ONIONS, GARLIC, SHALLOTS, AND LEEKS
While the health perks of garlic are well known for humans, all veggies in the Allium family can cause serious damage to your dog or cat’s red blood cells, causing them to burst. Other consequences include anemia and kidney damage. Weakness and an upset stomach are signs your pet may have ingested garlic, onions, shallots, or leeks. Raw is more dangerous because the active ingredient is more concentrated, but cooked is also harmful.
Though dogs love this sweet treat, it can be deadly. “The important thing to know is that milk chocolate is much, much less toxic,” says Steven Hansen, president, and CEO of the Arizona Humane Society and board-certified veterinary toxicologist. “The most toxic is baking chocolate, then high-quality dark chocolate.” The cocoa beans in chocolate contain theobromine, a chemical that’s toxic in small animals. It can cause an increased respiratory rate, central nervous system disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, cardiac failure, and even death. A potentially lethal dose for a 16-pound animal is two ounces of baking chocolate or 16 ounces of milk chocolate. One sweet treat you don’t have to worry about: white chocolate. That’s because white chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa solids
Though it isn’t understood why raisins and grapes can cause life-threatening kidney failure in dogs. (Cats don’t typically eat raisins and grapes—they tend to steer clear of sweeter foods.) Vomiting and diarrhea can start as early as four to six hours after eating them, and typically begin within 24 hours.
As few as five or six of these nuts can a kill dog, thanks to an unknown toxin. They can cause seizures, depression, vomiting, and trouble walking—their rear legs can appear to be paralyzed. “It’s very dramatic and quite scary, but if they are treated right away the outcome is they recover within 48 to 72 hours,” says Hansen. Typically, the vet will pump the dog’s stomach and induce vomiting to clear out the macadamia nuts. Dogs may also be put on IV fluids in the hospital.
SUGARLESS CHEWING GUM
Dogs and cats can’t process xylitol, an artificial sweetener commonly found in sugarless gum, the same way humans can. It affects their glucose levels and causes their blood sugar to drop so quickly that they can die from it. It can also lead to seizures and liver damage at fatal levels. Plus, if dogs sniff out gum, “sometimes they will eat the whole packaging and can get an obstruction from the material,” cautions Halligan.
The pits in plums, peaches, and cherries, as well as apple seeds, aren’t just a choking hazard or an object that could get stuck in your pet’s intestines. The pits also contain cyanogenic glycosides, which are cyanide-like compounds that can lead to difficulty breathing, excess salivation, shock, seizures, and coma in both dogs and cats.