Unsafe food for dogs and cats
Our pets can enjoy many human foods. It’s nice to be able to share snacks with your best mate, but there are plenty of foods that are unsafe for dogs that you need to avoid. We’ve put together a list of some common foods that should be kept out of your pet’s reach.
Most of us are aware of the dangers of chocolate for dogs,and certain types of chocolate are more dangerous than others e.g. the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous for dogs. Chocolate contains Theobromine which, when ingested can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures, so best to make sure it’s not accessible for your dog but readily available to you at about 3pm most days.
Raisins, Grapes and Sultanas
These popular snacks are toxic for pets and can cause vomiting, and in more severe cases kidney failure. It’s unknown what it is about them that is so toxic to our pets, so it is recommended to keep them well away from our furry friends.
Chocolate coated, mixed, in cake, roasted, falling off Nanna’s tree – these tasty treats are highly poisonous to dogs. The signs of macadamia poisoning can be pretty scary and include vomiting, tremors,hyperthermia and in serious cases, the inability to walk and paralysis. If they happen to eat a macadamia while still encased in its shell, it also poses a risk to their digestive system if it results in a blockage.
It’s also worth mentioning that most nuts, including almonds, pecans and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils which may result in vomiting and diarrhoea.
Popular on the BBQ and a secret ingredient in many recipes,onions can cause problems if eaten in excess by our pets. It can cause long-term problems to your dog’s red blood cells, which may lead to anaemia;making them weak and lethargic. They may also experience gastrointestinal upsets from onion.
This sweetener can be found in lollies, gum, baked goods and toothpaste and is extremely unsafe for dogs. This can cause a drop in your pet’s blood sugar levels and can lead to hypoglycaemia. Your pet may also experience an initial reaction of vomiting and lethargy, which can develop into seizures, and in worse cases liver failure within a few days.
Nutmeg is a lesser known toxin to dogs, but a favourite for our beloved bakers in the family. The Australian Veterinary Association notes that nutmeg can be associated with tremors, seizures and nervous system issues. Be careful slinging this one around in the kitchen because the side effects for our pets are scary.
A raw meaty bone is excellent for your dog’s dental and mental health. The chewing promotes a feeling of wellbeing and stimulation. Cooked bones however,can be dangerous for your dog as they can splinter and cause your dog lots of pain and internal injuries. There’s always lots of cooked bones around at Christmas, and it’s common for unknowing and well-meaning family members to offer these to your dog as a treat, so make sure you clear the table straight into the bin or out of reach of your dog.
This salty staple in the family fridge is a common cause for a vet visit. It can cause painful digestive upsets with diarrhoea and vomiting and, sometimes, can lead to pancreatitis. This can be really distressing for you and your pet, so make sure you keep your ham to yourself.
Another one that seems obvious, but a spilled drink may be quite appealing for our pets and the temptation for some to have a good laugh at how much ‘Rover loves a drink’ (it’s not funny, it’s cruel), but our pets are much more sensitive to the effects of alcohol and can become poisoned very quickly. This may present with symptoms of vomiting, loss of consciousness or difficulty breathing.
What do I do if my pet eats one of these unsafe foods?
It’s important to remain calm for your pet, try to estimate how much of the food they have eaten and contact your vet straight away. Yourvet will be able to determine whether you need to make an emergency trip to the clinic.
If they experience digestive upsets from any of the foods, a probiotic maybe beneficial to help recover and restore their digestive balance. Probiotics can provide relief of digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhoea.
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