pets and food safety

Pets & Food Safety

Updated December 3, 2021 . AmFam Team

Keep your best friend happy and healthy for years to come by making sure they never snack on these toxic foods.

If you’ve got a pet, you probably know that the fastest way to their heart is through their stomach. Yes, our furry friends love treats, but it’s important to remember that some foods can be harmful to them.

Keep your best friend happy and healthy for years to come by making sure they never snack on these toxic foods:

Chocolate

It may be a delicious treat to us, but chocolate isn’t a good snack for your pets. When large enough portions are ingested by cats or dogs, the symptoms can be life-threatening.

Coffee and Caffeine

Though we may need this to kick-start our day, your furry friends are much better off without it. In fact, coffee and caffeine will have a similar effect on your pet as chocolate.

Alcohol

Remember never to give your pet any alcoholic beverages – it can cause them to experience serious depression or sickness.

Grapes and Raisins

Although it may seem like grapes and raisins should be healthy snacks, they’re actually highly toxic to dogs and cats. In fact, they have been known to cause kidney failure.

Citrus

The stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants contain a large amount of citric acid, which can trigger irritation and depression in your furry friend.

Nuts

Another surprisingly unhealthy treat for your pets, nuts have high amounts of oils and fats, which can lead to vomiting and potentially even pancreatitis in pets.

Coconut and Coconut Oil

Though coconut products are useful in many ways, your pet won’t appreciate this treat. Coconut can cause extreme stomach upset and leave your pet feeling under the weather for days.

Milk and Dairy

Contrary to popular belief, giving your cat – or dog for that matter – a bowl of milk isn’t a great idea. Pets don’t have the proper enzymes to break down the lactose in milk and ingesting dairy can cause serious digestive problems.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

Although these are more dangerous for cats, dogs are also at risk for the negative side-effects associated with eating them. These veggies and herbs can cause gastrointestinal issues and lead to red blood cell damage.

Raw/Undercooked Meat and Eggs

You may have seen the cartoons of a dog dreaming of a nice raw steak, but it’s actually not a great idea to give into your dog’s fantasy with these items. Dogs and cats can get sick just like humans from eating undercooked meat and raw eggs.

Some Bones

Certain bones aren’t strong enough to withstand your dog’s jaw and could break apart causing your pet to choke on or swallow the sharp pieces. Check with your vet on which kinds of bones are safe for your best friend.

Salty Snack Foods

Just like humans, too much salt is bad for pets. Avoid feeding your fuzzy family members salt-heavy snacks like potato chips, pretzels and salted popcorn.

Bread Dough

To make bread, you’ll need yeast based dough. Though this may seem harmless, remember never to throw your dog a taste of your work in progress as the yeast can rise in their stomach and cause painful and potentially life-threatening stomach issues.

Certain Plants

Though you may not think of flowers as harmful, there are some plants that are toxic to your pets. Check out this list of plants to avoid if you’re a pet-owner.

If your pet has consumed any of these foods, be sure to call your local vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (Opens in a new tab) at 888-426-4435 right away to get their health back on track.

And be sure to get in touch with your agent today and ask how we can better cover your family and your pets with our pet insurance options.

This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.

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