Imagine yourself lounging on the couch after a long day at work munching on your favourite snack, only to have your little pooch start to cry and beg. It can be tempting to share your human food with them – after all, if it's nutritious for you, wouldn’t it be nice to share some of the goodness with your pet?
Turns out, some seemingly harmless and healthy food for humans may actually be somewhat toxic to animals. To help make sure you’re giving your little friend only the good stuff, here are five common kitchen edibles that are best kept away from your pet. Try and avoid eating these in front of your furry best friend if you can so they don't snuffle up any rogue crumbs quicker than you can say 'Wait, Borris, no!'.
Chocolate and dogs don’t mix, so it’s important to keep it out of your pooch’s way. It pays to be extra careful around Easter, Halloween, Christmas, and other times of the year where there is an abundance of choccy stores around the house, because it’s so easy to leave a box of Scorched Almonds open only to have your dog munch on it when you look away!
Grapes and raisins
Grapes are good for our health, so they can’t be that bad right? Well, grapes are toxic to both cats and dogs – not only will it make them feel sick, it may actually cause kidney failure! Not ideal. That’s why if you're one of those people that picks out raisins from hot cross buns posing as chocolate chip buns, make sure they go in the bin – don’t give them to your pet to finish off.
Alcohol and coffee
The thought of alcohol and coffee bring joy to most of us. However, they’re highly toxic to our four-legged friends. You know the caffeine high you experience when you sip a cup of coffee – that’s what they experience too, but on a level so high it’s not good anymore. Both alcohol and coffee can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, and even death. So, if you really want to give your pets some nice beverages, why not prepare a bone broth instead?
Really? Yes really! Despite what we've been brought up to believe, milk can be dangerous to cats and dogs. It doesn’t help that they will happily jump at the opportunity of lapping up a bowl of milk. But the truth is, just like some humans, a lot of cats and dogs are lactose intolerant (in varying degrees), so they may not be able to digest the milk we have in our fridge. Some can drink gallons of milk with no symptoms (other than feeling too full), while others have a sip and spend the rest of the day with GI upset. If you really want to give them milk, it’s better to stay on the safe side and get a bottle of milk made especially for pets instead.
Garlic and its family
Garlic is often considered a holistic remedy, helping to prevent heart disease, ward off colds, and lower cholesterol. That's not the case for pets though; garlic belongs to a family called the Allium, which includes onions, shallots, leeks, chives, and scallions. And the Allium family contains certain substances that can damage red blood cells and cause anaemia in pets, especially in cats. Make sure you're extra careful when you’re preparing that delicious salsa in the kitchen to avoid Mexican night turning into vet hospital night.
In summary, when giving your pet a treat, it's safest to stick to foods made specifically for dogs and cats. While it is hard to resist those beautiful begging eyes, remember that feeding human food to your pet may result in weight gain and more serious issues. If you think your pet has sneakily stolen something they’re not supposed to have, consult with your vet to make sure that there’s nothing to worry about.