You are seated at the table for dinner and your furry baby looks at you with the eyes of someone who has eaten nothing for the last month. This situation is tempting, but it is a bad habit to give your pet food while you eat. If you keep doing it, your pet will continue to bother you and any future dinner guests you may have in the future.
Dangerous Human Food
More importantly than just encouraging bad behavior, some human food can actually be toxic to dogs. These foods can cause cardiovascular issues, kidney/organ failure, neurological problems, gastrointestinal issues and more. While cats are less commonly poisoned by food because they are more choosy than dogs, they can still be harmed if they eat the wrong thing. The following list of toxic food for pets was collected from the ASPCA and the Humane Society.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Apple seeds
- Apricot pits
- Cherry pits
- Candy (particularly chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets, as well as any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
- Coffee (grounds, beans and chocolate-covered espresso beans)
- Gum (can cause blockages, and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
- Hops (used in home beer brewing)
- Macadamia nuts
- Moldy foods
- Mushroom plants
- Mustard seeds
- Onions and onion powder
- Peach pits
- Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
- Rhubarb leaves
- Salt (a small amount is ok)
- Tea (because it contains caffeine)
- Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
- Xylitol (artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets)
- Yeast dough
As an alternative to giving your dogs potentially dangerous table foods, consider getting them some gourmet dog treats that they’ll love just as much.
Should Pets Eat Garlic?
Some say Garlic is toxic to dogs, while others say that a small amount will do good. According to the ASPCA, “gastrointestinal problems and red blood cell damage can occur as a result of feeding garlic to pets. An occasional small amount, such as that in most commercial pet foods and treats, may not cause a problem, but because of the risk, we generally recommend that you avoid feeding your pets products that contain more concentrated amounts of garlic.” Cats, however, are especially sensitive to garlic. Do not feed them any garlic.
What About Aspirin?
In addition to food, Aspirin is toxic for pets. If your pet needs pain relief, you should always talk to your vet. If you are not sure about a specific food, you should also consult your vet.
If you discover that your cat or dog may have consumed one of the toxic food for pets, it is important not to waste time. Keep handy the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center number (888-426-4435 – you may have to pay fees), or contact your vet or animal hospital.
Remember – the best cure is preventing. Store food and pesticide out of reach in closed packages.