Chocolate & Other Toxic Foods for Your Pets

Most people are aware of chocolate toxicity in dogs, or have experienced it first hand with their own pet. There are, however, a number of other commonly available food items that can cause your pet serious harm. Discussed below is a short but important list of items which owners should avoid intentionally giving to their pets.

Garlic and onions, leeks, shallots and chives can cause damage to red blood cells, resulting in anemia. Watch for these to be hidden in sauces, soups, hummus, seasonings, etc.

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in some animals. There appears to be individual sensitivity to these products, but unfortunately no ability to predict which pets are at risk based on breed, age, etc.

Alcohol is toxic to pets if consumed in high enough quantities, with depression, collapse, and coma possible in some cases. Other than the obvious sources, ingestion of unbaked bread and eating rotton/fermenting apples can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Xylitol, an increasingly common artificial sweetener, can cause severely low blood glucose and liver failure. It is found in sugar free gum & candy, baked goods, cereals, desserts and even toothpaste.

Macadamia nuts are capable of causing neurological symptoms such as tremors, elevated temperature, abdominal pain and vomiting. They can be found in a number of baked goods.

Chocolate and caffeine can cause serious neurological symptoms (tremors, elevated temperature, rapid heart rate, vomiting). Aside from chocolate, watch out for these toxins in coffee, tea, ‘energy drinks’, coffee grounds, cocoa garden mulch and drinks containing guarana.