Six most dangerous table foods for pets

Do you regularly feed your pet from your plate? While this might seem like a special treat, some table foods are quite dangerous. The next time you do, make sure you aren’t giving him one of these dangerous foods for pets.

Chocolate

When your dog’s birthday rolls around, ditch the chocolate cake in favour of something more pet-friendly. The caffeine and theobromine in chocolate are both harmful to pets, causing over-stimulation. This leads to vomiting, diarrhea, accelerated heart rate, restlessness and over-activity. Toxicity can progress into seizures, hyperthermia and, without treatment death. If your pet consumes too much chocolate, you need to visit the vet immediately. The vet has only a small window of time in which to induce vomiting to cleanse the body of the chocolate. If too much time passes, your pet will need to be hospitalized and monitored for signs of toxicity in order to protect his life.

Chocolate toxicity is one of the most common toxicities seen today, and sadly leads to fatalities often because owners do not seek medical treatment quickly enough. If your dog has gotten into some chocolate, do not delay. Head to the vet right away! Avoid giving your dog chocolate, and keep the chocolate you eat out of reach.

Grapes

Grapes, as well as raisins and other pitted fruits, are another dangerous table food. Researchers have not been able to identify the specific toxin in grapes and similar fruits, but they cannot deny that these fruits cause serious problems for pets. If your pet gets into some grapes, you may notice lethargic behaviour. Some pets will also vomit, and a few will suffer from kidney failure, which can be fatal.

You may be thinking that your pet eats grapes frequently without a problem. This is the interesting fact about this toxic food. Some dogs and cats can eat them without a problem. Others appear to have no trouble with these fruits, only to have a serious reaction when consuming them again after safely eating them multiple times. Yet some will develop an immediate reaction the first time they eat the fruits.

So how can you know if grapes are a problem for your pet, and should you be worried if your pet accidentally eats some? There is no way to know which pets will have a reaction, so it’s best to avoid the food altogether. If your dog or cat accidentally consumes grapes, any toxicity problems will happen within 12 hours of eating the fruit. If you notice lethargy or stomach upset after eating grapes, get medical attention right away to avoid kidney failure, which can be fatal.

Avocado

Avocado plants, including the skin, fruit, seeds, leaves and bark, contain persin, a toxin that is dangerous to pets. Pets of all types, not just dogs and cats, can experience respiratory distress and fluid accumulation on the heart after eating an avocado. To add to the risk this fruit poses, the pit, which is not digestible, can cause gastrointestinal blockages if consumed on accident. Because avocados are one of the most dangerous foods for pets, keep them away from your furry and feathered friends.

Raw Meat and Bones

In the wild, dogs and cats would be consuming raw meat to survive, but meat that has been processed and put in the grocery store is not fresh in the way meat in the wild would be. As a result, it is more likely to have bacteria, like salmonella and E. Coli, that pose a deadly risk. Also, many types of bones are brittle and can splinter in your pet’s stomach.

If you want to feed your pet meat, simply cook it first to destroy the bacteria. If your dog loves to chew on bones, avoid the risk from real bones and invest in bones prepared for this purpose at the pet store.

Xylitol

Gum, sugar free candies and even sugar free cookies are often made with xylitol, a common artificial sweetener. Keep these tempting treats away from your pet, as xylitol is highly toxic to pets. It can cause seizures, liver failure, loss of coordination and lethargy. This risk is so high that you should visit the emergency vet if you notice any of these symptoms after your pet has consumed a product with xylitol. Keep your sugar-free treats well out of your pet’s reach. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions also appear on the list of most dangerous foods for your pet. While you probably won’t find your pet consuming onions and garlic raw, as the smell is a deterrent, you may be tempted to give your pet foods that were cooked with these ingredients. Also, concentrated forms, like onion soup mixes, can be enticing to pets. These concentrated forms have extremely high quantities of these foods. If ingested, compounds in these foods can damage your pet’s red blood cells.

While a few pieces in a prepared food are not a problem, a large amount of onions or garlic can create serious problems. If your pet eats them, you may not notice symptoms until three to five days later. Symptoms may include lethargy, no energy for exercise and orange-tinted urine.

Giving your pet table scraps can be a fun way to bond, and, in moderation, is usually not a problem. However, you need to know about the foods that can be potentially toxic. Avoid these dangerous foods for pets, and your pet will enjoy a long, healthy life free from toxins.

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