Foods That Can Be Toxic To Dogs & Cats

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Everyone enjoys hanging out with their furry friends. Whether it’s snuggling with Fido on the couch or petting Tiger as he runs around your legs, we give our pets all of our love and affection. Our pets are like family and it’s our job to take care of them. One of the best ways to take care of pets is by feeding them the most nutritional food we can. Healthy eating goes beyond the food we give them; it also includes avoiding the foods which can be harmful to our dogs and cats. Below are the foods which can be toxic to your dogs and cats.

Understanding what can be toxic to dogs and cats is important to keep them healthy and strong. With the holidays coming up soon it also is good to have a refresher on what foods to keep away from your pets. The holidays are filled with food and drinks and family and friends, many of which may be new or unfamiliar to your pets. Knowing what to watch out for will help keep your pets from eating something they shouldn’t.

Foods Not To Feed Your Pet

There are some people food which you can share with man’s (or woman’s) best friend. There are also many foods which may be toxic to your best friend. To keep your pets healthy and happy avoid feeding them any of the foods highlighted below.


Many people already know this and it is true, chocolate can be extremely toxic to your dog. There is a compound in chocolate which is not easily digested by pets. This can lead to some serious problems like diarrhea, vomiting, muscle problems, heart problems, seizures, and in some cases death.

dangerous foods for dogs and cats

Onions And Garlic

In dogs, onions and garlic (part of the same plant family) cause anemia. Certain compounds in these foods attack your pet’s red blood cells which help supply oxygen to muscles and the brain. If your pet has eaten onions make sure to call the vet as they can make it hard for your pet to breathe and cause diarrhea and vomiting.


Salt is not itself dangerous to your pets, every living animal needs some amount of salt in their diet. However, excess salt can be harmful as it may cause cats and dogs to retain water. Too much salt will make pets drink excessive amount of water causing bloating, swelling, urination, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea.


The often used trope of cats drinking milk from a saucer prevails however, pet owners should be aware of the potential dangers of dairy. Both dogs and cats drink milk from their mother as newborns however fully grown adults do not have the ability to process dairy products. Yes, like their humans, pets can be lactose intolerant. Some dogs may be able to process small quantities of milk and others may have less trouble digesting some yogurts and cheeses. If your pet shows any signs of lactose intolerance do not feed them any dairy. Watch out for runny poops, gas, vomiting, and stomach pain if you suspect your animal has eaten dairy.


Xylitol is an artificial sweetener which has gained much popularity over the past years and is used in many substances which are low-sugar or sugar free. If your dog or cat ingests xylitol act fast and call your vet. This substance is quickly absorbed by pets and causes a quick release of insulin which in turn drops blood sugar. A xylitol reaction can lead to low blood sugar, liver failure, and seizures if left untreated. Be careful that any human food you feed your pet does not contain any amounts of xylitol, be especially aware of any low-sugar snacks, gums, human drugs, and even some peanut butters.

dangerous foods for dogs and cats


Grapes and raisins, which are just dried grapes after all, can lead to deadly problems in dogs and even cats. While vets are not exactly sure as to what the cause is, ingesting this fruit can lead to sudden kidney failure. Avoid feeding any amounts of grapes or raisins to your pets.


The avocados are not the toxic problem some people claim yet they can cause mild intestinal symptoms. The biggest reason to keep avocados away from your pets is because they do contain a large pit which can cause choking.

Fruit Pits And Seeds

Fruits usually have pits or seeds and when digested these pits and seeds can break down into the very toxic hydrogen cyanide. Definitely be aware of fruits with stone pits, i.e. peaches, apricots, cherries, plums. They can cause kidney failure and lead to an inability to transport oxygen in the body. This type of poisoning can take place at once if a pet eats a large amount or slowly overtime as pets cannot process the cyanide.


Many people love a cup of coffee or tea in the morning for that hit of caffeine. Your dog or cat is much smaller than one of us and therefore they cannot ingest caffeine as they are more prone to its effects. Signs your pet has ingested caffeine are similar to what effects are seen in humans like hyperactivity, abnormal heart rate, high blood pressure, seizures, and more.


Here is where cats are lucky, nuts are not dangerous to cats unless eaten in high quantity and only because of their high fat content. But, some varieties of nuts are toxic to dogs. Avoid feeding macadamia nuts and black walnuts to your dog as they can cause seizures and other brain issues. As mentioned above, large quantities of salt are dangerous so watch out for the salt content in any nuts which you may give your pets.

Toxic foods for dogs and cats


Our furry friends are much smaller than us and like caffeine, they process alcohol much quicker and are more susceptible to its effects than humans. The good news is many pets do not seek out alcohol, they don’t like it, but sometimes they end up ingesting a small quantity. Look out for signs of tremors, unsteadiness, intestinal problems, thirst, slow breathing, and loss of consciousness. Many times your pet will be able to feel better after rest but if they drank a lot of alcohol you should contact your vet immediately.

Keeping Your Pets Safe

Are you looking for more information about how to keep your pet safe? All Star Pet Resort can help you keep your pet healthy. If you are looking to board your pet during the holidays, please contact us at (310) 320-8799.

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