Most pet owners like to feed their animal on delicacies from their own table.
While it feels good to 'treat' pets this way every once in a while, it's very important to recognize how risky it is. There are a number of human foods that are poisonous to your pet, despite their great taste.
Chocolate Can Kill Your Pet
This is known to contain methylxanthines, substances known to stimulate the nervous system. The concentration of these toxins in chocolate tends to increase with darkness, which means darker varieties are highly dangerous. However, this doesn't make milk chocolate any safer; even a few ounces could cause illness in smaller animals.
When ingested, diarrhea and vomiting will occur after 2-4 hours. This is accompanied by hyperactivity, panting, excessive thirst and urination as well as an abnormal heart rhythm. While there's no specific antidote that one could give their pet after ingesting chocolate, the animal needs to be hospitalized for monitoring and supportive treatment. Possible therapy includes medication to induce vomiting and administering activated charcoal to absorb toxins.
Garlic and Onions Can Damage Your Pet
A number of chemicals known to damage red blood cells in animals are found in both onions and garlic. The affected red blood cells will rapture or have a diminished oxygen-carrying capacity. All varieties of onions, (whether raw, dehydrated or cooked) can be poisonous. The poisoning will usually occur after several days of eating food containing the items. Common symptoms include gastroenteritis accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea as well as a dull, weak physique.
With onions, poisoning could either occur after ingesting large quantities at once or with regular meals containing small amounts. While garlic also contains the toxic ingredients, its toxicity is somewhat lower. In practice, the typical amount of garlic present in the small amounts of food fed to pets doesn't carry a huge risk.
Grapes and Raisins May Be Toxic to Your Pet
Although the toxic substances within these two items haven't been identified, ingesting them could still cause kidney failure. Clinical symptoms of toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and reduced urine production. These will usually start showing several hours after ingestion. And since these effects are cumulative, regular ingestion of just a single grape or raisin will lead to a slow build-up of toxins that will eventually be fatal. If your pet happens to eat any of these fruits, seek immediate medical attention to prevent kidney damage.
Macadamia Nuts May Be Poisonous to Your Pet
These are common in chocolate and candy. While the toxic compound present in macadamia nuts is unknown, they can cause vomiting, depression, joint pain, tremors and weakness when ingested by animals. These symptoms will occur within 12 hours after ingestion and could last up to 48 hours. Although the animal may get back to its normal state after a couple of days without treatment, you still need to take precaution. It's strongly recommended that one puts the animal under clinical monitoring.
Anything Containing Xylitol is Poison to Your Pet
Xylitol is a synthetic sweetener commonly found in baked goods, candy, gum and other sugar-free foods. It's also found in some nut butters. The substance is poisonous because it triggers a sudden insulin release in most species, which then causes hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood sugar). This results in brain damage, seizures as well as liver damage and eventual failure.
Within 30 minutes of eating something containing xylitol, initial signs of xylitol poisoning start showing. These include vomiting, loss of coordination and lethargy. However, some symptoms could be delayed for hours or even several days. If untreated, the toxicity could be fatal.
As a pet owner, one needs to be aware of the various human foods that could be poisonous to your pet
. If you know or suspect your pet is poisoned, you need to act quickly while remaining calm. Take note of the amount ingested and get in touch with your veterinarian or animal poison control center.