Sharing Leftovers with Pets

One thing I miss about my family’s three dogs (besides their unconditional love and zealous sweetness, of course) is their unswerving ability to vacuum food from the floor and to make haste with leftovers that no one else would claim. I never realized, at all, how much I relied on them for these tasks until they were gone–and now I wonder how much food I was unconsciously passing off to them on a daily basis. As happy an arrangement for all parties concerned, was it in their best interest?

With leftover season officially here, it seems like a good time to take a closer look at feeding pets human food. As it turns out, some foods that are fine for us to eat aren’t such a great fit for our pets. The list below, from the Humane Society of the United States highlights some of the most common foods that can be dangerous to animals. They also remind us that this is not an exhaustive list and any decision to provide your pet with food not specifically intended for animals should be discussed with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist.

The following foods may be dangerous to your pet:
Alcoholic beverages
Apple seeds
Apricot pits
Avocados (toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle and dairy goats)
Cherry pits
Candy (particularly chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets, and any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol)
Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
Hops (used in home beer brewing)
Macadamia nuts
Moldy foods
Mushroom plants
Mustard seeds
Onions and onion powder
Peach pits
Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
Rhubarb leaves
Tea (caffeine)
Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
Yeast dough

For more information about what not to let your pet eat, visit the American Animal Hospital Association.

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Past Member
trish f.4 years ago

Canned salmon meant only for human consumption is bad for cats. Apparently mercury levels are measured for the size of a human body and the salt content is too high for cats, can cause crystallization in the urinary tract or something like that, correct me if i'm wrong lol but my cat had it!

Linda Marsik
Linda Marsik4 years ago

Thank you for this information.
Fortunately I never gave my pets these foods.
I have learned in all these years the best bet is to let them have their own food and not to go crazy with the treats,.

Megan Cig
Megan Cig4 years ago

Darn it! I am having a bad spelling day! I keep not placing the "o" before the "h". I am so sad, I correct my own spelling in posts.

Megan Cig
Megan Cig4 years ago

Whoops! Now I am the stupid person. I didn't spell alcholic right in my last post.

Megan Cig
Megan Cig4 years ago

Wait..... I only skimmed the list the first time I read this. I am sorry, but who the heck would be stupid enough to give alcholic bevarages to their pet! I understand why not everyone is fit to be a pet owner now.

Megan Cig
Megan Cig4 years ago


go green G.
C. G.4 years ago


Pete C.
Pete C.5 years ago


norma s.
norma s.5 years ago

it's best not to give dogs anything but their own food i know...but it's so hard to resist those pleading eyes!

Jean L.
Jean L.5 years ago

thank you for the information!
but i dont give my dogs in any of the mention above.!
thanks again!
more power!