It’s a dog eat dog world out there. You may have heard before that chocolate is bad for dogs, but what about your other pets? Though the toxicity of a human’s favorite treat in animals is commonly known, it may surprise you to learn that there are many other common food items to keep your pets from getting their paws on.
Ideally, domesticated animals shouldn’t be eating any human food, but from time to time most pet owners like to indulge their dogs, cats, rodents, and birds with treats from the table. However, owners have to take care to keep their four-legged (and winged) friends away from several items. What’s nutritious for people may be harmful to pets, even if they seem to enjoy it! For example, many kinds of food allergies have been observed in dogs that may surprise some dog owners. Some of these allergies can be to food items your dog regularly eats!
You may love coffee and chocolate but both the drink and the confection (which contains caffeine) are potentially fatal for most animals. The darker the chocolate, the worse it is for canines, with baker’s chocolate being the worst. While chocolate is toxic for cats as well, consumption is more of a danger for dogs considering cats are far more picky with what they eat. Don’t let your pet sip from cups containing coffee, tea, soda or any kind of cola, or energy drinks made with Guarana.
Some fruits and vegetables may be harmful to animals. Avocados can cause fluid accumulation and even death in birds and other small mammals, while dogs cannot digest grapes. Onions and garlic can cause illness in both dogs and cats. Potato leaves and mustard seeds are also known for their toxicity to animals, while the pits from stone fruits could also potentially be eaten and cause obstructions.
Candy and gum are also hazardous to your animals if ingested. Animal owners should dispose of chewing gum properly and put away candy as both contain a chemical called xylitol which damages the adrenal and endocrine systems of smaller animals.
While some treats are clearly for people, some misconceptions persist on what’s safe. Cats are known to love milk in movies, cartoons, and TV shows, and some cat owners indulge their kitties with dairy though cats are actually lactose intolerant. It’s also at times thought that cats should enjoy raw eggs, since they may find and eat them in the wild, when in reality our feline friends are actually just as susceptible to salmonella as we are.
Pet owners may be tempted to give their carnivorous chums animal bones. Though it’s true animals in the wild hunt, kill, and eat other mammals all the time, it’s unlikely your domestic darling will be used to such an item. They may love it at first, but an eager pet may choke on oversized bones, or alternatively consume sharp fragments that may cause intestinal bleeding.
There are a few key items to keep pets away from, including cleaners and medicines around the house. Learn more about specific items that are poisonous to different domestic animals in the infographic below.