Foods Toxic to Pets

Be aware of the foods that could harm your pet.

No matter how much they beg, (and no matter how cute they look when they beg), there are some foods that should never be fed to pets. Below you will find a list of the top toxic “people foods” to avoid feeding your pet. These are not the only foods toxic to your pets. There are other foods that, if ingested in large quantities, will make your pet ill. The following list details the most common and the most toxic foods to avoid.

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.


Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.


The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Sometimes ingestion of avocado may even be fatal.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine

When eaten by pets, chocolate, coffee and products containing caffeine can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. Baking chocolate is the most dangerous.

Grapes & Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.

Macadamia Nuts

Avoid feeding the entire nut and any cookie or candy which contain Macadamia nuts. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.


Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk, milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Moldy or Spoiled Food

Never feed your pet moldy or spoiled food. Make sure that the lids on your garbage cans are tightly closed at all times.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large amount is consumed.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin, which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones can result in choking, or sustaining a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in, or puncture, your pet’s digestive tract.


Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.


Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. Ingesting xylitol can result in vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days. 

Yeast Dough


Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats – but never moldy bread. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

For a more comprehensive list of pet toxins, please CLICK HERE 

Information in this article was taken from the ASPCA website and the WebMD website.


I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful care you gave to my cat, Sammy, who had a serious urinary problem. Your cat vet gave him such good care and he was getting better. Unfortunately he met with a predator outside and is gone, but we will never forget the patience and love your vet gave him when he was under her care. Thank you!!

I hope you guys can place a warning out to your patient’s caretakers on the danger of HARTS “TOY” that come in their biscuit box!! Dr. Early and staff did emergency surgery on a weekend after hours)to remove the 16+ parts from his stomach. The end of the toy is just glued on.

Also a big hug for the 11 years of care given to my cat Monkey… She passed last week. would like to include a photo. I know she will be remembered at the Hospital. She was 14.