Toxic Foods for Dogs & Cats and How to Avoid Them

Feeding your dog or cat ‘people food’ is a common practice among pet owners. Sometimes it’s just too hard to deny feeding them when they look at you with loving eyes while you are eating! Unfortunately, you may be endangering the health of your beloved pet by engaging in this seemingly harmless activity as your pet’s digestion system is not capable of handling many things consumed by people. Below are four highly toxic foods you need to avoid feeding your dogs and cats.


It is well known that chocolate can be extremely toxic for dogs and cats. Chocolate contains a substance called methylxanthine that can cause several serious problems when ingested by pets. A few common symptoms a dog or cat will experience after eating too much chocolate are vomiting, excessive thirst, abnormal heartbeat, and panting. Dark chocolate is far more dangerous than milk chocolate or white chocolate because it contains more methylxanthines. Make sure your chocolate is stored in a cupboard to avoid accidental consumption by your pet.


There are a lot of cat owners that give their pet bowls of milk regularly. While your cat will likely love drinking the milk, it is very dangerous for their health. Household pets lose the ability to break down the lactose in milk and other dairy products at a very young age. Milk is safe for them to consume shortly after being born, but it quickly becomes dangerous. Drinking milk will cause your dog or cat to have diarrhea and other digestive problems. If milk is always stored in the refrigerator, then you should have nothing to worry about. 

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are one of the most toxic food items for dogs and cats. Eating this small nut will cause them to experience muscle weakness, tremors, and hyperthermia. These scary symptoms are typically revealed within 12 hours of consumption, and they can last for up to two days. Never leave loose macadamia nuts within reach of your dog or cat. If you believe that your pet has eaten macadamia nuts or another harmful substance, then you should take them to our Fishtown animal hospital immediately.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits get their name because they contain high levels of citric acid. This is what gives lemons, limes, and oranges their tart flavor. While citric acid is safe to consume for humans, it is very toxic for dogs and cats. Eating a few pieces of fruit will often lead to an upset stomach for your pet. If they get a hold of multiple fruits, then they may develop central nervous depression. Immediately take your pet to IndyVet, your local veterinarian in Philadelphia, if they consume more than one citrus fruit. Reduce the risk of this happening by removing the fruit from easily accessible kitchen counters or tables.


Making sure human food is put away and out of reach is the best way to ensure the safety of your pets. Whether you are out of the room or out of the house, food placed away and out of reach is always the safest option. For more information on human food dangers and pet safety, contact Indy Veterinary Care today!


1 Comment

  1. […] Citric acid can be highly toxic for cats. It can irritate the nervous system of the cat and can also cause an upset stomach. (Source) […]

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