It’s not always easy to resist giving your furry friends a treat when they come a-begging during your meal. But in the majority of cases, it’s better not to give in to them.
In effect, many common foodstuffs that are safe for humans are toxic for dogs and cats. Before giving a piece of candy to your pet, you should always ensure that it is not putting them at risk. Although most pet owners know that chocolate is toxic for their cat or dog, there are other less well known foodstuffs that can also be harmful to them.
1. Grapes and raisins
Both raisins and grapes can cause intestinal troubles and damage your pets’ kidneys. In addition, for dogs, they can cause intestinal obstruction and increase the risk of choking. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pains, sometimes followed by kidney failure which can be fatal.
2. Onions, chives and garlic
Onions, chives and garlic can cause anaemia (insufficiency of red blood cells) in cats and dogs. These strong scented roots contain sulfur derivatives which affect their red blood cells, causing vomiting, anaemia and tachycardia. If your pet has only consumed a little, it shouldn’t be too serious, as damage caused to the red blood cells is generally reversible.
Credit: DVM 360
3. Alcoholic drinks
Alcoholic drinks, such as beer, wine and all other alcohol, have the same effect on animals as they do on us. They suffer vertigo and lack of coordination and brain function is affected. A few sips is enough to make your cat or dog completely drunk. In large quantities it can cause cardiac and nerve problems.
4. Chocolate, coffee, cocoa and tea
It is well known, the most common food related pet fatalities are caused by ingestion of chocolate or cocoa. It is in fact a molecule present in the cocoa that is dangerous for their livers. Dogs and cats take much longer than humans to eliminate waste products from their bodies (around a day). The symptoms of having ingested chocolate include vomiting, diarrhea and convulsions. Foodstuffs that contain caffeine are equally very dangerous for pets because these foods can quickly increase their heartbeat, which can induce a coma or lead to death.
5. Macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting and shaking, especially in dogs. They contain a toxin that attacks the animal’s digestive system and bones. Just a few are enough to cause respiratory difficulties and vomiting. They also increase the risk of choking.
Chewing gum, mints and toothpaste contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener which is linked to animals releasing excessive insulin, which leads to low blood sugar levels. Again, a small quantity can have serious secondary effects and starts by causing weakness and convulsions, primarily in dogs.
7. Potatoes, cabbages and turnips
These vegetables are particularly bad for cats, because once in their stomachs, they cause gas and diarrhea. When they are raw, potatoes contain calcium oxylate, an ionic crystal that damages the animal’s urinary system and can lead to kidney stones.
What to do if your pet eats something dangerous?
You must intervene rapidly. Phone your vet, and give the name of the product, the ingredients, the quantity ingested and your pet’s details (breed, size, age, etc.). The ideal is to intervene within a maximum of two hours, as this allows the vet to give your pet an injection to induce vomiting.