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Musings of a professional dog walker & pet sitter

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Human Foods That Are Harmful To Pets

Cats and dogs are masters at the pulling of human heart strings, sitting before us as we eat with those pitiful looks on their faces that can lead even the hardest of us to relent and offer them titbits from our plates. Whilst dogs are classed as omnivores, that doesn’t mean they can literally eat anything, and it most definitely does not imply that all food fit for human consumption can be tolerated by the canine digestive system. Indeed there are many foods that are actually classed as toxic for dogs, chocolate being perhaps the best known of them. Cats, meanwhile, being obligate carnivores, are subject to even greater restrictions because their digestive system lacks the enzymes required to break down anything other than animal protein. Like dogs, there are also foods that can be considered toxic to cats, even if consumed in small quantities. Read on for a list of the most common human foods that are poisonous to cats and/or dogs.

All parts of the avocado plant/tree can cause problems in cats and dogs, so don’t be tempted to even let them lick the plate of your avocado on toast breakfast.

Foods containing caffeine
As previously mentioned, chocolate is the best known offender in this category. The presence of both caffeine and theobromine make it highly toxic to dogs and cats with small volumes causing gastric upset, heart irregularities and muscle tremors, while larger quantities can bring seizures and death within 24 hours. Any products containing coffee should be kept away from both cats and dogs for the exact same reasons.

Garlic and Onions
While possessing a number of health benefits to humans, both of these foods are toxic to cats and dogs. Chemicals in the skins and flesh can cause serious damage to red blood cells, inhibiting them from carrying oxygen to the brain and internal organs. Fatalities can result if large enough quantities are consumed.

Grapes and raisins
These seemingly benign, natural foods are toxic to cats and dogs. Vomiting and diarrhoea are early symptoms of ingestion with the potential for rapid-onset kidney failure and death if consumed in any quantity.

Macadamia Nuts
A Macadamia nut might not be an obvious treat to feed to a pet but they may be hidden in things like cereal bars, which dogs owners might be tempted to share with their canine buddies. They’re toxic to cats and dogs and can cause vomiting, joint pain, muscle tremors and weakness, with symptoms usually developing within 12 hours of consumption

The relative prevalence or lack of of this sweetening agent make its chances of ingestion by cats and dogs slimmer than that of other foods on this list. However, its use in homemade cakes and baked goods could see dogs consuming it where owners offer them titbits of their seemingly innocent creations. Xylitol toxicity can be fatal if medical assistance is not sought soon enough. Any product containing artificial sweeteners should be kept well away from cats and dogs.

Other foods poisonous to pets
•Alcoholic beverages •Apple seeds •Apricot pits •Cherry pits •Hops (used in home beer brewing) •Mouldy foods •Mushroom plants •Mustard seeds •Peach pits •Potato leaves and stems (green parts) •Rhubarb leaves •Salt •Tea (contains caffeine) •Tomato leaves and stems (green parts) •Walnuts •Yeast dough



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