Never feed these 20 foods to pets

Make sure you never put your pet’s life in danger by feeding them any of these 20 foods, which are toxic to pets.

By Jennifer Blanchette, Espresso

Struggling to resist those puppy-dog eyes when cooking dinner? For may pet owners, the temptation to feed their animal tidbits from their own plate is too much to resist. If this is you, make sure you never put your pet’s life in danger by feeding them any of these 20 foods, which are toxic to pets.


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Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is very dangerous for dogs. Depending on the size of your pooch, half a bar of chocolate could be fatal. The higher the cocoa content, the more toxic it is. Key signs of chocolate poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, and agitation.

Tea and coffee

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Like chocolate, tea and coffee contain theobromine, a substance that can be fatal for animals. Caffeine will also elevate your furry friend’s heart rate, which could bring about a heart attack.

Dairy products

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Some animals are lactose intolerant, so giving them dairy products may make them feel unwell. Classic signs of lactose intolerance are diarrhea and bloating.


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Avocados contain persin, which is particularly dangerous for birds and not great for dogs either. Eating this green fruit can cause respiratory problems among our feathered friends and even sudden death. As for dogs, avocado is not toxic, but can cause stomach problems for some canines.

Peaches, plums, and apricots

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It’s not the flesh of these fruits that is toxic to pets, but rather the stones. Pets risk choking or developing an intestinal blockage. Apricot stones also contain the poison cyanide. If you want to feed your faithful friend some fruit, be sure to prepare it correctly!


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As few as six nuts, whether raw, cooked, or buttered, could be fatal for your dog, so be sure to keep your pet out of harm’s way. Shaking, muscular pain, or an elevated heart rate are potential signs of nut poisoning. Particular care should be taken with macadamia nuts, which are the most dangerous.

Cooked bones

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Cooked bones, especially chicken, lamb, or rabbit bones, should never be given to our four-legged friends. After cooking, bones become brittle and can splinter into very sharp pieces, which could perforate your pet’s esophagus, stomach, or colon. Even uncooked bones could cause an intestinal blockage. Opt instead for safe dog treats.

Bread dough

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While it is quite safe for your dog to eat baked bread, the same cannot be said for bread dough. This yeasted mixture can set off a catastrophic chemical reaction in your pet’s stomach. The dough may rise in your dog’s stomach, causing it to become distended. Yeast fermentation can also lead to intoxication.

Grapes and raisins

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Whether fresh or dried, this fruit is highly toxic to dogs and cats. A bunch of grapes could be fatal for a dog weighing around 10 kg. If your pet has eaten grapes, symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, nausea, and sometimes acute kidney failure.


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Onions contain disulfides and thiosulfates, which are very dangerous for several domestic carnivores (cats, dogs, and ferrets, in particular). These compounds can destroy red blood cells, resulting in hemolytic anemia in animals. Onion is toxic in all forms.

Raw eggs

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Egg white contains avidin, a protein that blocks your pet’s ability to use vitamin B. Eating raw eggs may therefore lead to hair loss and skin problems, or even neuromuscular issues over the long term. Furthermore, raw eggs may be contaminated with salmonella, which is just as dangerous for animals as it is for humans.


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No responsible pet owner would dream of deliberately giving their animal alcohol. Make sure, though, that your pet doesn’t ingest it accidentally by licking up drops on the floor. Alcohol intoxication in dogs and cats looks similar to that in humans: dizziness, vomiting, and even coma.


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Xylitol is used as a sugar substitute in many products that we use on a daily basis (chewing gum, sweets, ketchup, toothpaste, etc.). Though harmless for humans, this sweetener could be fatal for your pet, especially dogs that have a tendency to eat everything they find. Xylitol can cause hypoglycemia in our four-legged friends between 30 minutes and 12 hours after being eaten.

Raw potato

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Raw, sprouting, or green potatoes have high levels of toxicity due to the alkaloids they contain. These molecules are present throughout the plant – in the leaves, sprouts, flowers, and potatoes themselves. Around 12 hours after ingesting raw potatoes, your pet may start displaying nervous, respiratory, and digestive problems.


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Avoid giving high-fat foods such as fatty meats or cheese to your pet. Too much fat can cause inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is very painful for our four-legged friends.

Raw fish

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Raw fish may contain parasites, bacteria, heavy metals, or dangerous bones, so avoid giving uncooked fish to your pet.


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Your pet can eat mushrooms that are sold in supermarkets and safe for human consumption. It’s the wild ones you have to watch out for, especially if you often take your dog walking in wooded areas. Certain varieties of toxic fungi can permanently destroy cells in their kidneys or liver, for example. As it’s often hard to differentiate safe from poisonous, it’s better to prevent your dog from ever snacking on wild mushrooms.


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Too much salt could poison your pet. Salt poisoning manifests as excessive thirst, severe diarrhea, or even cerebral edema in the worst cases. Large quantities of sodium can be found in ready-to-eat meals, table salt, de-icing products, and even sea water.


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It might be tempting to offer your pet a sweet treat as a reward for good behaviour. Resist! Sugary foods can lead to weight gain or even diabetes. The latter can cause blindness over the long term.

Horse chestnuts

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The leaves, buds, and fruit of the horse chestnut tree all contain various toxic substances that could poison your pet. Symptoms are mainly digestive (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea), although more serious cases may affect the nervous system.

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Never feed these 20 foods to pets
Make sure you never put your pet’s life in danger by feeding them any of these 20 foods, which are toxic to pets. United Kingdom
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