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Foods Your Pet Should Avoid

1) Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine.
These products all contain a substance called methylxanthines. When pets ingest this substance, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, and even death. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate contain the highest amount of methylxanthines. Milk chocolate is more dangerous than white chocolate, which contains the lowest amount of methylxanthines. So next time you’re sitting by a fire making smores this summer, make sure to watch your chocolate if there are pets around!

2) Milk and Dairy
As humans, we have an enzyme called lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk and other dairy-based products. Pets do not have this certain enzyme, so their bodies are not able to break down the lactose properly. This can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, and other digestive upset. In other words, many pets are lactose intolerant, just like some people are.

3) Nuts
Lots of nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain very high amounts of oils and fats. These ingredients can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and even pancreatitis in some pets. One nut that is especially dangerous is macadamia nuts. These types of nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, tremors, and hypothermia.

4) Raw/Undercooked Meat and Bones
Raw or undercooked meat can contain certain bacteria, such as Salmonella, and E. Coli. These types of bacteria can cause such symptoms like fever, shock, stomach upset, and weight loss. Although you may see many dogs on T.V eating bones, it is actually quite dangerous for them. The pet may choke on the bone, and if the bone splinters, it can puncture many things, such as the pet’s mouth, stomach, nor intestines.

5) Xylitol
Xylitol is a sweetener that is used in products such as gum, baked foods, and some diet foods. Xylitol can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop, and liver failure. Early symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and coordination problems.

These are just some of the human foods that pets can’t eat, but there are many more that can be dangerous to them. If your pet injests something that you are not sure about, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4435.

Written by Keana Mckechnie, RVT

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