Foods Pets Should Never
This list from the
ASPCA Poison Control Center isn't exhaustive, but
it's a great place to start. Share it with adopters
and post it on your social media channels to help
keep your community's pets safer!
Coffee, Caffeine - These
products all contain methylxanthines, which are
found in cacao seeds. When ingested by pets,
methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea,
panting, excessive thirst and urination,
hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors,
seizures and even death.
beverages and food products containing alcohol
can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased
coordination, central nervous system depression,
difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood
acidity, coma and even
- The leaves,
fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain
persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in
dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive
to avocado poisoning, and can develop
congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid
accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions
may even be fatal.
Nuts - Macadamia
nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting,
tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually
appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last
approximately 12 to 48 hours.
Raisins - Although
the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is
unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure.
In pets who already have certain health
problems, signs may be more dramatic.
- Large amounts of
salt can produce excessive thirst and urination,
or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Too much
salt can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression,
tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and
Dough - Yeast
dough can rise and cause gas in an animal's
digestive system. This can be painful and can
cause the stomach or intestines to rupture.
Because the risk diminishes after the dough is
cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can
have small bits of bread as treats. However,
these treats should not constitute more than 5
percent to 10 percent of daily caloric
Meat, Eggs and Bones - Raw
meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as
Salmonella and E. coli. In addition, raw eggs
contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases
the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which
can lead to skin and coat problems.
- Xylitol is used
as a sweetener in many products, including gum,
candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause
insulin release in most species, which can lead
to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads
to hypoglycemia. Initial signs of toxicosis
include vomiting, lethargy and loss of
coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy
and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver
failure can be seen within a few days.
Garlic, Chives - These
vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal
irritation and could lead to red blood cell
damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs
are also at risk if a large enough amount is
consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through
history, clinical signs and microscopic
confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low
dose, such as what might be found in pet foods
or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but
pets should not be given large quantities of
- Because pets do
not possess significant amounts of lactase (the
enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk
and other milk-based products cause them
diarrhea or other digestive upset.