You may have fickle felines and/ or picky pooch eaters, and the temptation can be prevailing to feed these finicky eaters human food because most pets will relish eating table scraps. While most owners are just trying to take care of their pet’s health through making sure they eat, many human foods can dramatically affect a dogs and cats internal organs causing severe irritation and sometimes even death. Cats and dogs have very different digestive systems, metabolisms, and physical tolerances and intolerances than their human owners, and these contribute to their differences in processing food.
Anyone owning a cat or dog, including those who are thinking about pet ownership in the future, would be wise to learn what foods will cause harm to their cats and dogs. While intolerant human foods may be one source of illness in pets, owners should also be aware that all human medications ingested by pets pose potentially lethal results, such as one aspirin ingested by a pet could cause their death. Additionally, many common indoor and yard plants and most insecticides can prove fatal to pets if eaten, such as lilies and poinsettias. If this happens to your pet, immediately call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian center.
Some of these common human foods are injurious to both cats and dogs, and then others are specifically harmful to dogs. Here are some of the most common foods that cause illness and death in cats and dogs who ingest even small amounts.
• CAFFEINE- Sources of caffeine include all forms of chocolate, cocoa, hot chocolate, coffee, and tea, and due to the contained theobromines and theophyllines, these can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and damage to the heart and nervous systems.
• GRAPES, RAISINS, AND CURRANTS- All of these can cause kidney damage or renal failure, and this reaction seems to be even more acute with dogs.
• DAIRY PRODUCTS- Dairy products, including milk, cream, cheese and ice cream are not natural foods for cats and dogs due their inherent lactose intolerance. Ingestion of dairy products can cause gas, cramps, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea.
• ONIONS, CHIVES, GARLIC, AND SHALLOTS- All members of this vegetable group contain sul- foxides and disulfides which damage red blood cells causing anemia.
• RAW MEAT, FISH, POULTRY, AND EGGS- Eggs contain ayidin enzyme which keeps cats and dogs from absorbing biotin, resulting in a Vitamin B deficiency and damaging skin and fur. All raw meat, fish, poultry and eggs may contain salmonella and e.coli bacteria which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and death.
• SALT- Salt ingestion may lead to electrolyte imbalances, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death.
• MUSHROOMS- All fungi contain toxins for pets which may negatively affect multiple organ systems causing shock and death.
In addition to these shared toxins for cats and dogs, here are a few more common human foods that can prove to be physically harmful for dogs.
• ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES- Ingestion of alcohol is so foreign to canines that it can cause intoxication, comas, and death. Hops, the principle ingredient in all ales and beers, has a compound that causes excessive panting, increased heart rate, elevated body temperature, seizures, and death.
• AVOCADO- The leaves, seeds, fruit, and bark of the avocado contain persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
• MACADAMIA NUTS- These contain a toxin which can harm the digestive system, cause nerve damage, and impair muscles.
• RHUBARB- The leaves from rhubarb contain oxalates which harm the digestive, nervous, and renal systems.
• SUGAR- Sugar cannot be processed in their kidneys, so eating sugar or food containing sugars can cause renal problems, digestive problems, dental decay, obesity, and diabetes.
• TOBACCO- All tobacco products contain nicotine which harms the digestive system, and can cause physical collapse, coma, and death.
• YEAST DOUGH- Yeast causes dough to expand and this will also be the case in a dog’s stomach if ingested producing gas, digestive disturbance, and possible ruptures in the dog’s stomach, intestines, and colon.