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Keep Your Furry Family Members Safe!

November 12th, 2011 by Webmaster

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Many people are not aware that quite a few common human foods can make our animal companions very ill, and many are even toxic.

 

We all know that they love to get into everything they can (this is their job, after all), so be sure they don’t have access to the foods, beverages, cleaners, chemicals, and other products that will harm or possibly even kill them.

Please share the following list of poisonous foods and products with everyone in your household.

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (commonly found in gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Hops
  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Caffeine
  • Apple seeds
  • Peach pits
  • Apricot pits
  • Cherry pits
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Mustard seeds
  • Onions and onion powder
  • Raisins
  • Yeast dough
  • Avocados
  • Moldy foods
  • Raw (or undercooked) meat, eggs, and bones
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Mushroom plants
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt
  • Tobacco
  • Marijuana
  • Eggplant
  • Prescription and over the counter drugs
  • Fat trimmings and bones
  • Ham and other salty meats
  • Liver (can cause vitamin A toxicity)
  • Tuna (can lead to malnutrition or cause mercury poisoning)

Consult with your veterinarian or animal nutritionist before feeding your animal companions food not specifically intended for them.

 

Additionally, more than 700 plants have been found to be harmful to animals.  Please research all plants and flowers before bringing them into your home.

 

Many commercial animal companion foods contain reject meat from diseased animals that isn’t fit for human consumption, and it is believed that this is causing higher incidents of cancer in our animal companions.  If you want to keep the inedible slaughterhouse waste out of your dog’s diet, a vegan dog food might be the healthiest choice for your dog.  Regrettably, many of the leading food companies also test on animals, so please be sure to choose a food manufacturer that doesn’t.

 

For more tips on how you can be a great guardian and help keep animals safe, please visit our Guardian Campaign.

 

To support our work please click here.

 

Work every day of your life to right what is wrong.

 

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  93. December 04, 2011 at 7:43 pm, Nell said:

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    • December 09, 2011 at 12:35 pm, Ryan Moore said:

      Hi Nell thanks for the question. This list is compiled from numerous sources. We are going to err on the side of caution. There may be a few things listed that are okay in very small amounts. Please consult your veterinarian or pet nutritionist for further guidance. Personally I don’t risk feeding my animal companions anything that is listed here.

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  94. November 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm, Valerie said:

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  95. November 24, 2011 at 11:17 am, Hannah said:

    My rescue dog is 12 and has done extremely well on a mostly vegan diet. He does get occasional bits of meat from my husband’s leftovers, and of course if offered a meat based treat from a neighbor he eats that, but 95% of his diet is vegan. He’s happy, healthy, energetic, and has a beautiful healthy coat. Most pet guardians don’t feed a vegan diet, but please don’t criticize those of us who are successfully providing a healthy and balanced alternative to our dogs.

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      Agreed and well said. I feed my dogs V-dog and they love it and are very healthy.

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  97. November 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm, Amara said:

    Someone asked about birds. These are the things I know which are toxic to birds, will make them sick or kill them (from info I have read in bird magazines, etc.)

    Never give your bird chocolate or avocado. Some say it’s ok to give very small amount of dairy – cheese or yogurt – but others say they have trouble digesting it, so it’s better not to give them. They are also sensitive to additives in foods and so if possible give organic foods, and seeds alone are not sufficient for good nutrition. Also salt and sugar are not good.

    So things that can kill them and to never use:-
    Avocado
    Chocolate
    salt
    alcohol of course
    Scented candles or air fresheners – like Glade or others.
    Pine or other fresheners that you hang in cars – I read of how birds died shortly after having been in a car with these. They have very sensitive respiratory systems.
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    probably carpet cleaners
    anything like that that can leave a smell of chemicals or perfumes in the air
    Our own germs in our mouths, so never take a bite of some food and then give to your bird
    Not sure about this but I heard raisins and grapes may not be good, but not sure.
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    Also don’t leave your toilet seat up if the bird can get to it. I heard a terrible story from Maggie Wright’s website – she used to do the Grey Play Roundtable newsletter about African Greys – that a bird drowned when it got inside the toilet and could not get out.
    Also be careful having your bird outside if not in a cage or proper harness around them – even if their wings are clipped, a puff of wind can take them up and they do not know how to find their way home like dogs and cats do. Also there are hawks and other birds who can come down and take them. There are accounts where this has happened.
    There may be other things but these are the ones I can think of now.
    Check with a good bird info website and your vet of course. Thank you.

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  98. November 20, 2011 at 4:29 am, Stephen Motson (@SteMotson) said:

    This list does not differentiate between species and it therefore not usefully reliable. Some things on the list are bad for some companion animals, whilst others are beneficial for certain other species. The only way that this list can be informatively beneficial is to break it down into foods which are detrimental to the health of certain animals (or even breeds). (I feed my horse garlic; it is recommended by my vet and does her a lot of good).

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  99. November 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm, Grainne said:

    Thanks Ryan. Very helpful post.

    Reply

  100. November 19, 2011 at 10:50 am, Ryan Moore said:

    Cow’s milk is perfectly nutritious for calves – it’s not intended for other species. Because dogs and cats 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.

    Regarding avocado: 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.

    Regarding tuna: Mindy Bough, veterinary technician for the ASPCA Pet Nutrition and Science Advisory Service, dishes out the facts on this savory feline fave:

    “An occasional tuna treat for your cat is generally harmless,” says Bough. “However, if a large part of the cat’s diet consists of tuna–or if the cat is fed tuna exclusively–some problems are likely to arise.”

