Common Foods Harmful to Pets
As responsible pet owners we must be diligent about protecting our pets from harm. Besides taking care of their basic safety needs and seeing that they get regular veterinary care, this should also include closely monitoring the foods they eat. This is especially true if you are feeding your dog or cat any type of human food.

Some people have always given their pets human food as a treat in addition to their own dog or cat chow. However, in light of the recent pet food recalls throughout the United States and some other regions, many pet parents are opting to make their own, completely forgoing commercially made pet foods.
While this may offer peace of mind for some, it may not be safe without knowing what foods you can and can't give to your pet, as well as learning their exact nutritional needs.
Before you head to the cupboard or pantry to prepare your pet's next meal, make it a point to learn what foods and products may actually do your dog or cat more harm than good.
Common foods that are harmful to pets include:
* Chocolate
* Coffee, caffeine
* Alcohol
* Xylitol
* Grapes
* Raisins
* Avocados
* Macadamia nuts
* Onions
* Garlic
* Chives
* Milk
* Raw or undercooked meat
* Raw eggs
* Bones
* Yeast dough
Many people may be surprised to see milk on the list of foods that can be harmful to our pets. Although they may like the taste, cats and dogs, unlike most humans, do not have enough lactase, which is the enzyme needed to break down the lactose in milk. Milk, as well as other milk-based dairy products, may cause digestive difficulties in pets, particularly dogs. Diarrhea, upset stomach, and even vomiting can occur, especially in younger pets, after drinking milk.

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener commonly used in products labeled "sugar-free," is extremely harmful to animals, especially dogs, although perfectly safe for human consumption. Xylitol, which causes an excess of insulin production in most types of animals possibly leading to liver failure, can be found in snacks such as baked goods, candy, gum, and even in certain toothpastes.
Warning signs of xylitol poisoning include:
* Vomiting
* Lethargy
* Loss of muscle coordination
* Seizures
If you think that your dog or cat may have eaten something toxic, immediately contact your veterinarian or your local poison control center without delay.
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