The following stories are true. Only the names have been changed—to protect the guilty.
We’ve got a young pup with a taste for adventure, and anything else he can get ahold of. Let’s call him Brat.
We left Brat alone in a car for two minutes while saying goodbye to our nieces. He devoured an entire bag of trail mix, including raisins.
Emptying the car after that very same road trip. Set a plate of leftovers on the counter for a moment to get more stuff. Brat polished them off, onions and all.
Went out for an evening. Came home to find that Brat had popped open our pantry. He and his partner, we’ll call her Blue, ransacked the joint. Blue ate a bar of baker’s chocolate, 100% cacao, the potent stuff.
Each one of those foods can be lethal for dogs. Luckily Brat and Blue both ended up just fine, although we ran up some serious emergency vet bills. We’ve never had a pet as mischievous as Brat, and we’re learning quickly to take extra precautions to protect him from himself.
You’ll want to do the same for your furry friends. Here are some foods that are just fine for us, but not for dogs and cats.
Chocolate and other sweets
Any treats you give your pet should be tailored for their dietary needs—cat treats or dog treats. Darker chocolate, especially baking chocolate, can be toxic: symptoms can include abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizure, and death. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener common in gum, candy, toothpaste and other products, can lead to liver failure.
Grapes and raisins
Scientists aren’t sure why grapes and raisins are bad for pets, but they cause kidney failure in cats and dogs. Even small amounts can be dangerous.
Onions and garlic
Onions and garlic (and chives and leeks) can cause issues for dogs and cats. All can cause damage to red blood cells, though they usually must be consumed in larger quantities, especially for dogs.
Yeast dough and alcohol
The yeast in dough will expand in your pet’s belly, which can cause a lot of pain. The yeast also can ferment, producing alcohol, which can wreak all kinds of havoc. Even small amounts of alcohol can harm, and possibly kill, your pet.
Fruit pits and seeds
Some fruits (not citrus) are fine for animals. But the seeds and pits can obstruct their digestive tracts.
Other items that can be toxic if pets eat them include:
- Coconut and coconut oil
- Milk and dairy
- Tomato leaves and stems
- Potato leaves and stems
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