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10 ‘Human’ Foods That Can Kill Your Pet — or Make Them Feel Really, Really Bad

I never knew a grape could be so damn dangerous

Every pet daddy knows what it’s like to grab a snack and immediately feel a snout, tongue, whisker or beak press up against your leg. You look down and see your favorite companion staring up at you, begging for a taste. Is what I have here safe for them to eat?, you wonder. Well, quit wondering and read on to learn more about the foods that are toxic to dogs and other pets.

Can dogs have alcohol? 

No! Pets of all kinds should never be given alcohol. While animals usually respond to booze much like humans, their less cognizant experience of drunkenness, and their generally smaller size, makes them much more prone to its negative consequences. Plus, many alcohols contain ingredients that can be especially harmful to animals. The hops in beer, for example, can be toxic to dogs, and the artificial sweeteners commonly found in cocktails (more on those later) are dangerous, too. Give them a dog beer instead.

Can dogs eat avocado? 

Nope, nor can other animals, including birds, bunnies, horses, sheep and goats. That’s because avocados contain a toxin called percin, which can cause major health problems and even death in pets if consumed in high amounts. A small dollop might be okay, but it’s generally not worth the potential danger.

Can dogs die from eating chocolate? And is chocolate poisonous to cats? 

Yes, and yes! Chocolate, coffee and caffeine all contain substances called methylxanthines — including an especially dangerous theobromine — which can cause all sorts of problems, including hyperactivity, seizures and even death. While dark chocolate is more dangerous than light varieties due to higher levels of methylxanthines, all forms should be avoided.

Are grapes bad for cats? And can grapes hurt dogs? 

Again, doubles yes. While the toxic substances in grapes are still largely unknown, they can cause kidney failure in animals.

Are nuts bad for dogs? And can cats eat nuts? 

Macadamia nuts are especially bad for dogs and cats, resulting in weakness, depression, tremors and hyperthermia, a group of heat-related conditions. The high levels of oil and fat in other nuts can also lead to vomiting, diarrhea and potentially even pancreatitis in cats and dogs. Birds, on the other hand, can safely and happily eat nuts.

Are onions toxic to dogs? Can cats eat garlic? What about chives? 

Onions, garlic and chives can cause gastrointestinal issues and possibly even anemia, a lack of oxygenated blood, particularly in cats. A teeny amount should be okay, though if a large enough amount is consumed, dogs can face troubles, too.

Can dogs eat citrus fruit? Is citrus bad for cats? 

Citrus is bad for many pets, since it contains citric acid, which can result in central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. Eating a single orange should only cause a minor stomach ache, but too much citrus can be more dangerous.

Can dogs eat raw meat? Can cats eat raw meat? What about eggs and bones?

Raw meat and eggs from the store can contain dangerous bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, and raw eggs in particular have an enzyme called avidin, which can cause skin and coat problems in pets. Bones, despite their reputation as a dog-friendly snack, can be super dangerous: They pose a major choking risk and can cause intestinal damage if they splinter.

Can dogs have salt and vinegar chips? Can cats have salt? 

While a little salt isn’t going to kill your pet, too much can cause excessive thirst, urination and possibly even sodium ion poisoning. That can result in vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

Can dogs eat gummy bears? 

As cute as that would be, no. Remember those dangerous artificial sugars I mentioned earlier? Xylitol poisoning in dogs and other animals can cause insulin release, which can lead to liver failure caused by hypoglycemia, or low sugar levels. Make sure to check for Xylitol in any processed foods before feeding them to your pet.

So, do they get a bite of what you have, or not?