Americans spend over $10 billion dollars on pet food for our pets. Despite buying the best food available, some pets would rather eat what we eat. However, certain foods can be dangerous to your pet causing varying degrees of illness.
-Alcoholic Beverages. Ethanol is the component in alcoholic beverages that can be toxic when an excessive amount is ingested. Pets are much smaller than us and can be highly affected by small amounts of alcohol.
-Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plums. Ingestion of large amounts of stems, seeds and leaves of these fruits can be toxic. They contain a cyanide type compound and signs of toxicity include apprehension, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation and shock.
Avocados. The leaves, fruit, bark and seeds of avocados have all been reported to be toxic. Symptoms of toxicity include difficulty breathing, abdominal enlargement, abnormal fluid accumulations in the chest, abdomen and sac around the heart.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda. Baking soda and baking powder are both leavening agents - It produces a gas causing batter and dough to rise. Baking soda is simply sodium bicarbonate. Baking powder actually consists of baking soda and an acid. could low potassium, low calcium and/or high sodium, congestive heart failure or muscle spasms.
Chocolate - Depending on the type of chocolate ingested and the amount eaten, various problems can occur. The high fat content in chocolate may result in vomiting and possibly diarrhea. You may notice restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination and possibly excessive panting. Heart rate and blood pressure levels may also be increased. Seizure activity may occur in severe cases.
Coffee (grounds and beans). Dogs that eat coffee grounds or beans can get "caffeine" toxicity.
Fatty Foods. Rich and fatty food are favorites of dogs. They often get them as treats, leftovers or from getting into the trash. These fatty foods can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can affect any pet but miniature or toy poodles, cocker spaniels and miniature schnauzers are particularly prone. Signs of pancreatitis generally include an acute onset of vomiting, sometimes diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Dairy Products. Dairy products are not highly dangerous but can pose problems for two reasons. One is their high fat content. The second reason is that pets poorly digest dairy products since they lack the enzyme required to digest lactose. This affects some pets more than others causing gas to diarrhea.
Grapes and Raisins. Any dog that ingests large amounts of grapes or raisins should be treated aggressively, so contact your veterinarian immediately if ingestion has occurred.
Macadamia Nuts. Macadamia nuts, also called the Queensland nut or Australia nut, can be toxic. The mechanism behind why these nuts are toxic is a mystery. Dogs develop weakness, depression, vomiting, difficulty walking, tremors, abdominal pain, lameness, stiffness and/or pale gums. The signs usually dissipate in 12 to 24 hrs.
Moldy or Spoiled Food. Dogs love to get into the trash. A medical problem arises when the trash contains moldy or spoiled food. In addition to food poisoning, some pets can develop tremors related to the ingestion of certain molds.
Nutmeg. You may not realized this but high levels of nutmeg can be toxic, even fatal. Signs of toxicity include tremors, seizures, nervous system abnormalities or death.
Onions or Garlic. Dogs and cats lack the enzyme necessary to properly digest onions and this could result in gas, vomiting, diarrhea or severe gastrointestinal distress.
All forms of onion and garlic are a problem. This includes raw, dehydrated, cooked, powders or those in foods. The most common source of onions for cats is in human baby food. Some baby foods have onion powder added for taste. When consistently fed baby food with added onion powder, signs of toxicity can develop.
Yeast Dough. When ingested, bread or yeast dough will "rise" in the stomach just as it would for bread. As the dough rises and ferments, alcohol is produced. There are two problems with yeast dough. The biggest problem is that the dough often rises to many times its size, expanding the pet's stomach. The second problem is from the alcohol component, which can cause "alcohol toxicity." Symptoms of vomiting, retching, abdominal discomfort, lethargy, depression or bloat is possible.