10 of the most toxic foods for pets

We all know dogs love to eat! And some cats too! And who can resist those big brown eyes and grin staring at you?

While most food may seem harmless and perfectly fine for us to eat, some can be toxic to your pet. In fact, there’s a lot of “people food” your dog should never eat. And, it’s not just because pets weigh less – some foods are downright dangerous for them — and some of these common foods may surprise you.   The list below highlights some of the most common foods that can be dangerous to animals.

This is not an exhaustive list, and any decision to provide your pet with food not specifically intended for animals should be discussed with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If you do find your pet enjoying one of these human treats it would be advised to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

10 of the most toxic foods for pets



Chocolate – contains methylxanthines (primarily caffeine and theobromine) which can result in vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, hyperthermia, increased breathing, and even death depending on how much was consumed

Grapes and Raisins — ingestion can lead to kidney failure. Watch your pet for vomiting and lethargy for up to 24 hours.

Avocado — contains a toxin known as persin that can cause mild stomach upset. However, if an avocado pit is ingested, it can cause intestinal obstruction and require surgery

Green Tomatoes and Tomato Vines — both contain atropine, which is toxic to dogs. The fruits are far less harmful after they ripen. Atropine can cause dilated pupils, tremors, cardiac arrest, and coma.

Alcohol – contains ethanol which impairs nerve conduction. Signs include behavioral changes, excitement or depression, ataxia (poor coordination), reduced reflexes, and even death

Onions and Garlic — members of this family contain a chemical that can damage dog’s red blood cells. The more concentrated it is, the more harmful it can be, so avoid foods that contain onion powder, minced dried garlic, and all forms of these foods.

Xylitol – a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener, especially in chewing gum. Ingestion can cause vomiting, weakness, ataxia, seizures, collapse (excess insulin release leading to hypoglycemia) and liver failure

Macadamia nuts – Although macadamia nut toxicosis is unlikely to be fatal in pets, it can cause very uncomfortable symptoms that may persist for up to 48 hours. Affected pets develop weakness in their rear legs, appear to be in pain, may have tremors and may develop a low grade fever. Mechanism of toxicity is unknown.

Wild Mushrooms — avoid allowing your dog to consume any type of wild mushrooms and assume that all wild mushrooms are potentially toxic.

All Fruit Pits and Seeds — no matter the fruit or vegetable, seeds can build up in your pet’s digestive system and lead to intestinal inflammation. Over time, this can cause serious illness or injury.

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