As a pet owner, particularly a dog owner, you have to be very careful about what you feed your pets. Most of us see dogs and cats eating food from our plates and think ‘ah, cute!’ – but, many times, they are eating something that is bad for them. Now, we get it; most people think that a pet will not eat something that is not good for them. But look at some of the things we as humans consume; we know they are terrible for us, but we eat them anyway. By the same token, there are people with developed intolerances, such as lactose intolerance, who are still willing to take a day or two on the couch feeling awful for a taste of chocolate cake!
So, with that in mind, it is not fair to assume that your pet will only eat food that does not have a negative impact on them. In fact, the majority of animals will be more than happy to eat something that is less than good for their health because it tastes nice. As the owner, it is your duty to step in and avoid your pet making that mistake.
What, though, should you try and avoid your pet eating? What food should you avoid feeding your pet?
While we cannot give you a definitive breakdown of every food to avoid, we will give you a list of foods that you should reliably look to not feed your pet. Of course, you should always look to study this closer on your own to find out what your pet breed can and cannot handle. Typically, though, you should never feed any of the following foods to your pet if you want them to enjoy a happy and healthy quality of life.
What foods should you avoid feeding your pet?
While grapes are juicy and enjoyable to a human, in many animals – including dogs – they can be pretty dangerous. You should always look to avoid giving your animals grapes if you can. Why? Because they are linked to kidney failure in many animals. This is a serious issue and something that is still being more diligently researched at this moment in time.
Still, if you want to look after your pet, then it is always better to be safe than sorry. Avoid feeding them anything like grapes because whilst the studies are still being produced it is better to always stay on the side of caution. There is a substance within grapes, and raisins, that can cause animals like dogs to have some kind of adverse reaction. As mentioned above, it can even lead to total kidney failure in a dog.
As such, you should look to avoid any potential feeding of grapes to a pet dog because it could have a pretty serious impact on their health. As more studies are developed and released with conclusive facts, things might change, but for now, you should absolutely avoid going near grapes and raisins for your canine companion.
2. Dairy goods
Most animals should not be eating dairy goods. The simple reason is that the vast majority of pets that we can keep in our homes do not possess the correct amount of lactase within the body. This means that when you give them dairy products it tends to give them serious digestive issues. While you might see a cat sipping away on some milk, it can cause most pets – including dogs – a lot of stomach problems.
If you want to avoid finding toilet mess all over the house, avoid giving any pets dairy goods. Most of the time, they are simply unable to process the sheer quantity of the lactose that is within dairy products. Their bodies are unable to produce the enzymes that they need to properly fight this off, leading to pretty severe issues for their stomach if you allow the problem to persist.
So, try and avoid giving dairy goods to your pets. Dogs especially. As mentioned above, pets tend to eat what they like as opposed to what is good for them, and this can have negative impacts on their health. If you allow a dog, in particular, to keep eating dairy problems, it can lead to regular toilet troubles.
Various nuts, though especially macadamia nuts, can be extremely dangerous to lots of pets but especially dogs. If you ever find your dog chewing away on a macadamia nut, you might need to get them to a vet pretty sharpish. This causes a lot of serious issues in a dog, including signs of weakness and fatigue, bouts of depression, tremors, and hyperthermia. As such, you need to keep a very close eye on your dog even if it only eats a single macadamia nut.
Typically, you should try and avoid them eating any nuts if you can. Most animals that we keep as pets indoors are not really suited to eating nuts, and it usually can cause more problems than it solves. As such, you should absolutely look to come up with a range of foods that your pet cannot access. If you enjoy macadamia nuts yourself, be extremely watchful over how your dog or other pets interact with them.
And if you notice any signs of vomiting, you might wish to take them to a vet for advice and information on how to help your dog overcome the reaction to eating nuts.
4. Onions and garlic
While not the same thing by any means, both onions and garlic can produce a similar response in animals like dogs. These vegetables and herbs are typically used in cooking, but for dogs, they can cause all manner of issues. most of the time, it can lead to a bout of gastrointestinal annoyance that your dog will really struggle to escape from. Worse still, it can lead to serious issues including damage to red blood cells and thus anemia.
Cats, too, should not be allowed to go near onions or garlic. They have an even more adverse reaction to them than dogs. If you are ever using these items when cooking, make sure that you lock the kitchen door so the pets cannot come in. They might love hanging around as you cook, but it really is not a wise idea to leave your pet hanging around dangerous produce like this.
These are very good for human consumption and can add a real punch and taste to our meals. For a cat or a dog, though, you absolutely need to do everything you can to stop them from eating onions and garlic; the consequences are not worthwhile.
5. Yeast dough
For many people, having yeast dough around the house is common – especially if you do bake on even a semi-regular basis. However, you should absolutely look to make sure that your dogs are unable to get access to your yeast dough. The worst-case scenario is that your dog can actually get alcohol poisoning from eating yeast dough; this stems from the presence of ethanol that is produced during the fermentation process.
As such, you have to avoid your dog eating yeast dough as much as you can. It is a highly toxic substance to dogs, and could quite literally put your dog at threat of death. The poisoning is a serious issue, but it can also cause damaging bloating that is hard to deal with outside of serious intervention from the local vet.
So, make sure you store your yeast out of sight because your dog will want to get in and try it out. They tend to have a real draw to yeast despite it being absolutely awful for them, so especially around dogs make sure they cannot get to your yeast dough. In fact, avoid just about any pet getting into your yeast dough for peace of mind.
