Most of us enjoy giving our dog a treat from the table. But those treats might be worse than just unhealthy. They might be deadly.
Pet physiology is different than ours. That may seem obvious, but because we think of our pets as members of the family, we sometimes forget they’re not human. They don’t process and digest foods the same way we do, so yummy tidbits we share with our pets can cause illness or even death.
Foods Not to Share with Fido or Fifi
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides the following list of foods that are dangerous to give to your pet:
- Chocolate, coffee and caffeine—all of these contain methylxanthines, which stimulate the heart and respiratory system (which is why we drink coffee!). But in pets, that same boost can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and even death.
- Avocado—while not harmful to humans, avocados contain a toxin called persin that can create congestion, difficulty breathing and heart problems in pets, particularly in birds and rodents.
- Macadamia nuts—can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hypothermia in dogs. Symptoms may last up to 48 hours.
- Grapes and raisins—although researchers don’t know why these fruits create a reaction, they can cause kidney failure, particularly in pets who already have health problems.
- Raw or undercooked meat and eggs—bacteria in raw meat and eggs, such as salmonella and E.coli can make your pet sick.
- Bones—we used to think that bones were a great treat or toy for dogs. Now we know that domestic pets can choke on bones or be injured if bone splinters lodge in or puncture the digestive tract
- Xylitol—used to sweeten many products, it can cause insulin release that can lead to liver failure.
- Onions, garlic and chives—these can irritate the gastrointestinal tract, causing red blood cell damage.
If your pet has eaten a treat and shows signs of “people” food poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, decreased coordination, or excessive thirst and urination, contact your veterinarian immediately.
For more information on preserving your pet’s health and well being, call us at Dogwood Veterinary Hospital and Pet Resort at 919-942-6330. Our full service Chapel Hill veterinary facility offers the highest level of pet care including medicine, surgery, dentistry boarding and grooming.