15 Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Cat or Dog

15 Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Cat or Dog

Many pet owners are unaware that certain foods can adversely affect their pets' health. That's why we've compiled this informative list of fifteen foods that should be avoided by your pet at all costs and the reasons why.

Many pet owners are unaware that certain foods can adversely affect their pets' health. That's why we've compiled this informative list of fifteen foods that should be avoided by your pet at all costs and the reasons why:

1. Onions

In some dogs and cats, even very small amounts of onion, in any form (cooked, raw, or dehydrated) can cause a form of hemolytic anemia (abnormal breakdown of red blood cells).

2. Chocolate

Chocolate, and especially baker's chocolate, can be extremely dangerous. The theobromine (an alkaloid) in chocolate can be toxic to dogs and even fatal because they metabolize it much more slowly than humans.

3. Yeast

Many dogs do not tolerate yeast in any form. Ingestion can lead to, or exacerbate, certain health problems.

4. White Potatoes

Feed white potatoes to your pet sparingly. Never feed your pet raw white potatoes that have sprouts or green skins.

5. Grains

Dogs and cats are carnivores and were not meant to be grain eaters. Veterinary nutritionists agree that they do not have a need for carbohydrates. Unlike humans, carbohydrates are not a source of energy for dogs and cats (except in excessive sprint activities like greyhound racing). In addition, grains break down into sugars in pets' bodies, further feeding unhealthy conditions like cancer, obesity, diabetes, and some skin problems.

6. Dairy Products

Milk and its derivatives are not natural foods for adult animals. Most dogs (and many cats) do not digest them well. Plain yogurt and cottage cheese are exceptions to this. But if you are feeding yogurt for the natural probiotics, be aware that a number of probiotics in yogurt is so small that huge portions of it must be consumed by your pet in order to gain any probiotic benefit.

What is more beneficial to your pet is to give him or her a probiotic supplement. We offer a couple of options in our shop, and we are happy to discuss and work with you to find which supplement is best for your pet.

We also offer the following probiotic supplements through our online market:

  • Pet Kelp Probiotic Supplement for Dogs and Cats
  • Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes & Probiotics Supplement
  • NWC Naturals Total-Biotics Probiotic Powder Pet Supplement

7. Pacific Northwest Salmon and Trout

These specific fish carry a parasite that can be transmitted when the fish is fed raw, which causes severe illness. If you're not sure where it's from, don't buy it.

Here are some safe trout and salmon pet food and treats that we recommend:

  • Bravo Healthy Bites for Cats Salmon
  • Bravo Healthy Medley for Cats Mariner's Medley
  • Fruitables Skinny Minis Grilled Salmon Treats
  • Northern Biscuits Wheat Free Smoked Fish and Blueberry
  • Orijen Freeze-Dried Tundra Dog Food

8. Sugary Fruits and Vegetables

Vegetables like peas and carrots that are high in sugar should be used very sparingly. This is also true of all fruits, which are also high in sugar.

9. Avocado

No matter how good you think guacamole is, you shouldn't give it to your dog. Avocados contain a substance called persin (fungicidal toxin). It's harmless for humans who aren't allergic to it, but large amounts might be toxic to dogs. If you happen to be growing avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seeds, bark, and fruit, so it's better to be safe than sorry.

10. Alcohol

Beer, liquor, wine, and foods containing alcohol—none of it's good for your dog to consume in any quantity. That's because alcohol has the same effect on a dog's liver and brain that it has on humans, and it only takes a small amount to cause the damage. Just a little alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, and even death. The smaller the dog, the greater the effect.

11. Coffee, Tea, and Caffeine

Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a dog. And, there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee—including beans and grounds—caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It's also in some cold medicines and painkillers.

12. Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are often used as treats for dogs, but it's not a good idea. Although it isn't clear why grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign. Within a day, the dog will become lethargic and depressed. The best prevention is to keep grapes and raisins off counters and other places your dog can reach.

13. Macadamia Nuts

Dogs should not eat macadamia nuts or foods containing macadamia nuts because they can be fatal—even as few as six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, even possibly leading to death.

14. Candy and Gum

Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol, which can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog's body. This can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures and liver failure can occur within just a few days.

15. Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums

The problem with these fruits is the seeds and pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs and they can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them, while dogs do not.

Has your pet had any reactions to the foods listed above? What did they eat and how did you help them get healthy again?

To learn more about pet nutrition and what exactly your specific animal companion needs to thrive, contact us at 248-534-3448 to schedule a 30-minute nutrition consult. 

If you want to stay in the know about pet nutrition facts like this and other ways you can improve your pet's health through better nutrition, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here.

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