Human Foods Toxic To Pets And How To Avoid Them

Your pet is a member of your family. So, of course, you enjoy hanging out together. You run, jump, and play like children. You even eat meals together, just like families do. So, whatever you feel safe doing with your family pet, you should do it, except when it involves eating foods toxic to pets.

Foods that can harm your pet

It would be best if you thought twice before you shared a meal with your pet. You should never let him go hungry, but he can’t always eat the foods you enjoy. Some foods that you find tasty might poison your pet and send you on an emergency medical run. 


Your pet can’t uncork a bottle of wine, but if he’s thirsty enough, he will lap a few sips from an easy-to-reach glass. A pet’s digestive system wasn’t meant to handle alcohol. It can cause diarrhea, difficulty breathing, central nervous system depression, and other severe conditions. It’s up to you to keep anything containing alcohol aways from your pet.

Chocolate and Coffee

Coffee and chocolate contain caffeine and theobromine. Both substances are in the category methylxanthine. Although chocolate treats and a hot cup of Joe relax and energize humans, they often cause vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive thirst if your pet ingests them. Extreme responses include irregular heart rhythm, muscle tremors, and seizures.

Citrus fruits

In most situations, humans only eat the interior of citrus fruit. Therefore, you must be careful how you dispose of the uneaten parts. If your pet ingests enough citrus peels, seeds, or stems, it can irritate and possibly depress his central nervous system.

Garlic/onion family

If your dog or cat eats garlic, onions, or anything in this vegetable family, it can cause anemia, gastrointestinal issues, and other problems. Cats are more vulnerable than dogs. 

Other foods toxic to pets

  • Nuts: fat in pecans, walnuts, and other nuts cause vomiting and diarrhea. Macadamian also cause tremors and other conditions. 
  • Grapes and raisins: can cause kidney failure.
  • Dairy products: cause digestive problems 
  • Raw or undercooked meat: may contain bacteria 
  • Raw eggs: prevents biotin absorption
  • Bones: might choke your pet
  • Salty foods: cause excessive thirst and digestive difficulties
  • Xylitol: an artificial sweetener found in pre-packed desserts, candies, and toothpaste, can cause hypoglycemia

Protect your pet from forbidden treats

If you’re a long-time pet lover, you probably know enough about toxic foods to keep your pet safe. However, when you open up your home to friends and family, they might not understand the risks. It’s your job to pay attention just in case someone tries to befriend your pet with forbidden foods or treats. Here are a few tips to help you keep your pet safe.

  • Be the only person who feeds your pet. It’s your pet. You have the right to make that a house rule when you have visitors. 
  • Make sure your pet isn’t hungry when you have guests. Someone will be tempted to feed him. 
  • Talk to your vet if you have questions about what foods are acceptable.
  • Keep food and beverages out of your pet’s reach. 
  • If you believe your pet ate something he shouldn’t have eaten, call your vet’s emergency service. 
  • If you can’t reach your vet, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Call Hebron Veterinary Hospital

We want to help you keep your pet healthy and safe. Contact us at (860) 228-4324 or visit our contact page to discuss your pet’s health issues or schedule a preventative care visit.