    Tuna does not contain significant amounts of vitamin E, for example, so too much of the fish can lead to vitamin E deficiency, resulting in yellow fat disease, or steatitis. Symptoms include loss of appetite, fever and hypersensitivity to touch, due to inflammation and necrosis of fat under the skin. Felines who are fed too much tuna can develop other nutrient deficiencies, too, because most de-boned fish are lacking in calcium, sodium, iron, copper and several other vitamins.

    Mercury, frequently present in tuna, also presents a potential danger. “At low levels, this may not be a concern,” explains Bough, “but if tuna is fed nearly exclusively, it could pose significant problems.”

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  101. November 19, 2011 at 7:11 am, L said:

    I recently read on a holistic vets website that a vegan diet was very bad for dogs and to give them raw meat with lightly steamed veggies and some cooked brown rice or barley. I am vegan, so bringing home raw meat for my dog makes me cringe (and the cats REFUSE to touch it), but for the past three weeks, he’s been having a variety of raw meat with cooked rice and veggies. Before this, I had him on a vegan diet, but during that time he developed terrible ear mites and mange (from where he picked these up I have no idea), he also did not seem very healthy after several months of pure vegan diet, it seems his immune system was down. I read that some dogs and cats just can’t be vegan(?) but need to eat meat to get the vital nutrients they miss in vegan diet. But I bought some chicken liver for him and he still has two meals of that left, and reading above it says that liver is bad for them for Vit. A toxicity. So now I’m fretting here… But also wonder, how are wild/feral/abandoned dogs surviving when they eat the carcass of an animal, raw and also eat the liver? And since our dog has been eating the raw meat diet, he’s actually been so much healthier ~ although it’s emotionally upsetting his poor vegan Mum here (LOL). Our next door neighbour’s vet told her to put her dog on a raw meat diet as it was the healthiest thing for her, and she’s been thriving on it. Also, I have always given all our dogs garlic in their evening meals (usually an odorless garlic capsule), and they’ve always been healthy. Our boxer lived until she was 16 years old and had a garlic pill daily. She was not supposed to live past 9 when we adopted her because she had a heart murmur and other health issues. So I am still “out” on the whole garlic toxicity thing.

    Thanks for this list, I will keep it handy and am sharing it around too. :)

    Reply

  102. November 19, 2011 at 2:35 am, Tega said:

    Milk and dairy products bad for pets? Many people feed their cats and dogs milk and cheese.

    Reply

  103. November 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm, Becci said:

    Could you put some info about what’s poisonous for our bird companions? For example, non-stick coating can kill them!

    Reply

  104. November 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm, Kristin said:

    Are small amounts of tuna toxic to cats? I occasionally give them a very small amount of tuna.

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  105. November 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm, Susan Wolinsky said:

    You say a vegan dog food might be the best choice for a dog. Perhaps, but please make sure that your readers know that a vegan diet can kill a cat. Cats are obligate carnivores and, as such, must have meat and the taurine that meat supplies.

    Reply

  106. November 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm, gloria monti, ph.d. said:

    is this list for mammals only? i live with birds and am well aware of the dangers of coffee and avocado. but, walnuts? please, advise.

    Reply

  107. November 18, 2011 at 12:21 pm, Bea said:

    I don’t think avocado is an allergen. perhaps the pit (as with most pits), but not the green part that people eat. otherwise I’m sure Avoderm would have gone out of business by now :)

    Reply

  108. November 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm, sweet/sam said:

    why is tuna bad? i give my cats tuna juice once in a while , when we have tuna, you know they hear the can opening and come running so we give them the jiuce of the tuna. they are big and healthy and super energetic. so, what so bad about it?

    Reply

  109. November 18, 2011 at 11:59 am, Alma said:

    I do not understand list with milk and tuna. I do not feed my cats with that (as in primary source of nutrition), but give it to them occasionally as a treat. Milk is non fat, lactose free and tuna is the highest quality I can find. I’ve never had problem with giving these two items to my kitties.

    Reply

  110. November 18, 2011 at 11:55 am, Kathy Clark said:

    Please be careful to never give a cat a saline enema…I did and actually killed my poor cat….

    Reply

  111. November 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm, Katya said:

    Raw meats is bad? It is the best thing you can feed your dog. Great for their teeth, bones and coat.

    Reply

    • November 15, 2011 at 9:33 pm, Ryan Moore said:

      There are multiple other sources that show raw food diets pose a significant risk:

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    • November 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm, Cindy said:

      All animals EAT raw animals so raw meat is fine….. This a website that wants YOU to be vegetarian so of course they are saying that you shouldn’t feed your animal raw meat. What a joke!

      I love animals and spend a good deal of time and money helping them, but I also an animal that eats other animals. It is the way of nature.

      My cats have never been healthier than when I stopped feeding them cereal (highly cooked and processed cat food) and started them on raw meat.

      Reply

      • November 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm, Cindy said:

        Sorry, meant to say “of course this website DOESNT want you to feed your animals meat….

        Reply

      • November 19, 2011 at 10:39 am, Ryan Moore said:

        There are many other sources that show raw food diets pose a significant risk:

        Reply

    • November 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm, Kim said:

      Yes, raw meat is bad…it’s also bad for you! Think of all that nasty bacteria, etc! Ishta! (Why do you think you need to wash your hands thoroughly after handling chicken?) There’s a reason our dogs are living longer these days, and it’s not because of feeding a nasty raw diet. Ryan posted some great links…please read them before subjecting your pet to an all-raw diet.

      Reply

  112. November 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm, Sadie said:

    How is garlic bad? Most people I’ve known says it’s good to keep fleas off them?

    Reply

    • November 13, 2011 at 12:11 am, Ryan Moore said:

      Reply

    • November 20, 2011 at 2:14 am, AngeLsLuv said:

      To keep fleas off your pats you can give them a Brewer’s Yest tablet daily, been using that for years with both my cats and my dogs..

      Reply

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