Human Foods that are Bad for Pets

Human Foods that are Bad for Pets

You may be tempted to reward your furry friends with a treat of human food every once and a while, but it is important to be cautious before feeding your pets. There are many common human foods that can be dangerous to pets. 

If you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.


Similarly to humans, alcohol affects your pet’s liver and brain. Even just a tad of beer, liquor, wine, or food with alcohol in it can have harmful effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and possibly death.


Avocados contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea if a dog has too much of it. Keep an eye out, especially if you are an owner of birds, rabbits, donkeys, horses, sheep, or goats. The biggest risk of avocado consumption is cardiovascular damage and death in birds.


Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste, that can cause an increase in insulin, which can lead to hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs. Most pet owners know to keep chocolate away from animals, but do you know why? Chocolate contains methylxanthine, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. It is important to note that dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate are more dangerous (high levels of methylxanthines) than milk chocolate and white chocolate.


Feeding your furry friend the stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants can cause irritation. When consumed in large amounts, citrus foods can lead to central nervous system depression. However, when eaten in small doses, it is likely that only a minor upset stomach will occur. 

Grapes and Raisins

Avoid feeding grapes and raisins to your dog. Just a small amount can cause vomiting and can lead to kidney failure. Appearing sluggish and depressed is another early warning sign that your pup has ingested a grape or raisin.


Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and, potentially, pancreatitis in pets. Additionally, macadamia nuts can cause symptoms like muscle shakes, vomiting, high temperature, and back leg weakness in dogs.

Milk and Dairy

Pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase, which can cause milk and other dairy-based products to cause digestive distress and diarrhea. Also, ingesting dairy products can trigger food allergies, causing itchiness. On hot days, skip the ice cream for some cold water for your furry friend.

Onions and Garlic

Keep onions and garlic away from your furry friends. It doesn’t matter if they are powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated, these vegetables can cause gastrointestinal irritation and may lead to red blood cell damage. Cats are more susceptible, but dogs are also at risk if consuming a large dose.

Salt and Salty Snack Foods

During snack time keep the potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn to yourself.  Eating too much salt can produce excessive thirst, urination, and even sodium-ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet has ingested too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures.