As a pet owner, you have so many responsibilities. No matter what kind of cats or dogs you have, you have to beware of fleas, which can lay over 2,000 eggs in a single lifetime, make sure your pet is getting enough exercise, and keep them well-fed and healthy.

Clearly you should be buying plenty of dog and cat food for your pet to snack on during the day, but sometimes it’s nice to just cook a big meal and give your four-legged friend your scraps. However, some foods should never be consumed by pets — no matter how delicious you think they are.

Here are some food products that you should avoid cooking with if you’re planning on giving your pet some under the table leftovers:

  • Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine — These products all contain methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds and in the nuts. When pets consume methylxanthines, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, panting, hyperactivity, excessive thirst, tremors, urination, seizures, and even death. Note that dark chocolate is much more dangerous than lighter products, as well.
  • Avocado — Avocado is a tasty and healthy snack for people, but can lead to all sorts of problems to certain pets, especially birds. The biggest concern is for cardiovascular damage, as well as a swollen head and neck. Make sure whenever you’re cooking with avocado, it’s nowhere near your pets!
  • Macadamia Nuts — Unfortunately, these nuts can cause depression, weakness, vomiting, hyperthermia, and tremors when ingested by dogs. Keep an eye on your dog if you suspect he or she snuck some macadamia nuts because these symptoms typically appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last up to 48 hours.

Those are some of the most common food products that are dangerous to pets, but you should also beware of raw/undercooked meats, onions, dairy products, grapes and raisins, citrus, alcohol, salt, and yeast dough.

It’s important to focus on cats’ or dogs’ behavior training early on, as well. If you always give your pet food scraps, they’ll be expecting it every time you cook. That could cause them to be agitated and even sneak some bites of food that isn’t good for them. If your pet gets his or her paws on some of those dangerous foods, make sure you’re heading to a quality animal medical center. There are 24 hour animal hospitals that can help your pet deal with any harmful snack.

Luckily, there are plenty of foods that both you and your pet can enjoy, including:

  • Eggs
  • Lean meat
  • Certain fruits and veggies
  • White rice
  • Popcorn
  • Bonito flakes (thin pieces of a type of tuna)

Again, if cats or dogs consumed any of those forbidden foods, don’t panic, but it’s imperative you get them the necessary help right away. Do some research online about nearby 24-hour animal hospitals and bring your pet in as soon as possible.

If you plan on doing a lot of home cooking in the next few months, make sure you’re aware of all the foods that your pets can and cannot eat. If you want to learn more or speak to professionals working at 24-hour animal hospitals, give Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center a call today!

You don’t need to wait for an emergency to become familiar with our veterinary services. Get the best care you can find for all of your pet’s health needs. We are more than just an animal hospital. Contact us today or directly call us at 520-888-3177 for more information about our specialty and 24-hour emergency services.