Posted by: | March 30, 2011

Dangerous Foods

As great pet owners we LOVE our pets so much it hurts to tell them “No” or deprive them of anything. Yet, also as great pet parents, it’s our job to look out for them and protect them. The last thing you want is for your pet to experience pain, discomfort or even fatal consequences because of something you have done. Like feeding them the wrong foods.

There are many harmful foods that we as humans eat which can be fatal if attempted to be eaten by your pets.

Your pets (dogs especially) may be extremely interested in what you are eating because the scent or aroma may be intoxicating. For a dog, there is nothing more sensual than its sense of smell. This is why they are always so intrigued by the many scents of the world. Just like you, when you open that pizza box and are hit with that delicious aroma of pepperoni and extra cheese, your dog is most likely to enjoy that as well. But this doesn’t mean he should have any. No matter how much he begs you!

Many animals lack the necessary enzymes to properly break down the fatty foods we as humans often consume. Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, which can become life threatening if untreated. The best way to prevent feeding your pet something dangerous is to ONLY feed them their approved pet food and treats. NO HUMAN FOOD!

If you must feed them human food, try boiled chicken or beef. Only if they are used to receiving it. You don’t want to change their diet much. A consistent diet is best. Just because humans crave variety in their diet doesn’t mean your pet should have variety. Their bodies work best with consistency. Also, if you decide to feed them chicken or beef, make certain it is unseasoned. The spices and seasoning we use on our food can be terrible for their bodies. For pets, bland is best.

I’ll list common human foods which you definitely DO NOT want your pets to have. If you ever question if something may be okay, either check with a professional (vet, pet sitter, pet nutritionist) or simply do not feed it to them. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


Chocolate: Contains high fat content, caffeine and theobromine. Can be toxic and even fatal.

Coffee: Caffeine toxicity is often fatal. Make sure they never have access to loose coffee beans or used coffee grounds found in the trash.

Fatty Foods: As previously mentioned, fatty foods are terrible for a pet’s digestive system and may be fatal.

Avocados: Avocados contain persin, a fatty acid derivative which is highly toxic to dogs. May cause abdominal enlargement, difficulty breathing, fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and sac around the heart.

Grapes and Raisins: May cause kidney failure in dogs. Without treatment, possibly fatal.

Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Commonly found in baked goods. Ingestion may lead to electrolyte abnormalities which can cause congestive heart failure.

Dairy Products: Pets do not have the enzymes to digest lactose. Most dairy products are high in fat content. Dairy should be avoided.

Macadamia Nuts or Walnuts: If ingested, dogs may experience lameness, abdominal pain, stiffness, depression, weakness, vomiting, tremors or difficulty walking. It’s best to avoid nuts altogether.

Onions or Garlic: Dogs do not have the ability to digest onions which may lead to severe gastrointestinal distress, vomiting and diarrhea. If pets consume enough of the toxic thiosulphate (found in onions and garlic) this may be fatal. Ever wonder why pets can’t have baby food? Because onion powder is commonly added to baby food for taste. Therefore making it toxic for pets.

Yeast: No matter how tempting, DO NOT let your dog eat your leftover pizza crust! When ingested, yeast dough or bread will expand in the stomach. Making it extremely uncomfortable in their bellies. Symptoms of lethargy, vomiting, retching, depression and most importantly bloat (which is extremely fatal) may occur.

Nutmeg: High levels of nutmeg can be toxic or even fatal. May cause seizures or even death.

As great pet owners, it’s our job to not only keep our pets happy and healthy, but to also inform others in order to help them do the same. Please forward this on, so we all can help raise awareness and protect those pets!


Tim Heise
– Certified Pet Care Specialist
Absolute Pet Care, LLC
Scottsdale, AZ

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