Human Food That Might Affect Your Pet

By Barbara Boron;

Part of your responsibility as a pet owner is to keep your pet safe and also protect it from harmful food products. However, there is a common assumption among pet owners that a pet can eat any food that a human consumes. This is far from the truth and by feeding your pet certain types of food, you might be slowly poisoning your pet without knowing. Pet food safety is very essential for the well-being of your pet and you should note that, the body system of an animal greatly differs from that of a human being and certain types of food that are safe for human consumption can be dangerous when ingested by animals. The following is an overview of some foods that are considered toxic to pets.

Grapes and raisins

Grapes and raisins are considered as one of the most toxic foodstuffs when it comes to pets food safety. Grapes and raisins usually cause irreversible damage to your pets kidneys and might even cause death in extreme cases. This condition mainly affects dogs and cats.

The signs of toxicity that pets might display after ingesting grapes or raisins include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased urine production and even a drunken gait. These symptoms usually start manifesting themselves a few hours after the initial ingestion.

It is usually advisable to take your pet to a vet when you start seeing these signs. The normal treatment procedure involves induced vomiting and gastric lavage which is the pumping of the stomach.


Onions might seem to be quite harmless and even beneficial as they have medicinal properties. However, the ingestion of foodstuffs containing onion by pets can be quite catastrophic. In animals, onions cause Heinz body anemia, a condition which brings about the destruction of red blood cells and may lead to kidney damage.

Signs of onion poisoning on your pet include increased heart beat, pale gums, weakness, vomiting and bloody urine. It is also important to note that onion related foodstuffs such as garlic and chive also have the same effect.

Treatment for onion based toxicity includes fluid therapy and oxygen administration. Due to the seriousness of this type of poisoning, you should make sure that you properly dispose of food products that might contain onion.


Chocolate and cocoa contain a chemical known as theobromine that can adversely affect the lungs, heart, kidney and nervous system of your pet.

Signs of chocolate poisoning usually include tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and even hyperthermia. Your pet might also go into a coma and the normal treatment regimen is to induce vomiting or do a gastric lavage.


Food items containing caffeine are considered risky when it comes to pet food safety. Foodstuffs that have caffeine contain a chemical that is also present in chocolate and this type of poisoning can be considered as being the same as chocolate poisoning.

Macadamia nuts

Ingestion of macadamia nuts and other types of nuts is not generally fatal but can cause your pet extreme discomfort. Some of the adverse effects associated with ingesting nuts include vomiting, general body weakness, depression, joint swelling and a drunken gait on the part of your pet.

Symptoms usually disappear after a couple of hours but it is advisable to take your pet to a vet.


This is a sugar-free sweetener found mostly in chewing gum. When ingested by your pet, it causes the pancreas to increase its secretion of insulin causing the blood glucose level to fall.

Common signs of Xylitol poisoning include a drunken gait, vomiting and seizures. Intravenous administration of dextrose is usually the course of medication offered when you take your pet to a vet.

In order to ensure pet food safety, proper disposal and storage of potentially dangerous foodstuff is highly recommended.

Your question: What other foods should we avoid feeding our pets? (post your comments below)


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