While it may seem tempting to share your table scraps with your furry friend, you might be doing more harm than good. There are quite a few foods that are healthy for humans, but not so healthy for pets.
It is worth it to understand the foods that are absolutely a no, as well as those foods that should only be given in moderation.
Animals and humans have different ways of digesting things, and the foods that might be beneficial for your body can do serious harm to theirs. Even if your pet has had these foods in the past without any problems, and no matter how much he or she begs, these are the seven foods you should avoid feeding them – at all costs.
Grapes and Raisins
One of the most dangerous foods that your pets can eat include some of the healthiest snack foods you’ll find in the stores during the summertime. Your dog may or may not have had grapes already, whether a rogue grape slides off your counter, or a raisin slipped into some toast. However, grapes and raisins have been known to cause renal failure in dogs.
Related Article: How to Get Free Preventative Health Care
When a dog eats grapes or raisins, especially more than just a fallen one, his or her kidneys might begin to shut down, which can lead to lethargy, vomiting, and even death. When eating grapes or raisins, make sure to keep them as far away from your dog as possible.
With all the obvious benefits that humans get from avocados, it doesn’t quite have the same effect as with pets. The controversy that surrounds avocados when it comes to pets involves what is known as persin. Persin can be found in the:
- Actual fruit.
When persin is consumed in high doses, it becomes toxic to animals. However, when an avocado ripens, the levels of persin actually drop, which is what becomes confusing as to why it is unhealthy for pets. But in actuality, when a dog overindulges in avocados, say if they are found growing in your backyard, then the danger comes from the stems, pits and seeds. These become very hard to digest, and can lead to choking or gastrointestinal blockages. However, avocado, itself, is primarily a problem for pets such as the following:
With the latest health craze of coconut oil and coconut water, more and more people have seemed to stock either of these products in abundance within their households. When ingested in minimal amounts, coconut-based products will not cause serious harm to your pets, with the exception of coconut water, which should never be given to your pet.
Related Article: Senior Diet Recommendations
Coconut water is very high in potassium, and while great for hydrating humans, it is bad for pets. Additionally, the flesh and milk from fresh coconuts contain certain oils that can cause diarrhea, loose stool and a seriously upset stomach.
Onions, Garlic and Chives
We use any of these three vegetables and herbs as flavoring for a majority of our foods, with various notable health benefits. However, these three can cause serious damage within both cats and dogs. When ingested, onions, garlic or chives can cause serious red blood cell damage, along with gastrointestinal irritation. Cats are more susceptible to these damages, yet dogs are also at risk when any of the three are consumed in large enough quantities.
Nuts have become one of the healthiest snacks humans can eat in between mealtime. Various nuts can be consumed in small quantities to provide humans with the following important vitamins:
- Omega 3 fats
However, in pets, severe issues can occur from consuming nuts. Vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis in pets can occur when consuming nuts. In fact, the worst nut that any pet can consume is a macadamia nut. After macadamia nuts are ingested, symptoms will be noticeable within 12 hours, and can last up to two days. Symptoms that can occur from macadamia nuts include tremors, hypothermia, vomiting, depression, weakness and lethargy.
The next time you’re thinking about sharing a piece of your grapefruit, think again. Citrus can be extremely harmful to pets, especially when consumed in large doses. If you have citrus trees in your backyard or growing nearby, make sure to keep a close eye on your pet. It is not just the fruit of the citrus that humans eat that is toxic, but also the seeds, stems, peels and leaves, which all contain various amount of citric acid. Eating citrus can cause an irritation, and the possible depression of a pet’s central nervous system, especially when consumed in significant amounts. When small doses are consumed, it might not be cause for panic, however, it is best to avoid citrus products, altogether, for your pet.
Chocolate products tend to top the lists of the most harmful products your pets can consume. Dark chocolate has a variety of health benefits for humans, including:
- Powerful antioxidants
- Improving blood flow
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing risk of heart disease
- Improving brain function
However, for pets, this is one of the most toxic foods. What makes chocolate toxic for pets is the theobromine, which is found in different types of chocolate, but especially, dark chocolate. Theobromine is the bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, tremors and even death. It is best practice to make sure that chocolate is stored in a place that cannot be reached by pets.
Related Article: The Dangers of Fad Diets