Most of us know enough not to give our dogs chocolate. That’s pretty much Dog Rearing 101. But do you know about the other human foods that can be harmful (and even fatal) to your pooch or feline companion? You should really be cautious any time you feed your pet off your plate (or just don’t do it at all, maybe?) because there could be a whole lot of hidden dangers in there. Stay vigilant, people. Here are some things to look out for that could cause serious harm to your fury friends.
As little as one grape (or raisin) can make your dog sick and peeling them doesn’t help either. Grapes are rough on pets’ kidneys and can cause kidney damage or failure within one to two days of ingestion. There still isn’t a whole lot known about why grapes have this effect, but if your dog or cat eats even one, get them to the vet ASAP.
Symptoms: if you don’t see your pet eat the grapes, it could look like any other sickness. In the first six to twelve hours, they might be vomiting, have diarrhea and loss of appetite. You should really take preventative measures to make sure grapes aren’t even a possibility. If you even suspect the cause for their illness might be grapes, take them to the vet as a precaution.
Also leeks, chives or anything else in the allium family. Raw or cooked, these vegetables can cause hemolysis in your pets–especially cats. Hemolysis is when red blood cells rupture and release their contents into the blood stream. And yes, it can be lethal. Even a small spoonful of any of these foods can be enough to harm your pet.
Symptoms: again, this could look like your cat is just sick. Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, panting and weakness are all signs to look out for. They also might have blood in their urine. Get thee to the vet!
Yeah, okay, you’re probably thinking, ‘how would my dog get at my raw dough?’ Fair enough, but stranger things have happened. Plus, if you’ve got a great Dane, you know that those guys like to swipe stuff right off the counter. When the yeast in dough ferments, it produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. Once ingested, the dough can cause alcohol toxicity in your pet and the gaseous carbon dioxide can cause the animal’s stomach to bloat and possibly even twist. All this happens within an hour or two.
Symptoms: your pet may almost seem like they’re drunk. They’ll be lethargic and possibly staggering when they walk. Because of the carbon dioxide, their belly will be visibly distended and seem painful.
This one is weird because the effects are severe but non-fatal and only last for 48 hours regardless of if you seek treatment (which you should). Ingestion causes a syndrome that can temporarily paralyze the dog’s hind legs. Dogs are the only animals we know of who react to macadamia nuts this way. Although it generally goes away within 48 hours, you should still seek medical attention because they can develop other symptoms like a fever and the legs can get swollen and painful.
Symptoms: paralysis and difficulty moving their legs. Their temperature may spike and they may also have bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.
This is an artificial sweetener found in gum, toothpaste and some baked goods among other things. It doesn’t take a lot of the stuff or a lot of time for it to effect your pet. Within half an hour to an hour, their blood sugar will decrease rapidly because the xylitol induces a huge insulin release. In the next one to two days, they can go into liver failure. Since the onset of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is so rapid, the faster you get to the vet the better.
Symptoms: within that first hour, your pet will be lethargic, possibly comatose and could even have seizures.