Holiday Foods Toxic to Your Cats and Dogs

Holiday Foods Toxic to Your Cats and Dogs


December 26, 2011
 

18 Holiday Foods Toxic to Your Family Dogs and Cats

Please print out this list, post it on the fridge and keep your four-legged family pets safe! Small amounts of nutmeg, a handful of raisins, mushrooms, onions, rhubarb.....this list of toxins may surprise you.

Read Part I: 6 Holiday Hazards Toxic to Dogs and Cats

By definition, holidays mean we're all sitting around a table with food, or on a couch with food, or making more food or cleaning up food while cooking more food.

You may be tempted to share the holiday bounty by sliding your plate beneath the table for your beloved dog to slurp. (Believe me, no judgment here.) But I keep getting urgent e-mails from my veterinarian's office and pet insurance about all the holiday hazards facing our family pets when there's so much holiday food around. So here's a quick list to put on your fridge to remind you – and all family members – about what's poisonous to our beloved dogs and cats. You'll be surprised by how many foods are dangerous and by how little it takes to harm our animals. For example, as few as FOUR grapes or raisins can cause significant damage to a 20-pound pet.

This list comes from the Toxic Food Guide for Pets here from VIP Pet Insurance.

What Not to Feed Dogs and Cats

1. Alcohol: Alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and affects pets quickly. Ingestion of alcohol can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated animals can experience seizures and respiratory failure. Desserts containing alcohol or yeast-containing dough are often the unknown culprits.

2. Caffeine: Coffee, tea, energy drinks, dietary pills or anything containing caffeine should never be given to your pet, as they can affect the heart, stomach, intestines and nervous system. Symptoms include restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination, excessive panting, increased heart rate and blood pressure levels and seizures.

3. Chocolate: Different types of chocolate contain various levels of fat, caffeine and the substances methylxanthines. In general, the darker and richer the chocolate (i.e., baker's chocolate), the higher the risk of toxicity. Depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingested, dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, urination, hyperactivity, heart arrhythmias, tremors and seizures. Learn about chocolate toxicity.

4. Fatty Foods: Foods that are high in fat can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Pancreatitis often follows the ingestion of fatty meal in dogs. Certain breeds like miniature schnauzers, Shetland sheepdogs, and Yorkshire terriers appear to be more susceptible to a bout of pancreatitis than other breeds. Fight the temptation to share fast food leftovers, junk food or foods cooked in grease with your dog.

5. Fat Trimmings and Bones: Table scraps often contain meat fat that a human didn't eat and bones. Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, may cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog's digestive system. Watch this vet video about dogs and bones.

6. Fruit Toxins: The specific problem with persimmons, peaches, and plums are the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction, a good possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs should the pit be broken open and consumed.

7. Grapes and Raisins Especially Dangerous: According to Pet Poison Helpline, Grapes and raisins have been known to cause acute renal (kidney) failure in dogs. With kidney failure, a pet's ability to produce urine decreases, which means they are unable to filter toxins out of their system. The reason for kidney failure and the amount of grapes/raisins necessary to be toxic to pets is unknown, so all cases of ingestion have the potential to be grave. Depending on the size of the dog, as little as four grapes/raisins can have an adverse effect on your fuzzy friend.

8. Milk and Dairy Products: It may be tempting on a hot day to share your ice cream cone with your dog; however, milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive issues because adult dogs are deficient in lactase necessary for digestion of milk.

9. Mushrooms: Wild mushrooms — which may be found growing in your backyard or on the nature trail where you walk your dog — contain toxins that will trigger numerous organ systems, including the kidneys, liver and brain. Nervous system abnormalities, seizures, coma, vomiting, and death can all result when a dog consumes mushrooms.

10. Nutmeg: Nutmeg can also be stored in the pantry with other potentially hazardous substances for pets. Often used as a spice for baking, nutmeg's rich, spicy scent is attractive to dogs. High levels can be fatal. Signs include tremors, seizures and nervous system abnormalities.

11. Nuts: Abundant in many cookies and candies, certain nuts should not be given to pets. Almonds, non-moldy walnuts and pistachios can cause an upset stomach or an obstruction of your dog's throat and/or intestinal tract; macadamia nuts and moldy walnuts can cause toxic poisonings. Moldy walnuts can contain toxic chemical products produced by fungi which cause seizures or neurological signs. Lethargy, vomiting and loss of muscle control are among the effects of nut ingestion. Learn more about nuts dangers to dogs.

12. Onions and Garlic: Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which is toxic to cats and dogs. The ingestion of onions, onion powder, or even cooked onion causes a condition called hemolytic anemia, which is characterized by damage to the red blood cells. In other words, onion toxicity can cause the red blood cells circulating through your pet's body to burst. A small amount can be toxic to your dog or cat.

13. Raw Eggs (and foods that include them): Have you ever accidentally dropped an egg on the kitchen floor while your dog is nearby? Be careful: there are two problems with allowing your dog to eat raw eggs. First: your dog could possibly get food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. Second: excessive consumption of raw eggs may result in biotin deficiency that can cause skin problems and affect your dog's coat.

14. Raw Meat and Fish: Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that cause food poisoning. Certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite that causes fish disease. If not treated, the disease can be fatal within 2 weeks. The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Thoroughly cooking the fish will kill the parasite and protect your dog.

15. Rhubarb: Rhubarb, a vegetable, contains oxalates which trigger abnormalities with the nervous system, kidneys and digestive tract.

16. Salt: Believe it or not, common table salt is poisonous to your pet—but it's not usually from table scraps. The source is often what surprises pet owners: pets often experience salt toxicity as a result of eating household play dough, swallowing too much ocean salt water or ingesting paint balls, which are loaded with salt. Salt toxicity can be very severe and results in neurologic signs such as poor coordination, seizures and brain swelling, and needs to be treated carefully by a veterinarian.

17. Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly used in toothpastes, mouthwash, sugarless gum, certain cough medicines and children's chewable multi-vitamins. It also used in many baked goods and candies. This product is recommended for diabetics and those following a low-carbohydrate diet. However, xylitol is extremely dangerous to your dog. Ingestion of the product will cause the rapid release of insulin in dogs and result in hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia results in vomiting, weakness, and sometimes seizures. In some cases, xylitol poisoning can result in liver failure. As little as one stick of xylitol gum could be toxic to a 20-pound dog.

18. Yeast Dough: Unbaked dough that contains yeast can expand in your pet's stomach or intestines. As the yeast ferments, it releases gases, resulting in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even life-threatening bloat and a twisted stomach. Some yeast dough also ferments into alcohol, which contributes to signs of lethargy and alcohol toxicity.

Read Part I: 6 Holiday Hazards Toxic to Dogs and Cats

For more information: Here's the Humane Society's Toxic Foods List

Here is the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control information. Available for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. (There may be a consultation fee.) 

Did you know nutmeg, raisins and garlic are dangerous to your cats and dogs?


Dorota Kundera Headshot
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Phone: 973-867-8134
Dated: December 29th 2011
Views: 1,314
About Dorota: Customer always comes first! Integrity – Care – Results! I love helping people sell and buy h...

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