and Other Dairy Products (D & C)
Some adult dogs and cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.
Moldy or Spoiled Food & Garbage (D & C)
These items can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs. In bigger doses, they can cause seizures, coma, or even death.
Mushrooms (D & C)
Mushrooms can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and Garlic & Chives (D & C)
Raw, cooked, or powdered onions and garlic contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.
Persimmons (D & C)
Persimmon seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Potato, Rhubarb, and Tomato Leaves; Potato and Tomato Stems (D & C)
These plants contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock, but tomatoes can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats.
Raw Eggs (D & C)
Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
Raw Meat and Raw Fish (D & C)
Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that cause food poisoning. In addition, certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite that causes “fish disease.” If not treated, the disease can be fatal within 2 weeks. The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Thoroughly cooking the fish will kill the parasite and protect your pet. Ingestion can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.
Salt (D & C)
If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances. There’s also such a thing as sodium poisoning.
String (D & C)
String or ribbon can become trapped in the digestive system.
Sugary Foods (D & C)
Sweets can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Tobacco (D & C)
Tobacco contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Ingestion can result in rapid heartbeat, collapse, coma, and death.
Yeast Dough (D & C)
Yeast dough can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
Your Medicine (D & C)
Reaction to a drug commonly prescribed for humans is the most common cause of poisoning in dogs. Keep all medicines out of your dog’s reach. And, never give your pet any over-the-counter medicine unless told to do so by your vet. Ingredients such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common in pain relievers and cold medicine but, they can be deadly for your pet.
Xylitol (D & C)
Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can be found in gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause liver failure.
To compile this list I scoured the internet for information. Here are some of the helpful sites I found: