Toxic foods for your pets

Toxic Foods for Pets

Toxic Foods for Pets

Table Scraps Can Be Deadly

Sharing “just a bite” of food off your plate with your pet is harmless, right? Wrong. Many human foods can be dangerous — even deadly — to dogs and cats.

Top 10 Toxins in the Kitchen

  1. Chocolate
  2. Grapes, raisins, and currants
  3. Xylitol/sugar-free gum or candy
  4. Fatty table scraps
  5. Onions & garlic
  6. Compost
  7. Human medications
  8. Macadamia nuts
  9. Household Cleaners
  10. Unbaked bread dough/alcohol
In Case of Emergency call Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680
A $35 fee is billed by Pet Poison Helpline.
PPH is not affiliated with Lytle Veterinary Clinic.



Alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and affects pets quickly. Ingestion of alcohol can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated animals can experience seizures and respiratory failure. Products such as desserts containing alcohol or yeast-containing doughs are often the unknown culprits.



An avocado’s seed, bark and leaves are composed of persin, a toxic fatty acid derivative. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, persin toxicity does not affect dogs and cats; however, birds such as canaries, parakeets, cockatiels and large parrots are extremely susceptible. Owners should avoid feeding their birds fresh avocado or packaged, ready-to-serve guacamole. Symptoms of persin toxicosis includes the inability to perch, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the bird’s heart and lungs and liver and kidney failure.



Coffee, tea, energy drinks, dietary pills or anything else containing caffeine should never be given to your pet, as they can affect the heart, stomach, intestines and nervous system. Symptoms include restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination, excessive panting, increased heart rate and blood pressure levels and seizures.



Cocoa and chocolate contain theobromine, a chemical that is highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion of small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but ingestion of larger quantities can cause seizures and affect heart rhythm.

Fatty Foods

Fatty food

Foods that are high in fat can cause vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) in pets, especially in certain breeds like miniature schnauzers, Shetland sheepdogs, and Yorkshire terriers. Fight the temptation to share these kinds of table scraps and give a healthy pet treat instead.

Grapes and Raisins


Avoid the wrath of grapes—keep them away from dogs. Just a few grapes or raisins can damage your dog’s kidneys or even prove deadly. Even small amounts of raisins in trail mix or snack boxes can pose a problem.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts

Popular in many cookies and candies, macadamia nuts should never be given to pets. Lethargy, vomiting and loss of muscle control are among the effects of macadamia nut ingestion.


High levels can be fatal. Signs include tremors, seizures and nervous system abnormalities.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic

Onions and garlic in any form—even powdered—can endanger your pet’s health. Ingestion of small amounts can result in a mild gastrointestinal upset, while larger amounts can cause severe anemia, particularly with long-term ingestion (like sprinkling it on your pet’s food).



Believe it or not, common table salt is poisonous to your pet—but it’s not usually from table scraps. The source is often what surprises pet owners: pets often experience salt toxicity as a result of eating household play dough, swallowing too much ocean salt water or ingesting paint balls, which are loaded with salt. Salt toxicity can be very severe and results in neurologic signs such as incoordination, seizures and brain swelling, and needs to be treated carefully by a veterinarian.


 Trident gum with xylitol sweetener

Many sugarless gums and candies contain xylitol (pronounced ZY-li-tall), a natural sweetener that is acutely toxic to dogs. Ingestion can cause vomiting, weakness, a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, loss of muscle control, seizures and liver failure.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough

Unbaked dough that contains yeast can expand in your pet’s stomach or intestines. As the yeast ferments, it releases gases, resulting in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even life-threatening bloat and a twisted stomach. Some yeast dough also ferments into alcohol, which contributes to signs of lethargy and alcohol toxicity.  

In Case of Emergency call Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680
A $35 fee is billed by Pet Poison Helpline.
PPH is not affiliated with Lytle Veterinary Clinic.
 *A fee is billed by Pet Poison Helpline. PPH is not affiliated with VPI Pet Insurance.