Though dogs can take some salt, it really is wise to limit their salt consumption as much as you realistically can. Salt is not something that a dog should really be taken into their diet on a regular basis. Salt in excess can lead to salt poisoning as well as major dehydration. It might even cause a serious condition known as water deprivation, which can lead to issues including vomiting, seizures, and even diarrhea.
Even more seriously, excessive salt intake could kill your dog. We know that sounds extreme, but it is a serious case – salt in excess can be fatal to a dog. So, try and do what you can to make sure your dog is not eating overly salty foods. Never feed a dog things like chips or salted snacks, basically. If your dog does eat anything like this, even in tiny amounts, make sure it is gulping down water in excess to try and overcome the potential severity of what is to come.
The more water your dog takes, the safer it is likely to be in the event of potential poisoning. Still, avoid salted products as much as you can to help your dog stay healthy.
This has been briefly covered above in the section about dairy, but we want to reinforce one thing; your dog cannot eat chocolate. Some people, even genuine dog lovers, tend to find it quite a good idea to feed their pet chocolate. They believe the stories about chocolate and dogs, as well as other pets, is simply a myth. However, the symptoms can vary from vomiting and major dehydration to internal bleeding and even death. So, make sure you take no risks whatsoever – your dog should not be eating chocolate!
Worryingly, some assume it is the sugary content in milk chocolate that is the problem, so they feed their dog dark chocolate instead. However, it is actually more dangerous to feed them cocoa powder and unsweetened bakers’ chocolate as this can be even more severe and poisonous. The reason for the poison, by the way, stems from the presence of caffeine and theobromine. Dogs cannot process this, no matter what someone tells you.
Keep that in mind, by the way, if your dog is one of those dogs that love to go and lick out your coffee cup. Caffeine and theobromine must be avoided for dogs and most other household pets.
The humble avocado has become a common choice for healthy eaters and people who are on health kicks. However, your dog (and most other pets, like birds) should not be anywhere near an avocado. You might love them, but your pets should not be eating these at all. This is because they have a toxin within them known as persin, which is extremely poisonous to animals – especially dogs. It can cause a lot of issues, including fluid in the lungs, which can lead to serious problems including an inability to breathe properly.
Persin is found in every part of an avocado, so make sure your dog is not able to get to the fruit bowl with the avocados stored within. You might love them on a slice of toast or whatever you choose to use your avocado for, but your dog is not allowed to eat them – it’s just a fact of dog ownership.
If you want to properly care for your canine, then make sure you don’t feed them an avocado at any stage or point. It is simply too dangerous to their health and could cause far more complications than the taste would ever be worthwhile risking.
The tomato is a regularly used vegetable within our diets, but dogs should not eat tomatoes in much quantity at all. A rare, ripe tomato is something that your dog can eat very rarely. And we do mean very rarely. Most of the time, the tomato will simply give your dog nausea, but in more serious moments it can cause difficulty in breathing, muscle issues, and an abnormal heart rate that is only going to concern your canine.
So, instead, try and make sure that you look to feed the dogs only very small amounts of tomato – we are talking one every couple of weeks kind of rarity. Avoid giving them green tomatoes at all, though, as these are typically quite harmful to dogs. Though still being researched further, some studies do point to a link between tomatoes and hurting dogs thanks to the presence of tomatine. This is a toxic glycoalkaloid that is quite serious for a dog to consume, so you should do everything you can to avoid that from happening.
As ever, you should look to be very cautious about what your dogs eat even if it is healthy for you. Yes, even tomatoes!
Though you might not use sweetener at home, many people tend to use popular sweetener good xylitol at home. Regularly used in anything from chewing gum to baked goods and even toothpaste, xylitol is not something your dog should ever be eating. It can be serious, as it has been linked to liver damage and serious muscle weakness. Try and make sure that your dog is never allowed near any xylitol that you might have hanging around the place. If you have any products which contain xylitol in them, too, avoid your dog from getting near them.
Lastly, while not food, we want to clear up one thing we mentioned above: dogs and most pets CANNOT take coffee.
Many pet owners let their pets, such as canines and felines, lick the cup clean. Thanks to the presence of caffeine, though, you are likely putting your dog under major duress. Caffeine can have many negative impacts on a dog, especially when it comes to things like heart rate and even lung problems so make sure you never take the risk.
Your dog might love the taste of coffee, but it cannot process caffeine in the way that we can so simply make sure that your dog is never able to reach any product that contains caffeine.
Keeping your pet healthy is a challenge – but it is one you must meet
With human knowledge on foodborne illness in pets more detailed than ever, knowledge is power when it comes to protecting your animals. Whether you have a cat at home, a dog, or anything else, it is your utmost duty to go out there and care for them in a way that is fitting and genuine.
So, never take any risks when it comes to the caring and feeding of your pets. The more that you can do now to care for them, the better they are going to feel in the many years to come. Take the time to really control their diet and what they eat (and don’t eat), and your pet is likely to lead a much healthier life.
Caring for an animal means being willing to go that extra mile for them in terms of their day-to-day care. This absolutely includes the kind of foods that they are eating. So, what foods should you avoid feeding your pet? Every item that is listed above should be avoided at all costs for your pet.
Please note: The materials on this article are in no way intended to replace the professional medical care, advice, diagnosis or treatment of a veterinarian. Answers to specific problems may not apply to everyone. If you notice medical symptoms with your pets or have questions on any of the topics raised on this website, please consult your veterinarian.