From kids feeding their unwanted vegetables to the family dog to adults wanting to give their pet a little treat, we are all guilty of sneaking our pets some human food from time to time. While this is perfectly okay, there are some foods we eat that can be harmful to your pet, and it’s important to be careful and know which foods you should be keeping away from your cat or dog.


Under no circumstances should you feed your pet any beverages or other products containing alcohol. Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, coma, and even death.


One of the substances in caffeine, methylxanthines, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, hyperactivity, seizures, and even death when ingested.


Chocolate also contains methylxanthines. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are the most dangerous, while white chocolate has the lowest level of the substance. You should also steer clear of other candies that might use the sweetener Xylitol, which can cause insulin release and lead to liver damage.

Grapes, Raisins, and Currants

An unidentified toxin in these foods can cause kidney failure.

Salty Foods

Large amounts of salt can lead to excessive thirst and urination, electrolyte imbalances, sodium ion poisoning, and can even lead to death. Salty snacks like potato chips and pretzels should be kept away from your pets.


Citric acid and oils in citrus fruits can cause irritation and, in extreme cases, central nervous system depression in pets. Small quantities will likely only cause an upset stomach.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

While cats are more susceptible, ingesting these foods can cause gastrointestinal irritation and even red blood cell damage in both cats and dogs.


The oils and fats in nuts like pecans and walnuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis in pets. Macadamia nuts in particular can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs.

Milk and Dairy

Pets do not produce enough of the enzyme that breaks down lactose to properly digest milk and dairy products.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can rise and expand when consumed, causing gas to accumulate in the digestive system. This causes pain and stomach bloating which can possibly rupture the stomach or intestines, a life-threatening emergency. Yeast also produces ethanol and can cause your pet to become drunk.

Remember, even if they are begging, steer clear of these harmful foods. Opt for a healthy dog or cat treat instead to distract. You can still give them a treat, just make sure it’s safe for pet consumption. Healthy pets equal happy pets.

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