Bad Food!

Human ingestible items that can harm your pet

This list has been compiled from various online sources.  All sources carry disclaimer that Just because something is on the poisonous list doesn't mean it's fatal, and just because it is absent from the list doesn't mean it is safe!  Many cause merely gastric distress, some can kill your pet. 

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.
apple seeds - apricot pits - cherry pits
peach pits - plum pits
these and other fruit seed contain a form of cyanide, admittedly a small amount, but why take chances?
Meat or chicken Bones
bones can splinter and pierce the stomach or digestive tract causing extreme distress, that often requires emergency surgery.  Death can result if not caught and treated in a timely fashion. 
(birds, mice, rabbits)

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. Some ingestions may even be fatal.

Coffee (grounds, beans or liquid)
Sodas and Teas
contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used
to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.
Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets
contains substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.
Grapes & Raisins
Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.
(and yes, I've heard of a friend's cat who died from eating just a few raisins)
used in home beer brewing


Macadamia Nuts
are commonly used in many
cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion. 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.


mustard seeds

rhubarb leaves

tomato leaves and stems, green parts

potato leaves and stems, green parts


moldy foods






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.


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 enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.

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. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!


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. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy 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 petís 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. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your petís daily caloric intake.


Back to No No page (poisons)

Human medications that can harm your pet


 Toxic Plants list and links


Back to Moosecoons Links page

Moosecoons Maine Coon Cats & Kittens in Maryland