In order to keep your pets healthy and happy, it,s important to keep them on a consistent diet of quality pet food. It,s often tempting to let them indulge in the human foods we eat, but doing this can be harmful to your pets, even fatal. With that in mind, here are some human foods you,ll definitely want to keep away from your pets.
Most of us have heard to never give pets chocolate, but there is a very good reason for this. Chocolate, along with coffee and caffeine products, contains methylxanthines found in the cacao seeds used to make coffee and the extracts found in soda. These substances can have adverse effects on the health of your pets.
If ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause symptoms like tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, heart problems and death. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your pet. If your pet has ingested these products and is showing any of these symptoms, see a veterinarian immediately.
It should go without saying, but pets and alcohol do not mix. Alcohol, especially hops brewed in beer, are poisonous to pets and can be very damaging or potentially life threatening.
Alcohol can cause your pets to vomit, have difficulty breathing, muscle tremors, organ failure, seizures, diarrhea, coma and death.
Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. If your pet has mistakenly ingested alcohol and is exhibiting any of these symptoms, see a veterinarian immediately.
Avocados contain the chemical Persin, which causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds are especially susceptible to avocado poisoning, and can develop heavy congestion, fluid around the heart and even die as a result of ingestion.
Macadamia nuts, often found in cookies or candies, can have severe effects on your pets' limbs and movement. They can develop swollen limbs, weakness, muscle tremors, hyperthermia, vomiting, pain, depression and damage to the nervous and digestive systems. The only good news is that these are not fatal and symptoms will typically subside within 48 hours, but a vet may want to check your pet and administer fluids or pain reducers.
The cause isn't clear at this time, but grapes and raisins have been associated with kidney failure and liver damage in dogs, and effects can be more dramatic in dogs with existing health problems. Certain dogs are able to eat these will no harmful effects, but others fall ill after eating only a few grapes or raisins.
Dogs that are affected can experience symptoms like dehydration, loss of appetite and interrupted urine flow. Kidney failure can occur within a few days and a veterinary assistance will be required.
Just as yeast rises when it's cooked, so does it rise and expand in your pets' digestive system. This will be extremely painful and could cause the stomach or intestines to rupture, indigestion and cause your pet to have difficulty breathing. After the dough is cooked, however, it has already risen and is not a significant threat.
As the digestive system absorbs the yeast, alcohols are produced which can cause intoxication. This can in turn lead to all the ill effects of alcohol mentioned above, including death. Pets showing these symptoms should be monitored by a vet.
Raw meat and eggs can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli in addition to eggs containing the enzyme avidin that reduces absorption of B vitamins that can lead to skin and coat issues.
Feeding a raw bone to your pet might seem like a natural thing for them, but be careful what kind of bone it is. Small, brittle bones can splinter when ingested and become lodged or cause a puncture in your pet's digestive system.
As with humans pets can get too much sugar in their diets, especially processed sugars like corn syrup. Feeding your pet snacks with excessive sugar can lead to obesity, tooth decay and diabetes.
Xylitol is a chemical sweetener used in many sugar-free foods like baked goods, candy, gum and more. These chemicals cause an insulin release in pets which can lead to liver failure. Symptoms will include vomiting, loss of coordination, lethargic behavior and can lead to seizures within 30 minutes of ingestion or may take several hours to occur. Kidney failure and death may occur if veterinarian isn't consulted immediately.
Onions, garlic and chives contain disulfides and sulfoxides that are extremely dangerous for pets. Cats are the most sensitive to these foods in raw or dried form, developing gastrointestinal problems, anemia and red blood cell damage.
Dogs are also at risk to toxicosis from these foods if a large amount is consumed. This applies to all members of the onion family as well — scallions, shallots, etc. Baby foods may also contain onion powder, which is harmful to pets.
Damage to red blood cells won't be apparent immediately, but if your pet has consumed these vegetables and is weak, tired easily or reluctant to move you should see a vet immediately.
Milk isn't commonly thought to be harmful to pets, but since they don't have enough lactase (the digestive enzyme that processes milk) in their systems they can develop indigestion as a result of consuming it. Small doses aren't fatal, but your pet can develop bad gas and diarrhea.
Feeding your pet salty snacks or high-sodium foods is another bad habit many pet owners get into. Large amounts of salt can lead to increased urination, thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, muscle tremors, elevated temperature, seizures, sodium ion poisoning and even death.
If you've ever been tempted to give your pet a piece of moldy food found in the kitchen, better not. Molds produce toxins called tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can lead to life-threatening illnesses in pets. It's best to remove these foods from your pets' reach — out of the trash, off the floor and anywhere else they can get to them. A vet should be seen immediately if your pet has consumed moldy food.
People often toss a piece of apple to their dogs, but be careful not to let them eat any of the seeds. The seeds contain a toxin called amygdlin that releases a poison when ingested. Small amounts won't be fatal, but if your dog has ingested a large amount see a vet right away.
Corn cobs can easily get lodged in your dog's intestine and will have to be removed through surgery. If the cob isn't removed, it can be fatal. The corn itself isn't harmful in small doses, but too much can upset a dog's digestive system.
Some pet owners like to give their pets human vitamins, and, while not all vitamins are harmful, the ones containing iron definitely are. Iron can damage the digestive system, liver and kidneys, so be sure to read the labels carefully before giving any vitamins to your pets.
If you live in an area that is home to persimmon, peach, or plum trees, look out. Persimmon seeds and peach and plum pits can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis. You'll want to make sure there aren't any wild persimmon or other fruit trees that produce seeds growing in your backyard. If you notice your dog pooping all over the place, and see a bunch of seeds or pits in their waste, you'll need to break out the saw and chop down some trees.
As with humans, nicotine is extremely hazardous, but more so for pets. Excessive exposure to smoking will damage a pet's nervous system, cause rapid heart rate and result in death. It's important you keep the inside air clean for both you and your pets' health.
Also avoid exposing your pets to the following foods:
If you have any questions about foods you should or should not give your pets, consult your veterinarian.
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