Do you know that what you are feeding your Dog could be doing them untold damage? Just because the food is fit for human consumption, does not mean it’s fine for Fido!
Many make the mistake of feeding their pet dinner scraps that have the potential to cause their organs to shut down and ultimately poison them. Our post is filled with helpful charts.
Grapes, Raisins, Currants -:
Uncooked grapes, raisins, and currants are likely more toxic than cooked fruit. Don’t forget about raisins in cereals, trail mixes, baked goods, and snack boxes.
These fruits can cause acute kidney failure in dogs and may cause kidney failure in cats and ferrets as well. While not all dogs and cats will develop kidney failure, it’s impossible to know which pets will be sensitive to these fruits.
Therefore, all pets—especially dogs—that ingest grapes, raisins, or currants should be monitored closely and treated appropriately. If a small dog or cat eats just a small number of grapes or raisins, this is considered an emergency.
Caffeine is most commonly found in coffee, coffee grounds, tea, tea bags, soda, energy drinks, and diet pills. Theobromine—a cousin chemical to caffeine—is also found in chocolate (see chocolate).
Pets are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people. While a couple laps of coffee, tea, or soda won’t poison most pets, the ingestion of moderate amounts of coffee grounds, tea bags, or one to two diet pills can easily be fatal in small animals.
When it comes to chocolate, dark equals dangerous. That’s because the darker the chocolate, the larger the amount of theobromine—a cousin chemical to caffeine—it contains. Thus, baker’s chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and gourmet dark chocolates are more toxic than milk chocolate. White chocolate has very little theobromine and will not cause poisoning in pets.
For milk chocolate, any ingestion of more than 0.5 ounces per pound of body weight may put dogs and cats at risk. Ingestions of more than 0.13 ounces per pound of body weight of dark or semi-sweet chocolate may cause poisoning. Almost all ingestions of baker’s chocolate can result in poisoning and are considered emergencies.
Very young pets, geriatric pets, and animals with underlying disease are at a higher risk for poisoning than healthy, adult dogs and cats. Due to the large amount of fat in chocolate, some pets may develop pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) after eating chocolate or baked goods containing chocolate.
Xylitol is a common sugar-substitute used in sugar-free chewing gum, breath mints, candies, and baked goods. It’s also found in some smoking-cessation products like nicotine gum. Xylitol can be purchased in bulk for cooking at home, and because of its dental plaque fighting properties, nontoxic amounts can be found in some pet oral-care products.
Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks -:
The small amount of garlic sometimes found in dog treats is unlikely to be harmful to dogs. However, if cats or dogs ingest a tasty pan of sautéed onions, garlic, or leeks, poisoning may result. The ingestion of large amounts of garlic pills or powder may also cause poisoning. Garlic was once thought of as a “home remedy” for flea infestations; however, it has been shown to be ineffective and is not recommended by Pet Poison Helpline.
Yeast/Bread Dough -:
Uncooked homemade and store-bought bread dough that contains yeast.
The dark, warm environment of a pet’s stomach acts as an oven and encourages the dough to continue rising. This can result in a bowel obstruction or a bloated or distended stomach. The stomach may then twist, leading to a gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV). This is a life-threatening situation that requires emergency abdominal surgery and treatment for shock. As the yeast ferments in the stomach, it releases alcohol, which may lead to alcohol poisoning.
Alcoholic drinks aside, alcohol can be found in some surprising places. Rum-soaked cakes or candies and dressings containing alcohol may be poisonous to pets. Alcohol is also a major byproduct of ingested yeast-bread dough.
Even small amounts of alcohol, especially when ingested by small pets, can cause life-threatening toxicity.
Fatty Foods -:
Butter, oils, meat drippings, grease, chocolate, and meat scraps.Fatty foods may cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) when ingested, especially by dogs. Certain breeds, miniature Schnauzers, in particular, are more likely to develop pancreatitis than other breeds.
Pet Safe Foods -:
With all the potentially toxic people foods out there, it’s helpful to know which are safe for cats and dogs. Here are some Pet Poison Helpline-approved foods, which are both safe and low-calorie options for pets.
- Green beans
- Unsalted, unbuttered popcorn
- Sweet potatoes
- Ice chips (Freeze cubes of diluted beef or chicken broth for a real frozen treat.)