Foods That Are Toxic to Pets

It’s easy to forget that our pets are so different from us in their eating habits. For example, your dog can’t tell you it’s allergic to eggs, and your cat doesn’t know that grapes are toxic for her. As a responsible pet owner, you need to be aware of what foods are safe and unsafe for your furry friends. In this post, we’ll go over some of the most dangerous foods out there for cats and dogs—and how to make sure they don’t hurt themselves by eating something they shouldn’t!


Chocolate is toxic to pets. Theobromine, a stimulant and diuretic, is the alkaloid in cocoa beans that makes chocolate poisonous to all mammals. However, it’s especially toxic for cats and dogs because their livers cannot metabolize this chemical as efficiently as other animals’ livers can.

The only safe amount of chocolate your pet can have depends on the size of the animal, so consider these guidelines:

  • Smaller pets (under 10 lbs) should not eat any chocolate at all.
  • Larger dogs (10-50 lbs) should not eat more than 1 oz of dark or semi-sweet chocolate per pound of body weight each month. That means that a 30 lb dog could theoretically have up to 1/3 cup (1 oz) per day while that same dose would kill most smaller dogs!
  • Even larger dogs (over 50 lbs) should avoid eating any type of chocolate at all!


Alcoholic beverages are toxic to pets, and they can cause some serious health problems. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream much more quickly than food, so it’s easy for pets to become intoxicated after eating even a small amount of alcohol. Signs of intoxication include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors and hyperactivity. Signs of severe intoxication include seizures or coma.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about wine, beer or hard liquor; any form of alcohol can be harmful to your pet’s health.


Caffeine is a stimulant that acts by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain. This prevents sleepiness and causes increased alertness, and it can also lead to increased urine production. In pets, caffeine causes vomiting, diarrhea, and heart arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats).

Caffeine is found in both plant-based foods and beverages such as coffee beans, tea leaves or berries; chocolate; soft drinks (including energy drinks); some over-the-counter medications like cold medicines; some prescription drugs like pain relievers containing acetaminophen/APAP—and even in some pet toys!

The amount of caffeine needed to cause toxicity varies by species: dogs tend to be more sensitive than cats due to their size difference (they weigh less). If your pet has consumed enough caffeine for you to notice its effects—vomiting or diarrhea—you should contact your veterinarian immediately so they can determine if further treatment is necessary.

Grapes, raisins and currants

Grapes, raisins and currants are toxic to dogs. They can cause kidney failure in dogs. In fact, this is one of the most common causes of death in dogs. The same goes for cats: grapes, raisins and currants are toxic to them too! When a dog eats these foods they may get vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy as well as loss of appetite. If you suspect that your pet has eaten grapes or any other toxic food item then contact your vet immediately so they can be treated right away.”


Xylitol is a sugar substitute that’s found in many products, including gum, candy and toothpaste. It can be toxic to dogs, causing liver failure and even death.

Dogs aren’t the only ones who can be harmed by xylitol—it’s also dangerous for children! The same symptoms of stomach pain, vomiting and lethargy are common in both humans and dogs after consuming xylitol. But with humans, there’s an added risk: the blood sugar level drops so rapidly that it can cause brain damage or even death within just a few hours of ingesting the product containing xylitol


Avocado is a delicious fruit, but it’s toxic to pets. The toxic components of avocado are persin and related compounds, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even death in dogs when ingested. While avocados are not toxic to cats, they should still be kept away from your cat so you don’t end up with a litter box full of avocado shells!

While horses may enjoy eating the fleshy fruit part of an avocado (and even enjoy it), the leaves are poisonous to horses and can cause digestive problems if consumed in large quantities. Birds too seem unaffected by eating avocados; however they might develop respiratory distress after breathing in persin vapors released during ripening or cutting open an avocado.

Yeast dough

Yeast dough can cause severe digestive upset in pets. Yeast dough can also cause a dog’s blood sugar to drop suddenly and dramatically, which can lead to serious complications such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), coma or even death. If a dog eats yeast dough and then develops low blood sugar, he’ll need to be fed corn syrup or honey by mouth until his system returns to normal; if he has access to that as an option before eating the yeast dough, it may be helpful in preventing this reaction from ever occurring.

If your pet ingests yeast dough containing sugar—like most do—his blood sugar level is likely to increase rapidly after consuming it. This rapid surge of glucose into the bloodstream may lead him into shock; animals who have consumed too much sugar should be monitored closely for signs of distress like panting heavily or pacing back and forth quickly (this can indicate impending collapse).

Garlic and onion

Garlic and onion are toxic to pets. These common ingredients in many foods can cause anemia, gastrointestinal upset, and kidney damage in dogs.

The toxicity of garlic is related to its concentration in the diet. A single small clove of raw garlic per 10 pounds of body weight is considered safe for dogs; however, there have been reports of domestic animals dying after consuming as little as 0.2 mg/kg/day or 1 g/kg/day. Garlic toxicity has also been reported when it was used as an additive in pet foods.

Gastrointestinal upset may occur within 5 minutes following ingestion or up to 24 hours later depending on the dose ingested, while methemoglobinemia can develop within 1 hour after consumption but may take up to 24 hours if small amounts were consumed over time before symptoms appear.

Onion toxicity occurs by way of gastrointestinal irritation with resulting vomiting and diarrhea that often occur within 30 minutes after ingestion but may take up to 24 hours or longer if large amounts have been consumed over a period prior to onset of clinical signs; hemolytic anemia has also been reported in some cases. Dogs that ingest onions should not be given any more treats until they’re sure their dog’s condition has stabilized because onion poisoning is cumulative—that means even if your pup hasn’t shown any signs yet, there could still be some adverse effects developing inside him right now!

Many everyday foods can be toxic to pets.

You might think that because your dog or cat has eaten a food before and not gotten sick, it’s okay for them to eat it again. But the fact is that some foods are toxic to pets and can cause serious health problems (or even death).

Many common household items are toxic to dogs, cats, birds, fish and reptiles. Ingesting any of the following substances can be harmful—if not fatal—to your pet:

  • Antifreeze
  • Chocolate (all forms)
  • Coffee grinds/grounds (unused coffee grounds are safe)
  • Corn cobs and husks (the cob is not poisonous; only the husk around it contains toxins)
  • Excessive amounts of nutmeg in large quantities may be fatal if ingested by dogs or people who have nutmeg allergies; however most animals will use their sense of smell to avoid this spice altogether so there is little risk from sniffing at ground nutmegs unless there is something else tempting nearby


It’s important to remember that our furry friends love us, and many of them will do anything for our affections, including sneaking into the kitchen when we’re not looking. That’s why it’s up to us to keep them safe. The good news is that as long as you pay attention to what your pet is eating, you can avoid any potential problems with them. We hope you have a happy and healthy relationship with your beloved companion! Keep in mind these foods are toxic to pets so they don’t get sick after ingesting them!