It’s not always easy to say “NO” when your adorable puppy stares up at you from under the dinner table. Nevertheless, there are some key foods to avoid administering, although they really should stick to just their diet.
Below is a list of foods that should be avoided being given to your pet at all costs as well as stored in an area where they will not be able to get to it.
Grapes & Raisins:
Researchers don’t know what compound in grapes causes toxicity poisoning in dogs and cats, and it is, therefore, hard to predict if and when a dog or cat will actually get sick from eating grapes or raisins. However, we do know that toxicity from grapes is not dose-dependent (i.e. eating one can be just as bad as eating 30) and that its toxicity varies even across multiple doses given to the same animal. In other words, a dog can eat 20 grapes and be fine, and, on a different occasion, eat 1 grape and become poisoned. Since it’s unpredictable whether ingesting grapes/raisins will, in any instance, be toxic, we highly recommend that you bring your pet in right away if you become aware that they have ingested grapes (even if they’ve been fine before!). Symptoms include: vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal drinking and urination, lethargy, loss of appetite, kidney failure, halitosis, dehydration.
The flesh of this common pitted fruit is poisonous to birds but safe for dogs and cats. However, the pit of the avocado is a hazard – it can be swallowed whole by pets and become a foreign body obstruction in their digestive tract. Such obstructions can be just as harmful as poison, and so we recommend treating whole avocados with caution regardless of whether you have a bird or a dog. The toxin which causes poisoning in birds is called Persin and the symptoms in birds include: the inability to perch, difficulty breathing, organ failure, and death.
Fruit Pits & Seeds:
The pits in cherries, apricots, and peaches, and the seeds in apples, all contain cyanide—a toxin which prevents blood from carrying oxygen throughout the body and which can cause mild to moderate toxicity. So, while the flesh of these fruits isn’t toxic, we still advise caution when dealing with whole fruits such as these. Additionally, for those pet owners which grow any of these in their yard, the stems and leaves can also be toxic to dogs and cats, particularly when they are wilting. Symptoms for cyanide toxicity include: red and swollen mucus membranes (such as gums), dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, and shock.
Found growing on and off trails and in gardens and parks throughout California, mushrooms can pose a serious threat to your pet’s health. The vast majority of mushrooms are benign but the ones that aren’t can be extremely toxic.
Unfortunately, it is quite difficult for most of us to distinguish between these different types of mushrooms; as such, if you cannot identify the species of mushroom your animal has ingested, we recommend that you treat it as though it were toxic and dangerous. Some of the types of mushrooms known to be toxic are Amanita, Galerina, and Lepiota mushrooms (please note, this is not a comprehensive list). Symptoms of mushroom toxicity include: nausea, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, drunken walking, depression, tremors, seizures, and organ failure.
Other Foods to Avoid:
- Sugarless products that contain xylitol (gum, candies or other foods that were sweetened)
- Coffee grounds, or any products with caffeine
- Fatty foods, such as fat from meat pan drippings
- Macadamia nuts and many other nutsSalt
- Dairy products
- Baby food
- Yeast dough
- Moldy/Spoiled Food
- Raw/Undercooked Food
- Tea leaves
If you know or suspect that your pet has eaten something on this list, we highly recommend seeking immediate medical care. While our veterinarians can determine the relative toxicity of chocolate based on your pet’s weight and the amount of chocolate ingested, for any other items (including those on the above list) you will need to call a poison control hotline to consult with a trained toxicologist who will be able to provide direction to your veterinarian on the appropriate course of action to take.
The two hotlines we most highly recommend are:
- Pet Poison Hotline:
855-764-7661 / Ask about the consultation fee
- ASPCA poison control hotline:
888-426-4435 / Ask about the consultation fee
We hope this list will help you keep your furry companion safe!