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New Pet Owners: 3 Foods That Are Toxic To Your Household Pets

Most people, even those who are new to owning a pet, understand that pets shouldn't have table food that humans eat. However, sometimes it happens. Something drops on the floor while cooking and the dog or cat is there in an instant to lick it up. Although it is typically okay for pets to have a small amount of human food, there are some that are particularly dangerous for them. Here are three common foods that are extremely toxic to your dog or cat:

1. Grapes/Raisins

It is not currently known what part of the grapes and raisins actually negatively affect a pet, especially dogs, but it is a well-documented fact that they are toxic. Grape and raisin poisoning can result in dehydration, loss of appetite, kidney failure and potentially death. Research shows that even the smallest amount of grapes or raisins can prove to be extremely toxic for dogs.

2. Avocados

The avocado leaves, seeds, bark and fruit contain something known as Persin. The avocados that you purchase at the grocery store are said to have the most toxicity, so it is crucial that you ensure your avocados are put up when not in use and you are very careful to avoid dropping any when preparing a meal. Rabbits and birds inside the house may be more susceptible to avocados, as respiratory issues can occur and fluid can build up around their heart, possibly resulting in death. Although most dogs and cats will not see serious symptoms, they may experience an upset stomach. In some cases, particularly when the pet ingests the pit, the gastrointestinal tract can become obstructed.

3. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic can both cause some serious health issues with your cat or dog. In extreme cases, your pet could die. The reason these foods are so dangerous is because they contain compounds that result in the damage of red blood cells. This then limits oxygen within the blood and anemia, which is what occurs when there is a low number of red blood cells. There is potential for the anemia to continue and cause damage to internal organs, organ failure as well as death. It has been suggested that cats and Japanese dog breeds (like Shiba Inu and Akita) are the most sensitive.

When Your Pet Ingests Poisonous Food…

If your pet gets a hold of one of the above-mentioned foods, make sure to contact an emergency veterinarian (such as Robert Irelan DVM). This is especially true if you notice your pet becoming lethargic, starts losing consciousness or begins having seizures. If you're unsure whether your pet ate something potentially toxic, you may also want to call the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) hotline (1-888-426-4435).