Chocolate is one of the best-known human foods can kill Fido (and if you didn't know that already, now you do!), but there are plenty of other foods that are tasty to us and lethal to our four-legged companions. Even if your pet begs for a taste of whatever you're eating, indulging them might cost you a trip to the veterinarian that no one will enjoy.


While guacamole might be delicious to you, the leaves, seed, and fruit of avocados contain persin which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea in both cats and dogs. If you have other pets such as birds, rodents, or horses, you should be especially wary since persin is poisonous to them.

Coffee, Tea, and Caffeine in General

Coffee contains methylxanthines which can cause many problems for cats and dogs including vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and death. This is also part of the reason that chocolate (particularly darker varieties) should be avoided.

Grapes and Raisins

The component of grapes and raisins that causes sudden renal failure in pets (especially dogs) is unknown. However, studies have shown a clear pattern linking the ingestion of grapes and raisins to severe illness in pets. The symptoms of grape toxicity include lethargy, decreased appetite, decreased urination, and diarrhea.

Garlic, Onions, Chives

Large quantities of these foods raw, powdered, or otherwise contain chemicals that can wreak havoc on your pet's red blood cell's. Cats are particularly susceptible to anemia from the ingestion of these foods, but dogs are quite vulnerable to it as well. Very small amounts are usually fine, but keep your pets out of your spice rack and pantry!


The consumption of salt can cause excessive thirst and urination in pets, and possibly sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of ingesting too much salt include lethargy, tremors, elevated temperatures, seizure, and (as always) vomiting and diarrhea. Again, it will take quite a bit of salt to cause extreme reactions in pets, but it's important to keep track of what's going into your pet's body, particularly if they're on the petite side, such as most domestic cats and small-breed dogs.

Other Important Notes

  • Remember that your pets are susceptible to some of the same bacteria that humans are such as salmonella and e.coli.  Even though you may think that dogs and cats are perfectly fine eating raw meats, fish, and eggs, they pose the same risks to them as they do to us!
  • Keep your pets out of your spice rack! There are plenty of spices and powders that we would never give our pets as treats, but they might ingest just by being overly curious such as nutmeg, baking powder, or baking soda.

Acceptable Pet Treats

And if you really want to treat your pet to some healthy, human food some time, here are some great options that (barring any particular pet-specific allergies) should be fine to give as a reward!

  • Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries
  • Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew
  • Peanut butter
  • Cheese*
  • Yogurt*
  • Green beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Cooked meats

*Note: Some dogs and cats are lactose intolerant, so if you give any kind of dairy as a reward, be aware that it can cause upset stomach in some animals and should only be given in small quantities.

You can also always make your own delicious homemade pet treats that will help keep your pet happy and healthy!

Photo Credits: TastespottingDog Food HelpVetstreet

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