View Full Version : Common Foods Harmful to Pets

February 20th 08, 07:38 PM
Common Foods Harmful to Pets

As responsible pet owners we must be diligent about protecting our
pets from harm. Besides taking care of their basic safety needs and
seeing that they get regular veterinary care, this should also include
closely monitoring the foods they eat. This is especially true if you
are feeding your dog or cat any type of human food.

Some people have always given their pets human food as a treat in
addition to their own dog or cat chow. However, in light of the recent
pet food recalls throughout the United States and some other regions,
many pet parents are opting to make their own, completely forgoing
commercially made pet foods.

While this may offer peace of mind for some, it may not be safe
without knowing what foods you can and can't give to your pet, as well
as learning their exact nutritional needs.

Before you head to the cupboard or pantry to prepare your pet's next
meal, make it a point to learn what foods and products may actually do
your dog or cat more harm than good.

Common foods that are harmful to pets include:

* Chocolate
* Coffee, caffeine
* Alcohol
* Xylitol
* Grapes
* Raisins
* Avocados
* Macadamia nuts
* Onions
* Garlic
* Chives
* Milk
* Raw or undercooked meat
* Raw eggs
* Bones
* Yeast dough

Many people may be surprised to see milk on the list of foods that can
be harmful to our pets. Although they may like the taste, cats and
dogs, unlike most humans, do not have enough lactase, which is the
enzyme needed to break down the lactose in milk. Milk, as well as
other milk-based dairy products, may cause digestive difficulties in
pets, particularly dogs. Diarrhea, upset stomach, and even vomiting
can occur, especially in younger pets, after drinking milk.

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener commonly used in products labeled
"sugar-free," is extremely harmful to animals, especially dogs,
although perfectly safe for human consumption. Xylitol, which causes
an excess of insulin production in most types of animals possibly
leading to liver failure, can be found in snacks such as baked goods,
candy, gum, and even in certain toothpastes.

Warning signs of xylitol poisoning include:

* Vomiting
* Lethargy
* Loss of muscle coordination
* Seizures

If you think that your dog or cat may have eaten something toxic,
immediately contact your veterinarian or your local poison control
center without delay.

Pet Health Care Tips