Last week, we provided you with a list of foods that are unsafe for your cat or dog. This week, we continue the list with several foods that you should also avoid. Some of these may even surprise you!
Raw Fish – Like milk, raw fish is commonly associated with cats. A freshly caught fish contains a large amount of Thiaminase, an enzyme that destroys vitamin B1. The cooking process destroys Thiaminase, erasing the potential dangers of B1 deficiency. It’s true that cats love fish, but you should always make sure that it’s thoroughly cooked before you feed it to your pet.
Walnuts & Macadamia Nuts – Walnuts are unique in that they sometimes carry a certain type of mold that can be deadly to small animals. Store-bought walnuts do not pose much of a threat, but fresh walnuts that fall from a tree can be far more dangerous. Macadamia nuts, on the other hand, contain a toxin that can make your pet extremely ill. Symptoms of poisoning from macadamia nuts include muscle weakness, paralysis, increased heart rate, and vomiting.
Meat Scraps – Leftovers and scraps from the dinner table create a less obvious risk for pets. While it may seem perfectly safe for a dog to eat a bone or two, hundreds of dogs die each year by choking on cooked bones or by receiving internal injuries from bone fragments. Chicken and turkey skin, as well as other high-fat meats, can lead to pancreatitis.
Nutmeg – High levels of nutmeg can cause seizures, tremors, and death in animals. Chefs typically use ground nutmeg seed, but the stems, roots, and leaves of the nutmeg tree are also just as toxic to dogs and cats.
Raw Egg Whites – Avidin, the protein found in raw egg whites, creates issues with vitamin B absorption in cats. Vitamin B deficiency can result in various skin and coat problems.
Avocados – This unique fruit contains Persin, an acid derivative that has been known to cause breathing and heart issues in dogs and cats. You should definitely avoid sharing your leftover Mexican takeout food with your pet, as guacamole consists primarily of avocados.
Liver – How can liver be dangerous for pets when it’s used in so many dog foods? Liver is actually fine in small amounts, but it contains a very high percentage of vitamin A that can cause long term bone and joint damage.
Alcohol – The Ethanol that is found in alcoholic beverages is especially toxic to small animals. Dogs and cats can become intoxicated just like humans, but Ethanol poisoning can actually lead to slowed respiratory rates, cardiac arrest, or death.
What To Do In A Food Emergency – Contact your veterinarian with specific details regarding the exact food and how much was ingested by your pet. If you are unsure of the food that was consumed, make note of the symptoms that your pet is displaying and seek immediate help. You can contact a local veterinarian or animal hospital as well as the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.