Chocolate, macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you, but they’re actu-ally quite dangerous for our animal companions. Our nutrition experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.
Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine
These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hy-peractivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.
The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diar-rhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop con-gestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestion may even be fa-tal.
Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause prob-lems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.
Grapes & Raisins
Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.
Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5-10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.
For more pet care tips, visit http://www.aspca.org.