Toxic Human Food

September 13, 2016

Do you want to know what food is actually toxic to your beloved pet? Let’s take a look at the secret assassins that could cause your pet harm.

When it comes to our four-legged companions the safest foods for their consumption are those specially designed for pets. Dogs and cats have very specific dietary requirements and nutritional needs. For those dedicated pet owners who opt to make their own pet food, they will be very aware of how much time and understanding (and sometimes cost) this can mean. Missing out on the key nutrients can cause ill health and development problems in your pup or kitten.

Understanding what your pet needs on a nutritional front is very important. So you should always speak to your vet about any possible diet changes.

But what about human food? What are the main types of food that are causing our pets harm?

  • Fatty foods – this includes buttery fatty foods and products containing high volumes of bad fats. Dogs can suffer from pancreatitis from ingesting fatty human meals. So refrain from feeding your dog or cat fatty foods. Good fats include omega 3 fatty acids, fish oils and flaxseeds.
  • Avocados – they contain persin, which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting in dogs.
  • Chocolate – contains theobromine and theophylline. This is toxic to dogs and can cause poisoning. So keep the sweets out of reach!
  • Sugar-free lollies, treats and drinks – they contain a chemical known as xylitol that is deadly to dogs and cats.
  • Raisins and grapes – they can cause liver failure. Some dog owners report that less than a handful was required to cause problems.
  • Onions – are a big ‘no-no’ for cats and dogs. They can cause severe poisoning.
  • Cooked bones – these can splinter in your pet’s stomach and cause huge issues. Stick with raw bones only (size appropriate ones) and always supervise your dog or cat.
  • Alcohol – this can kill a cat or dog, as they cannot metabolise the toxic nature of the substance. Please keep your pets away from alcohol.
  • Coffee/energy drinks – these are also harmful to your pets and should be kept out of reach.
  • Baby foods – many contain onion powder that is noxious to pets. Baby food is also not a nutritionally sound, well-balanced meal for your animal.
  • Canned tuna for humans – Canned tuna is not a well-rounded, full dietary requirement for a feline. Cats only fed canned tuna can be lacking in nutritional needs.
  • Salt – just like with humans, salt is not a very good additive for any pet.

Remember that it’s not a good idea to feed cat food to a dog, or dog food to a cat. Both varieties are specially designed for each species and can cause nutrient deficiencies and illness.

Do you want to treat your pet to some healthy human food? These foods should only be given as ‘treat’ foods and should not replace a dog or cat’s diet:

  • Raw bones (size suitable) – for cats think chicken wings
  • Peanut butter unsalted – dogs only
  • Raw carrots – great for dogs…cook or steam them for cats
  • Eggs
  • Chicken

A BIT ABOUT THE BLOGGER:

Nadia Crighton is a well-known and accomplished Australian Journalist and pet magazine Editor. As a busy mum of four humans, two dogs, 50 sheep, one cat, a handful of chickens and a goat named Billy (not forgetting the three axolotls!), she simply adores pets of all shapes and sizes. These are her personal thoughts and advice from many years of pet-ownership and working within the pet industry.

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