When you bring a dog or cat into the house, you want to treat it as a valuable family member. It might be tempting to give them extra treats or share their food with them. This idea is perpetuated by bringing a "doggy bag" from a restaurant and the way we see pets in movies and TV shows.
While some foods can be shared perfectly, others can lead to serious health problems or even death. Many people think that "candy" is actually dangerous food for your dog or cat. Both lists include foods that dog and cat owners should avoid.
Five foods for dogs to avoid:
Xylitol is a sweetener found in bakery products, gums, and some healthy foods. If your dog eats something that contains Xylitol, it can cause blood sugar levels to drop. If you think your dog has been poisoned with Xylitol, here are some early symptoms to watch out for: vomiting, coordination problems, and lethargy. If left untreated, it can lead to convulsions and liver failure within days.
Onions and garlic
Onions and garlic in any shape are harmful to your dog. If ingested, they can kill your dog's red blood cells, eventually causing anemia (a condition characterized by a lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood). If your dog eats a large amount, even once, it can lead to poisoning. Things to keep an eye out for if you think your dog has ingested onions or garlic include breathing problems, weakness, and vomiting.
Caffeine is found in many products in your home, including coffee, tea, chocolate, caffeinated soft drinks, medicines and energy drinks. Swallowing any of these caffeine products can be fatal to your dog. If you think your dog has been in a product containing caffeine, take him to the vet immediately.
It only takes six macadamia nuts to make your dog sick. Symptoms to look for if your dog has eaten macadamia nuts include high temperature, vomiting, weak hind legs and muscle tremors. Macadamia nuts are dangerous on their own, but mixing chocolate with macadamia nuts can kill your dog.
Fruits with fingers
Persimmons, peaches and plums must be kept out of the dog's reach. Even if the fruit is suitable (though not ideal) for your dog, the stone is dangerous. There are two problems with these fruits, both are found in the pits. The stones of these fruits can cause obstruction of the small intestine if ingested. Secondly, cyanide is present in peach and plum kernels, which will poison your dog if ingested.
Five foods to avoid for cats:
Alcohol can become a serious problem for your cat. Not only can cats get drunk, which is not healthy for them, but it takes a very small amount of alcohol to cause brain and liver damage. If your cat swallows even a spoonful of alcohol, she may fall into a coma. More than one spoon can lead to death.
Milk and dairy products, although commonly associated with cats, can cause digestive problems. Cats are generally lactose intolerant, so it's safer for your pet not to put down that saucer of milk.
Grapes and raisins are known as cat treats, but they shouldn't be. A small number of grapes or raisins can make your cat hyperactive and cause it to vomit repeatedly. While some cats tolerate grapes and raisins well, others react so badly to them that it is best to keep them out of the reach of all your cats.
Raw eggs can cause the same problem for both cats and humans. If there are bacteria in the raw egg, it can lead to food poisoning. Raw eggs can also create a problem of biotin absorption by the cat, which can lead to skin and fur problems.
Tuna is another thing that the people think is good to give to your cats, when in fact it can lead to health issues. There are two types of tuna, one for humans and the other for cats. Feeding a cat a tuna-based cat food is just fine, the trouble comes in when you feed tuna for human consumption to your cat. Tuna that is made for humans do not have the nutrients needed to support your cat’s nutritional needs and can also cause inflammation of the fat cells in your cat’s body when fed on a regular basis.
Having pets is a joy as well as a responsibility. Hopefully, these lists of dangerous foods, while not exhaustive, are a good place to start in keeping a happy and healthy pet in your home. If you think that your pet has gotten into anything on these lists, or any other food that is potentially dangerous, please contact your veterinarian immediately for further advice.