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Seven People-Foods You Should Not Feed To Your Cat Or Dog

By Charlie Hare

Growing up in a small farm town had a lot of advantages, not the least of which was a freedom and sense of complete control over one's own contentment and pursuits of happiness.

We had a lot of pets. We had cats, dogs, a white rat, turtles, frogs, and anything else we found or that came to us as hungry strays. Back then, we didn't think too much about what our pets ate. We very often gave our pets "people-foods"; scraps from family meals, treats, etc.

The local farmers always had a bunch of hungry cats and dogs running around their property, feeding on cows' milk, mice, birds, table scraps, and any other bit of fodder they could find (or that someone nonchalantly and innocently tossed their way).

What we did not realize is that we were giving our pets foods which are hazardous for them. For some reason, we believed that if we could eat it so could they. Looking back, that way of thinking, that mentality seems rather ignorant; indeed, even blind to so many things.

Funny, though, because we rarely took any of our pets to veterinarians back then either. Hmmmmm...perhaps they (the pets) knew how to heal themselves from all the junk we gave them. Maybe they knew enough natural remedies (i.e., herbs, berries, fruits, weeds, and other 'anti-toxins') to counteract our poisons.

There was not a lot of information-sharing back then either. Certainly nowhere near as it is today, and things we learned came much slower then, for sure! I guess life was just a whole lot slower and simpler then.

How many adorable pictures have we seen of tiny kittens being fed pure cow's milk, directly from the cow? Now, we are told many cats are lactose intolerant and cannot metabolize the milk properly, so we should not give that to them. Who knew?

Here are seven "people foods" that should not be given to your cat or dog, as they have been found to be either directly or indirectly "toxic" to them:


Avocados contain persin, which is a derivative of fatty acids. Persin is toxic to cats and dogs, as well as other animals, and especially birds.


Chocolate is considered to be poisonous to cats and dogs. It contains theobromine, an alkaloid, which can give pets theobromine poisoning, which can lead to death if not treated early.

Cows' milk

Cows' milk is not considered toxic to cats, but some cats are lactose intolerant, thus milk may give them diarrhea or other digestive symptoms.

Foods containing Xylitol

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
warns dog owners that products sweetened with Xylitol are harmful to dogs. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener extracted from fibers of fruits and vegetables and is used in a wide variety of desserts, snacks, candies, gums, and the like. Xylitol can cause a rapid and severe blood-sugar drop in dogs, which can lead to seizures, vomiting and weakness. Immediate veterinary attention is required.

Grapes, raisins

Grapes and raisins should be avoided as pet snacks, as they have been linked with kidney failure, especially in dogs.

Onion, garlic, leek, chive

Onions contain a substance called N-propyl disulphide, which can destroy red blood cells in cats, causing a type of anemia called Heinz body anemia. Garlic, leeks and chives contain similar substances, although in lesser amounts.

Tomatoes, raw potatoes

Tomatoes and raw potatoes contain the glycoalkaloid Solanine, a poisonous compound which can cause digestive ailments in animals.


Did you know that eating certain plants could make your dog sick or worse?


Plants can be hazardous

to your dog’s health

Did you know that eating certain plants could make your dog sick or worse?

Be aware of plants that are within reach of your dog. Listed below are some

plants that can be harmful to your dog.


May cause vomiting and diarrhea:

Castor bean

Soap berry

Ground Cherry

Skunk Cabbage





Indian Tobacco

Indian Turnip

Poke weed

Bittersweet woody


May cause vomiting, abdominal pain

and/or diarrhea:



Wild Cherry

Balsam Pear

Japanese Plum

Bird of Paradise bush

Horse Chestnut (Buckeye)

English Holly

Black Locust

Mock Orange


Rain Tree (Monkey Pod)

American Yew

English Yew

Western Yew

May cause varied reactions:






Mescal bean

Mushrooms (if also toxic to


Sunburned potatoes



Tomato vine



Poison Hemlock

Water Hemlock


Loco weed


Matrimony Vine

May Apple



Angel’s Trumpet

May act as hallucinogens:


Morning Glory




May cause convulsions:

China berry



Nux vomica

Water Hemlock



In Case of an Emergency

Who would take care of your dog if you were hurt and unable to do so? To make sure vital information

regarding your dog is easily accessible to others, take a few moments to fill out this emergency

information sheet.

List two or three people as contacts in case of emergency. Include the contact’s name, address, and

telephone number. Make sure at least one of the contacts has a set of your house keys.

You may also want your attorney to draft a written statement, which gives immediate custody of your

dog to a designated individual with that individual’s consent. Notify that individual of his or her

responsibility, and put his or her name, address, and phone number on your emergency information


Attach a recent photo of your dog to the information sheet to help others locate your dog if it should

wander off.

Put the information sheet on your refrigerator or other prominent spot in your house. You may also want

to keep similar information in your wallet. If you are unable to care for your dog due to an accident or

emergency, someone will be able to follow the instructions on the sheet to provide necessary care.

Emergency Pet Information

Pet’s Name:_________________________________________________________________________________________


Date of Birth:_______________________________________________________________________________________


Veterinarian’s address:________________________________________________________________________________

Veterinarian’s phone number:___________________________________________________________________________



Medication instructions:_______________________________________________________________________________

Location of food, dishes, biscuits, medication:______________________________________________________________

The following people will care for my dog in case of an emergency:

Name:________________________________  number:_________________________________  e-mail:________________________________________

Name:________________________________ number:_________________________________   e-mail:________________________________________

Special instructions:__________________________________________________________________________________



Attach a recent

photo of your dog