Animal Medical Center

101 Progress Road
Gloversville, NY 12078


Foods Toxic to Pets

Foods Toxic to Dogs

Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimlant and a diuretic. After a dog has eaten a large quantity of chocolate, owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours. A dog that has ingested a large quantity of chocolate will exhibit symptoms that include staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia, seizures, coma or death.

Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Thus, a chocolate mud cake could be a real health risk for a small dog. Even licking a substantial part of the chocolate icing from a cake can make a dog unwell.

Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.

Onions and Garlic both contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Both can lead to liver failure and death. The poisoning in dogs occurs a few days after the pet has ingested the onion. All forms of onion can be dangerous, including raw, cooked, dehydrated, and table scraps including onion. Pizza, fast foods and commercial baby foods often contain onion, as well as garlic. While garlic also contains the same toxic ingredient, garlic is less toxic.

Mushroom toxicity occurs in dogs and it can be fatal. Amanita phalloides is the most commonly reported severely toxic species of mushroom, but other species are also toxic. Symptoms include abdominal pain, drooling, liver damagae, kidney damage, vomiting diarrhea, convulsions, coma, death.

As few as a handful of raisins or grapes can make a dog ill; however, of the 10 cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), each dog ingested between 9 ounces and 2 pounds of grapes or raisins. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy.

Macadamia nuts are another concern, along with most other kinds of nuts. Their high phosphorus content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.

Foods Toxic to Cats

Chocolate is very toxic to both cats and dogs. Theobromine is the offending substance here. Caffeine and other stimulants, including theobromine, can poison cats. Do not feed your cat these "people foods" or leave them out where the cat could reach them. Feed cats a high-quality commercially prepared cat food and never feed them foods meant for humans, especially "sweets."

Onions contain a substance(N-propyl disulphide) which destroys red blood cells in the cat, causing a form of anemia called Heinz body anemia. Garlic contains a similar substance in a lesser amount.

Tomatoes and Raw Potatoes contain a bitter, poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can cause violent lower gastronintestinal symptoms.

Although cow's milk is not toxic to cats, it may have adverse effects. Simply put, adult cats fed a nutrious diet don't need milk, and may cats are lactose-intolerant, which means that the lactose in milk and milk products produces stomach upset, cramps, and gassiness. If your cat loves milk, and begs for it, a small amount of cream may be okay, two or three times a week. (The more fat in the milk, the less lactose it has.)

Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitmain). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.

Raw Fish can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.

Fish bones can cause obstructions or laceration of the digestive system.

Dog Food is for dogs. If accidentally ingested, it will not cause a problem; if fed repeatedly to a cat it may result in malnutrition and heart diseases.