As pet owners we often like to share with our pet all of the things that we ourselves enjoy in life, including food. However, there are a couple of reasons that you should always be very careful when considering introducing special treats to your pet. The first reason is that the food you want to share may not be a particularly healthy food item and therefore you should think twice about allowing your pet to acquire a taste for something they shouldn’t have. Secondly and most importantly, although you may very well enjoy a particular food yourself, it might actually be very poisonous for your pet.
The following is a list of foods that your pet should avoid as they are all poisonous to some degree.
Alcoholic Beverages: Any type of alcohol can be poisonous to your pet and aside from intoxication, can cause a coma or even death.
Apple Seeds: Can have varied effects on pets.
Apricot Pits: Can cause respiratory difficulties such as breathing, coughing and sneezing.
Cherry Pits: Can cause respiratory difficulties such as breathing, coughing and sneezing.
Candy containing the sweetener Xylitol:Can cause liver damage and even death.
Chocolate: Although pets should never have any type of chocolate, milk chocolate is not nearly as dangerous for animals as semi-sweet or unsweetened bakers chocolate. Chocolate poisoning can cause irregular heart rate and rhythm, restlessness, hyperactivity, diarrhea, vomiting, panting, muscle tremors, abdominal pain, bloody urine, increased body temperature, seizures, coma and possibly even death.
Coffee: Can result in increased breathing and heart rate, restlessness and affects the central nervous system.
Grapes: Large amounts of grapes can be poisonous to pets and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and kidney damage.
Hops: May cause panting, elevated temperature, increased heart rate, seizures and possibly death.
Macadamia Nuts: Can cause vomiting, lethargy, hyperthermia, abdominal pain, stiff joints, lameness and tremors.
Moldy Foods: Can have varied effects on pets including vomiting and diarrhea.
Mushrooms: Different types of mushrooms can have varied effects on pets such as, depression, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, tearing, hallucinations, defecation, liver failure, seizures, drooling, urination, kidney failure, heart damage, hyperactivity and in some cases, death.
Mustard Seeds: Can have varied effects on pets.
Onions and Onion Powder: Can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Peach Pits: Can cause respiratory difficulties such as breathing, coughing and sneezing.
Potato Leaves and Stems: Can cause problems with the digestive, nervous and urinary systems.
Raisins: Large amounts of raisins can be poisonous to pets and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and kidney damage.
See Snopes Report for Confirmation: http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/raisins.asp
Rhubarb Leaves: Can cause problems with the digestive, nervous and urinary systems.
Salt: In large quantities can cause electrolyte imbalances.
Tea: Can have varied effects in pets.
Tomato Leaves and Stems: Can cause problems with the digestive, nervous and urinary systems.
Walnuts: Can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as respiratory issues such as sneezing, breathing and coughing.
Yeast Dough: Can be dangerous as it will expand and result in gas, pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
NOTE: If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, contact the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. This is a 24 hour a day hotline. (Note that in some cases a consultation fee may be charged to your credit card.)
by Dawn Forster for Earth Clinic, LLC