Common foods toxic to pets

12 December 2020
Allan Grisdale
pet food poison

Did you know that Onions are toxic to cats and dogs? They contain compounds called disulphides and thiosulphates which, if ingested, can damage the animal’s red blood cells.

Symptoms of onion toxicity in dogs

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Pale gums
  • Fainting
  • Reddish urine



If your cat or dog eats onion you must go to the vet immediately. Intravenous fluids may be needed to help flush your dog’s bloodstream and maintain proper hydration.

Your cat or dog will be monitored closely until the body starts producing enough healthy red blood cells again.

In severe cases of onion poisoning, oxygen supplementation and a full blood transfusion may be necessary.

Other Common Human Foods That Are Harmful to Pets


Pets can often get into alcohol through uncommon sources, like unbaked dough or rum-soaked desserts. Alcohol can give your dog or cat low blood sugar and low body temperature. It can end in coma or seizures.


Dogs and cats can have adverse reactions to avocados, but they are most toxic for birds. After eating some of the fruit, birds develop respiratory distress and many die.


Pets can react to caffeine with vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, restlessness and increased heart rate. Caffeine is a toxic stimulant to cats and dogs.


Most pet owners recognize that chocolate is very toxic for their dogs or cats. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is because it contains more caffeine and theobromine.

Grapes and Raisins

Both grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs and some cats. Owners should keep these out of reach in every form, including raisin bagels or grape juice.


Not all mushrooms are toxic. However, some can be a irritate the gut, others can be hallucinogenic and some can cause acute liver failure and death.

Sugar-Free Foods

Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute. It can be very dangerous for dog causing a drop in blood sugar and potential liver damage.

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