Here’s a list of 14 common people-foods that can make pets sick, very sick, or even dead.
FOODS THAT HARM PETS
Ingesting alcoholic drinks and/or foods made with alcohol can result in: vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, coma, or death. If you think your pet has eaten or drunk alcohol, contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 at once.
Avocados are mainly a problem for birds, rabbits, donkeys, horses, sheep and goats. They can cause problems such as cardiovascular damage and death—especially in birds. Horses and donkeys often get swollen heads and necks.
3. Chocolate, coffee and caffeine
These products contain substances that can result in: vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal thirst, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, and death. Darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate.
4. Citrus fruit
If large amounts are eaten, all parts of a citrus fruit (stems, leaves, etc.) can cause irritation and central nervous system depression. Small doses are not likely to cause a problem beyond minor stomach upset.
5. Coconut and coconut oil
The meat and milk of fresh coconuts contain oils that may cause tummy aches or diarrhea. Because coconut water is high in potassium, it should never be given to your pet.
6. Grapes and raisins
This fruit can cause kidney failure in dogs.
7. Macadamia nuts
Eating macadamia nuts can result in depression, vomiting, tremors and fever in dogs. Symptoms tend to appear within 12 hours and generally last from 12 to 48 hours.
8. Nuts in general
Almonds, pecans, and walnuts contain a lot of oils and fats. The fats can result in vomiting, diarrhea and, potentially, pancreatitis in pets.
9. Milk and dairy products
Adult pets do not have lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose in milk. For this reason, milk and other dairy products can cause diarrhea or other digestive upsets.
10. Onions, garlic, chives
These foods can cause digestive irritation leading to red blood cell damage. Cats are most susceptible, but dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is eaten.
11. Raw or undercooked meat, eggs, bones
Raw meat and eggs can contain bacteria (such as Salmonella and E. coli) that are harmful to both pets and humans. Raw bones can be very dangerous for a house pet who may choke on bones or have a bone splinter lodge in or puncture her stomach or intestines.
12. Salt and salty snack foods
A lot of salt can result in excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning. Signs of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, high body temperature, and even death.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in such products as gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste.
Initial symptoms include vomiting, loss of coordination, lethargy. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can appear within a few days
14. Yeast dough
Raw yeast dough can rise and accumulate gas in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful, causing the stomach to bloat. If the stomach or intestines should possibly twist, you will have a life-threatening emergency on your hands. In addition, yeast produces ethanol as a by-product, so a dog eating raw bread dough can also become drunk (see 1. alcohol).
WHEN IN DOUBT
If your pet behaves strangely after ingesting one of the above foods or any other new or undetermined food substance, contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Better safe than sorry.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Ashley W. Priddy, BVMS