When you were a kid, you probably heard it from your mother or father: don’t feed the dog (or cat) at the dinner table! And as it turns out, your parents were completely right. Not only does feeding your dog or cat from the table create bad begging habits in your pet, but it’s also not good for him or her either.
For one thing, many human foods are too high in calories for your pet, and they can end up overweight eating table scraps. And pets that are overweight have a whole range of health risks that slim and trim pets do not. But there are also more immediate dangers that your pet can face if it ingests some widespread people foods that can make your pet sick or even lead to death. Here is a list of 10 table foods pets shouldn’t eat, not under any circumstance.
1. Garlic and Onions
A number of common seasonings, including garlic, onions, and chives can cause problems – both minor and serious – for your cat or dog. These foods can give your pet problems in the digestive tract, attacks of asthma, red blood cell damage, and extensive harm to the liver.
Thus, your pet could end up with vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite and energy, and death. Although most cats and many dogs don’t particularly like the tastes of garlic and onion, they are so common in our food that they can easily be ingested if you feed your pet table scraps.
You might think it’s cute to see your cat lapping from a saucer of milk, but the fact is that neither cats nor dogs are equipped to digest lactose. Thus, pets that are given milk can end up with the irritation of the stomach and intestines, leading to diarrhea and discomfort.
More: 9 Most Dangerous People Foods for Hamsters
Some cats and dogs really enjoy the taste of beer or other alcoholic beverages. They may lick from your beer glass or even the top of your bottle. But though this may seem funny, pets can end up sick or dying from alcohol poisoning. For one thing, most pets are much smaller than humans, and the amount of alcohol they need to ingest before problems occur is much less than you think. Your pet may end up having seizures, falling into a coma, or dying.
More: 10 Plants to Keep Away from Pets
Another surprisingly dangerous table food for pets is chocolate and caffeine. Only 4 to 10 ounces of chocolate can lead to tremors, abnormal heart rhythms, and death in a small dog or cat. A smaller amount of caffeine or chocolate will lead to restlessness, panting, and vomiting.
More: 10 Things to Consider When Choosing Dog Food
5. Grapes and Raisins
Did you know that feeding your pet a handful of grapes or some raisins can cause vomiting, depression, kidney failure, and death? Although it isn’t clear why these foods cause such extreme reactions in pets, it is well documented. If your pet really likes fruit, try apples, bananas, or oranges, with the seeds taken out, and stay away from grapes.
More: 10 Things to Consider When Choosing Cat Food
Another food you may think is harmless to pets but is actually quite toxic is avocado. Avocados contain persin, which is extremely toxic to dogs and cats, even in tiny amounts. Ingestion can cause severe congestion, difficulty in breathing, accumulation of fluid around the heart, and death.
More: 8 ‘People’ Foods Your Dog Can Eat Too
7. Raw Meat and Bones
This may be one of the more controversial warnings, considering that many folks think raw diets are the best for cats and dogs, but bones and raw meat might have unhealthy consequences for your pets. For one, certain kinds of bones can splinter and get caught in your pet’s throat or stomach. For another, raw meat can carry bacteria, like e-coli, that can make your pet sick.
More: 8 ‘People’ Foods Your Cat Can Eat Too
8. Bread and Yeast
Pets that ingest yeast can experience very painful bloating of the stomach and intestines, leading to ruptures in the digestive tract. Although this occurs more frequently with unrisen yeast, such problems can occur with less seriousness if you feed your pet bread.
More: 10 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Dangerous for Dogs
9. Artificial Sweeteners
Although you may think your dog or cat may be getting a bit heavy around the middle, another food that you should never feed your pet is artificial sweeteners. In particular, Xylitol, an ingredient in many diet products and sweeteners, can lead to the rapid onset of coordination loss, vomiting, lethargy, seizures, and liver failure.
More: 10 Ways Pets Improve Your Health
10. Macadamia Nuts
Some folks can’t get enough of these wonderful nuts from the Hawaiian Islands. But did you know that as little as 6 of these nuts could cause death in your pet? It’s true, macadamia nuts are quite toxic to dogs in both raw and roasted forms. If your pet eats this table food, they could experience weakness, paralysis of the hindquarters, tremors, and death.
There are many dangerous table foods for pets, so make sure your pet never gets access to the foods mentioned above. Which human foods do you feed your pet?