Posted on 04 Oct 2013 in Dogs, Cats, Nutrition

Dangerous Foods For Pets

Most people enjoy giving their dog some human food as a treat every now and then, but there are some foods that should never be fed to pets. The following is a list of dangerous food items to keep away from your pet.



Most people know that chocolate can be toxic for dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs, as well as caffeine. Chocolate can cause hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, and potentially death when ingested at a toxic dose. Other effects seen with chocolate overdose are vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, increased urination, and lethargy.
The amount of theobromine present in chocolate varies with the type. The general rule is the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it could be. In fact, unsweetened baking chocolate contains almost seven times more theobromine than milk chocolate, while white chocolate contains negligible amounts.
The darker the chocolate and the smaller the dog, the more dangerous the combination.

Onions and garlic

Onions and garlic are members of the genus Allium. Onions and garlic can be harmful to dogs and cats. Pieces of raw onion, onion powder, or even cooked onion can cause damage to red blood cells, which could result in life threatening haemolytic anaemia.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts can be dangerous to dogs. Clinical signs commonly reported in dogs ingesting macadamia nuts include weakness, depression, vomiting, incoordination, and tremors. In most cases, dogs develop clinical signs within the first twelve hours after eating the macadamia nuts. At this time, the toxic principle in dogs is not known.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins have been shown to cause kidney failure in dogs when eaten in quantity. No one really knows why grapes and their dried relations, raisins and sultanas are a problem for dogs. It may be that some dogs are sensitive and others are less sensitive, and it's unknown if small amounts over time can be as dangerous as one large bunch of grapes or raisins. We advise not to give any amount of raisins or grapes to any dog at any time.

Ingestion of (rising) Bread Dough

If a dog ingests a piece of bread dough that is uncooked and in the process of rising, it can be fatal. The animal's body heat will cause the dough to rise in the stomach. The dough can become many times larger as it expands in the stomach. Alcohol is produced during the rising process. Signs seen with bread dough ingestion include severe abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, lack of coordination, and depression. Surgical intervention is often required with these cases.


Xylitol is a sugar alternative that is used in many commercial sugar-free lollies, gum, and other food items. Xylitol has been shown to cause severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver damage in dogs and can be fatal. If you carry sugar-free gum or lollies in your purse or backpack, make sure you keep it out of reach of your pet.

There are no known safe levels for your pet to ingest of these foods so we recommend NEVER feeding them to your pet. If your pet does happen to eat any of the foods listed above please call us so we can take action to prevent your pet from getting sick.

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