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:
Avocados (toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle and dairy goats)
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)
Onions and onion powder
Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
For more information about what not to let your pet eat, visit the American Animal Hospital Association.