“It’s hard not to cave and give your little guy a scrap from your plate,” Lisa Lippman, DVM, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Sometimes that’s okay and sometimes it can mean big issues for your pet’s health.”
There are a few foods you definitely don’t want to feed your pet. Lippman breaks them down.
Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine, which Lippman says is “kind of like caffeine.” Theobromine speeds up the heart rate of your pet and acts as a diuretic and muscle relaxant. “The amount of theobromine varies depending on the type of chocolate,” Lippman says. “Some chocolate is way more toxic than others.”
This is a sugar-free substance often used as a sugar substitute that “can be fatal for pets,” Lippman says. It can show up in a lot of different things, including baked goods, gum, medication and toothpaste. “Even a very small amount can trick a dog’s body into thinking it’s real sugar and cause it to release a massive amount of insulin,” Lippman explains. “This insulin release can cause severe life threatening low blood sugar and even liver failure.”
While those are the two main foods Lippman warns about, she also stresses that grapes, raisins, currants, Macadamia nuts, onions, and garlic can also be deadly for pets.
If you suspect that your pet ate something toxic, call your local animal poison control center about next steps. And, if you’re still not sure, take your pet to your local vet.
Despite some people food being toxic for pets, Lippman says there are others that are generally considered safe, including blueberries, watermelon, carrots and green beans.
While some foods are okay, Lippman stresses that it’s important to protect your pet. “Do everything you can to keep those dangerous foods far, far away,” she says.