5 Harmful Foods for Pets

People food can be so tasty that pets may be tempted to help themselves, especially dogs who tend to have less refined palates than their feline friends. It’s important to keep these harmful foods for pets out of paw’s reach:

dog with coke bottle

harmful foods for pets

1. Chocolate

As delicious as chocolate is for us, it’s not a treat fit for your pet. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, which are harmful to dogs and cats. If your pet ingests chocolate, it may be hours before you notice the symptoms, which can include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and a racing heartbeat. Very high doses can lead to seizures, coma, cardiac arrest and possibly death.

2. Grapes

Grapes are perfect for people to nosh on, but they can be as dangerous as chocolate to pets. The toxin resides in the water-soluble skin of the grapes, which is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. Gobbling down grapes can lead to serious medical issues for your pet, like liver damage or kidney failure. Look out for symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue.

3. Garlic & Onions

Cold pizza can be a great midnight snack for humans, but the garlic and onions that make it taste so good can harm your pet. Be careful where you store any leftover food that contains these toxic ingredients. The signs of onion or garlic poisoning don’t usually show up until a few days after your pet has dug in. Symptoms to watch for include labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea and discolored urine.

4. Coffee

A cup of morning joe can be the best way to get us moving, but coffee can stop pets in their tracks. That’s because the same harmful substance found in chocolate (methylxanthines) is also found in coffee. It takes a lot of coffee to be toxic, but pets who ingest high levels can suffer from seizures, coma and cardiac arrest. Symptoms include loss of coordination, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea and a racing heartbeat.

5. Alcohol

Much like with humans, alcohol depresses the central nervous system of pets and can cause loss of coordination and fatigue. But it can do more than just make our pets tipsy – it can cause serious liver damage, cardiac arrest and even death. Keep an eye on your pet at parties and barbecues where alcohol is available, and clean up spills quickly. Also, safely store products that contain alcohol, like household cleaners and cough syrups.

If your pet does ingest something poisonous, call your veterinarian right away. Treatment for poisoning can be expensive, but you can get help managing the costs with a pet insurance plan, like ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.

About the Guest Author:

Thanks to Mark for another great article on protecting our pets from harmful foods and treats.


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