Human Foods That Can Be Hazardous to Dogs & Cats

  • Alcohol can cause intoxication, gastrointestinal irritation, respiratory distress, coma & death.
  • Avocado Pits, Skin & Leaves contain a chemical called persin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, edema (fluid accumulation), and cardiac muscle damage. Persin is highly toxic to many animals, but dogs seem to be less susceptible. Persin is located in highest concentrations in the leaves and is likely in the skin in lower concentrations. There are some commercially prepared dog foods that utilize avocados for their nutritional value use avocado meal, which is the green fruit between the pit and skin, and avocado oil.  Neither of these parts used in dog foods are toxic.
  • Bread Dough yeast reacts to the stomach’s warm, moist environment and expands, leading to stomach distention.  It also forms ethanol, which is absorbed into the bloodstream and renders the dog or cat’s blood dangerously acidic.
  • Candy and gum some sugar-free treats are sweetened with Xylitol in higher doses than our pets can metabolize, which causes increased insulin circulation and a drop in blood sugar. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures and may lead to liver damage.
  • Chocolate and cocoa from the cocoa bean contains theobromine which is toxic to cats and dogs, because they can’t break it down and excrete it from their system as quickly as humans. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic, possibly fatal. Also avoid Cocoa Bean Mulch.
  • Coffee, TEA and Caffiene causes tremors, agitation or cardiac arrhythmia in some dogs and cats.
  • Cooked Bones may splinter, and when ingested can obstruct or even puncture the digestive/intestinal tract, therefore, they should be avoided. Size-appropriate raw bones or knuckle bones are preferred.
  • Grapes and raisins can cause irreversible kidney failure in dogs and cats. You pet will likely not get sick initially from eating one or two, but over time damage can result.
  • Onions and onion powder contain the chemical compound thiosulfate which can cause hemolytic anemia (abnormal breakdown of red blood cells).
  • Macadamia Nuts are the cause of a toxicosis (poisoning) in dogs with symptoms like wobbly walking, tremors, swollen limbs and increased heart rate.
  • Milk won't kill your cat, but some cats are lactose intolerant and drinking cow's milk will cause a tummy upset. Dogs beyond puppyhood require less protein, the protein in milk may be too high.
  • Mushrooms certain types can be poisonous to dogs and cats (and people). Dogs should be monitored while outdoors to help them avoid wild mushrooms.
  • Raw Eggs contain an enzyme that interferes with the absorption of particular vitamins, and, as with humans, harbor the possibility of food poisoning from salmonella or e coli.

Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435