Most people have snuck a little human food to the family pet although it is generally when no one is watching. Doing so can be fun and satisfying and “Fido” or “Fluffy” will forever be indebted to the kindness shown them. However, it is of vital safety importance that certain foods never pass canine/feline lips no matter how much the dog or cat will enjoy it. It is easy to think that, because Fido can dig through the neighbor’s garbage and seem fine afterward, or Fluffy can hunt and kill any number of creatures and devour them without a problem, that the shortest member of the family can consume anything that is edible to humans. This is a flawed, potentially dangerous assumption as many foods do present a real and present danger to the health of the family pet. Here are some examples of foods that should never be fed to a cat or dog.
When it comes to the family canine, most people know not to feed a dog chocolate. The reason being that the chemical that makes the chocolate taste so delectable to humans is deadly to the dogs. Sadly, this is the most common cause of dog poisoning. Signs that a dog has ingested chocolate vary anywhere from diarrhea and vomiting to failure of the respiratory system or even cardiac arrest.
Grapes and raisins are also foods that should never be fed to dogs. Though doctors are still unsure of what causes it, according to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) grapes and raisins have been linked to kidney failure in dogs.
Another dangerous food group may surprise some people. The ASPCA says that onions and garlic can do damage to the red blood cells of both dogs and cats. This has something to do with the allium components which are toxic. This includes any plant in the onion family. Garlic tends to be more of a danger than do onions.
Although one would not think to feed a pet any kind of nut, of particular concern are Macadamia nuts. According to DogShow, though the nuts are not necessarily deadly, they are dangerous for a dog to eat. Signs that Fido got into the macadamia nuts are weakness in the legs and tremors that can last for 48 hours.
A household favorite, the avocado can be tempting to share but the ASPCA says that there is a chemical called persin in the flesh and peel of avocados. This can be toxic and Fido will likely get an upset tummy.
For all the college guys who like to watch Fido lap beer off of the floor in the garage, they should know that alcohol has a more acute effect on dogs than on humans. The ASPCA warns that alcohol consumption by a dog will usually result in disorientation and vomiting. However, dogs can experience seizures, go into comas and even die from too much alcohol.
Although this list of toxic foods is by no means complete, it does include bread dough. DogShow says that any amount of yeast can be harmful to a dog because as it multiplies in the canine stomach, it expands. This can cause severe pain and destroy vital tissues.
Veterinarian Dr. Sally Perea has compiled a list of foods that are considered dangerous to cats.
Raw fish is number one. Sushi that is safe for humans can potentially cause a kitty gastrointestinal upset. The thiaminase in raw fish can break down the thiamine in cats. A deficiency in the essential B vitamin can cause problems with their nervous system, including convulsions.
Second on the list was already touched on in the dog list. Felines are twice as susceptible as are canines to onions and chives. Whether cooked, powdered or raw, a cat cannot metabolize it. Dr. Perea also recommends to avoid giving cats baby food as there tends to be onion powder present. Anemia is also a common occurrence from the consumption of onions.
Number three is uncooked eggs. While the protein in eggs can be beneficial for Fluffy, raw eggs can expose them to parasites like salmonella. This could cause pancreatitis. Dr. Perea adds that, occasionally, a small amount of scrambled eggs is acceptable and safe.
Number four may seem like a no-brainer. However, just in case, never give a cat bones. Bones tend to splinter which can cause choking or, if swallowed, perforate the intestines and even obstruct the intestinal tract. Dr. Perea says that, in order to avoid dental fractures, cats should never be given anything to eat that is harder than their teeth.
Fifth is fat trimmings. Giving Fluffy fat trimmings can cause gastrointestinal upset and pancreatitis.
Why anyone would give a cat number six on Dr. Perea’s list is a puzzler. Caffeinated drinks will likely cause a kitty’s little heart rate to increase and could agitate him/her.
Number seven is the final item and one that has caused a lot of confusion, historically speaking. Though it used to be quite common to give a kitty a dish of milk, or even cream, dairy products are not good for the feline digestive system. In adulthood, cats are for the most part lactose intolerant. A sign that a cat has ingested milk is diarrhea.
Cats and dogs are considered as members of the family and, just like the diets of children need to be moderated, there are certain foods that family pets simply should not be fed. Given the potential harmful affects of the foods listed here and others not listed, the best feeding strategy is to stick to foods specifically designated for cats and dogs. No harm, no foul and with their capacity for unconditional love they will appreciate any show of attention, whether culinary or in the form of physical attention.
by Stacy Lamy