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The toxic food list

06 August 2016

We all know that adorable Oreo ad with the little boy who tells his dog, “Chocolate isn’t good for dogs. But you can have the rest of my milk.” That little boy was right.

Apart from chocolate though, there are a number of ‘human’ foods that aren’t good for your furry family members. Here’s a quick guide to the foods that should never be passed under the table to a fur-kid – no matter how cute they might be looking in their efforts to convince you to share your food.


Any type of alcohol can put a pet into a coma, cause intoxication and even death. Ethanol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, rapidly resulting in damage to the respiratory and central nervous systems. 


Letting your pet lick the guacamole bowl is never a good idea. Avos contain persin, which is incredibly toxic to cats and dogs. It can cause difficulty breathing, lethargy, the accumulation of fluid around the heart and severe congestion. Even a tiny bit can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. 


Pets should never have any kid of chocolate and baking chocolate is especially dangerous. Consumption can cause hyperactivity, restlessness, irregular heart rate, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, seizures, abdominal pain, coma and even death.


Your favourite cuppa can impact your pet’s central nervous system causing increased heart rate and heavy breathing.

Macadamia nuts

Consumption of macadamias can cause vomiting, lethargy, hyperthermia, abdominal pain, stiff joints, lameness and tremors.


Large amounts of salt can cause an imbalance in electrolyte levels, excessive thirst and urination. In the worst cases, it can even cause sodium ion poisoning in pets. Best to keep salty foods to yourself.

Grapes and raisins

All it takes is only a few grapes or raisins to lead to irreversible kidney damage. If you want to give your pet fruit, rather stick to slices of apple, banana and seedless watermelon. Steer clear of fruits with pits as these can get lodged in their throat.

Peach and apricot pips

These pips contain traces of cyanide, which can be fatal for cats and small dogs. 


Whether raw, cooked or powdered, onions are extremely unsafe for cats, and also toxic to dogs. Even a small amount can cause onion poisoning where red blood cells are damaged. 


Your cat’s stomach can be easily upset by garlic. It can also damage the red blood cells in the same way that onions do.

Raw eggs

Cats can get food poisoning from the salmonella sometimes present in raw eggs. Avidin in raw eggs can also hamper a cat’s ability to absorb vitamin B, resulting in fur loss and skin problems. 


Cats are actually lactose intolerant and can’t digest dairy products – leading to diarrhoea and dehydration.

Yeast dough

If your pet ingests dough, it will continue to swell inside their stomachs causing severe pain. Since it also contains ethanol, it can have the same effects as alcohol consumption. 


This is an artificial sweetener found in sweets and other foods. It can cause liver damage and death in pets.

Fatty and oily food

Excessively oily and fatty foods are more of a serious threat than tasty treats for your pet – especially small dogs. Too much can cause pancreatitis. Symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting and severe abdominal pain.

If you suspect your pet may have consumed any of the above, it’s best to be cautious and contact your local vet. Be sure to tell them exactly what your pet may have eaten – and how much.

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