CHOCOLATE, COFFEE, CAFFEINE These products contain methylxanthines which, when ingested by pets, can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate.  Beverages and food containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and death.

AVOCADO 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 around the heart.

MACADAMIA NUTS If consumed by dogs, these nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia.

GRAPES & RAISINS Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure.

YEAST DOUGH Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Pets can have small bits of bread occasionally as treats.

XYLITOL Used as a sweetener in gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste, it can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure and  hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels).

RAW/UNDERCOOKED MEAT, EGGS AND BONES Raw meat and eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. Raw eggs contain avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin and can lead to skin and coat problems. Raw bones can be very dangerous for a domestic pet.

ONIONS, 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. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem.

MILK Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause diarrhea or other digestive upset.

SALT Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets.  Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!

If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your veterinarian, or call the Animal Poison Control (888) 426-4435 • 7/24/365

  1. I really appreciate your article. Too often I forge that animals have very different digestives systems. I think it’s cute when they eat people food. But I didn’t know that avocados were bad for birds! I have a parakeet right now, and we’ve been looking for fresh foods to feed her. Thanks for warning me!

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