"Until we have loved an animal, a part of our soul remains un-awakened." - Anatole France
Foods Toxic to Dogs
Chocolate is toxic to dogs, though a toxic dose will vary depending on factors like whether the dog ate the chocolate on an empty stomach, if the dog is particularly sensitive to chocolate, and the type of chocolate, since dark chocolate is more toxic, whereas milk chocolate less so, and white chocolate must be consumed in extremely large quantities to cause a serious problem.
Theobromine is the toxic ingredient in chocolate. Theobromine serves to stimulate the central nervous system, resulting in rapid heart rate, seizures, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, panting and extremely fast pulse.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are toxic for dogs. Grapes and raisins (which are dried grapes) will trigger acute renal (kidney) failure. They kidneys act as filters for toxins in the dog’s body, therefore, when the kidneys are not functioning properly, toxins accumulate in the body and lead to death due to toxins. Urine production will also slow significantly or cease in cases of grape or raising toxicity in dogs, so this can suggest a very serious problem if observed in an animal who may have accessed grapes or raisins.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic can trigger a form of anemia where the body’s red blood cells burst. This results in poor oxygen supply to the vital organs and tissues. When fed regularly in small doses, serious and potentially deadly nutritional deficiencies can also result. So dog owners should always check ingredients of prepared foods before offering these foods to pets. Baby food very often contains onion powder. So French onion soup and other food items containing onions and garlic should be crossed off the list of dog-safe foods.
Avocado fruit, pits, leaves and the actual plant are all potentially poisonous to dogs, along with other pets like cats, mice, rats, birds, rabbits, horses, cattle and goats, among others. Avocados will trigger fluid accumulation in the lungs and chest, leading to difficulty breathing and death due to oxygen deprivation. Fluid accumulation can also occur in the heart, pancreas and abdomen.
Macadamia nuts and walnuts are toxic to dogs, and these foods can also trigger pancreatitis because they're high in fats.
Peanuts can trigger a deadly allergic reaction in dogs who are allergic (just like humans, some dogs are allergic to peanuts; others are not.) And like humans, a dog who is acutely allergic to peanuts could suffer a reaction by just smelling the peanuts or peanut butter.
Mushrooms contain toxins that will trigger numerous organ systems, including the kidneys, liver and brain. Nervous system abnormalities, seizure, coma, vomiting, and death can all result when a dog ingests mushrooms.
Other miscellaneous foods that are toxic to dogs include: raw eggs and egg whites, raw fish, nutmeg, salt, tobacco, trash items, persimmons, yeast and dough containing yeast, liver, marijuana, hops, human iron supplements and xylitol, which is contained in chewing gum and candies.
Cat Food Can Also be Toxic to Dogs
Cat food is very high in fats and protein and when ingested by a dog, particularly in large amounts or on a regular basis, the cat food can cause a bout of potentially deadly pancreatitis. It should be noted that all high-fat foods – particularly ham and bacon - have the ability to trigger pancreatitis, therefore pet owners should also use caution when offering table scraps that are high in fats.
Foods Toxic to Cats
It's becoming more widely known that chocolate is very toxic to both cats and dogs. Theobromine is the offending substance here. Janet Tobiassen Crosby, D.V.M. has an excellent article on the symptoms, effects, and treatment of chocolate toxicity.
Onions, Garlic, & Related Root Vegetables
Onions contain a substance (N-propyl disulphide) which destroys red blood cells in the cat, causing a form of anemia called Heinz body anemia. Garlic contains a similar substance in a lesser amount.
Green Tomatoes, Green (raw) Potatoes
These foods are members of the Solanaceae family of plants, which includes the Deadly Nightshade, and contain a bitter, poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can cause violent lower gastrointestinal symptoms. The leaves and stems are particularly toxic. (Tomatoes in pet foods are ripe, and should cause no concern because they appear in relatively small amounts)
Grapes and Raisins
These foods' toxicity has mainly been found in dogs, in quantities of varying amounts. The ASPCA advises: "As there are still many unknowns with the toxic potential of grapes and raisins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center advises not giving grapes or raisins to pets in any amount."
Although milk is not toxic to cats, it may have adverse effects. Simply put, adult cats fed a nutritious diet don't need milk, and many cats are lactose-intolerant, which means that the lactose in milk and milk products produces stomach upset, cramps, and gassiness. If your cat loves milk, and begs for it, a small amount of cream may be okay, two or three times a week. (The more fat in the milk, the less lactose.) Another compromise is CatSip, a product made from skim milk with an enzyme added that helps the digestion of lactose. Catsip is available in supermarkets such as Safeway, Albertson's and A&P, as well as pet products chains, such as PetSmart and Petco.
These are the most commonly seen "people foods" that are potentially harmful to cats. The bottom line is to feed your cat nutritious food developed with his needs in mind and choose treats designed for cats instead of table scraps.
Tomatoes, Potatoes and Rhubarb
Tomatoes, potatoes and rhubarb contain oxalates, which trigger abnormalities with the nervous system, kidneys and digestive tract. Especially toxic are green tomatoes, green potatoes, potato skins, and tomato leaves and plants, can trigger tremors, seizure and heart arrhythimia, so tomatoes should never be given to dogs.
Dogs cannot tolerate alcohol, even in small amounts. And the hops in beer are also potentially toxic to dogs. Alcohol ingestion by dogs can result in intoxication, liver failure, coma, seizures and death.