10 Foods Poisonous to Pets

We all know that pets aren’t supposed to have people food. But let’s face it, sometimes, it happens…something falls on the floor when you’re cooking dinner, and Buddy is quickly there, vacuuming up the crumbs, or Felix steals something off the plate when you aren’t looking…

There are some healthy “people foods” for pets (only small amounts– not replacements for pet food). But there are also many foods that can be dangerous to our feline friends and canine companions.

It’s National Animal Poison Prevention Week (March 14th-20th), so in an attempt to spread awareness, here is a handy list of the top 10 common foods that are toxic to your pet. If your pet happens to get a hold of any of these substances, call the ASPCA hotline at (888) 426-4435. Also, look for the ASPCA’s list of 17 most common toxic poisonous plants listed below.
Grapes

Grapes and Raisins

These can be toxic to dogs and cause kidney failure. Researchers say there are still many unknowns about the toxicity of grapes and raisins, including whether only certain types of dogs are affected, but it is advised not to feed grapes or raisins to dogs in any amount.

Avocado

While many pet owners say they feed their pets avocados with no problems, studies have shown that their leaves, fruit, seeds and bark can contain a toxin called Persin. According to the ASPCA, the Guatemalan variety, which is commonly found in stores, contains the most toxicity.

Yeast Dough

Dough that is not cooked and contains yeast can rise in your pet’s stomach, causing pain, and can potentially cause the intestines to rupture. This risk diminishes once the dough is cooked.

Golden onions on rustic wooden background

Onions, Onion Powder, Chives and Garlic

These all can lead to gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage. All forms of onion can cause problems including dehydrated onions, raw and cooked onions. Cats are more susceptible than dogs, but it can be toxic to both.

Foods with a High Salt or Fat Content

Excessive fats can cause upset stomach and potentially inflame the pancreas causing pancreatitis. Salty foods can pose a risk for the development of sodium ion toxicosis, according to the ASPCA. Be aware that if your pet gets into food with a high fat or salt content, she could experience stomach problems including diarrhea and vomiting.

Fried Chicken Wings And chicken bones

Left-Over Bones

Left-over bones pose a choking hazard to pets, and they can also splinter and puncture your pet’s gut or intestine. Additionally, do not feed your pet undercooked meat or eggs, as they can contain harmful bacteria.

Sugarless Candies (products sweetened with xylitol)

This compound can cause liver damage and even death in some more vulnerable dogs. Xylitol is in many products including gum, candy, sugar-free cookies and toothpaste.

Macadamia Nuts

These nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Symptoms generally last up to two days, and usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion.
pieces of dark chocolate stacked on grunge background

Alcohol, Chocolate, Coffee

According to the ASPCA, the substances in chocolate, coffee, and caffeine, methlxanthines, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, and potentially death in pets. The higher the cocoa percentage, the more dangerous the chocolate is, making dark chocolate more toxic than milk or white chocolate. All these products can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even death.

17 Most Common Poisonous Plants

1. Lilies
2. Marijuana
3. Sago Palm
4. Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
5. Azalea/Rhododendron
6. Oleander
7. Castor Bean
8. Cyclamen
9. Kalanchoe
10. Yew
11. Amaryllis
12. Autumn Crocus
13. Chrysanthemum
14. English Ivy
15. Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily)
16. Pothos
17. Schefflera

What do you do if your pet ate something poisonous?

If your animal is having seizures or losing consciousness, bring him or her to your veterinarian or emergency vet center.

If your pet is not showing symptoms, but ingested something potentially toxic, call the ASPCA hotline at (888) 426-4435. Have the following information available: the species, breed, age, sex, weight, and information about the product exposure. It is best to have the package of the product available for reference.

Related Links:

Pet Poison Prevention
Pet Poisoning
Poison Safety Kit for Pets

 

842 comments

Mick C.
Mick C.about a month ago

OK, good on all that list. But what about Human flesh? Hmmm? My precious little darling seems to develop an occasional craving for my wife's ear. Generally this pops up when my wife is napping and Tink (short for, of course, Tinkerbell) gets restless. First Tink joins Mom, spraddles out across her, then eases upward toward the ear-region, then begins gentle nibbling, which progresses to all-out nomming. Mom takes it as long as she can, but when the piercings get too serious, Tink is often subjected to vicious tickling (which she hates, a bit). So, my question is, will a frequent diet of human ear flesh - and occasional ear wax - be detrimental to Tink's life expectancy?

Sharon B.
Sharon B.about a month ago

Thank you for sharing.

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgenabout a month ago

Thank you

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Ali J.
Ali J.3 months ago

thankyou

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn3 months ago

thankyou

Deborah S.
Deborah S.4 months ago

Thank you

Patty L.
Patty L.6 months ago

ty.

Edith B.
Edith B.6 months ago

Thanks, this was very helpful and I have shared it.

Valentina R.
Valentina R.6 months ago

Good reminder for all pet owners.