Foods to AvoidAt Anza Animal Clinic, our Westlake Village vet provides a wide range of services for your cat or dog, including poison control treatment for situations when your pet has ingested a known toxin, such as a poisonous food or chemical. Proudly serving Thousand Oak, Lake Sherwood, Oak Park, and the surrounding communities, our veterinary team provides compassionate, skilled, and knowledgeable care in a welcoming environment.

Foods to Keep Away From Your Cat or Dog

While it may be tempting to treat your pet to a bite of “human” food every once in a while, it’s important to exercise extreme caution when feeding anything other than approved pet foods and treats to your dog or cat. Unfortunately, there are many foods that, while perfectly healthy for most humans to consume, can be poisonous and even downright fatal to pets.

Chocolate is an excellent example of a food that should be kept out of reach of dogs and cats at all times. Specifically, chocolate (even in very small amounts) can cause severe stomach and digestive problems for your pet. That’s because chocolate contains a substance known as methylxanthine, which can cause anything from vomiting and diarrhea in pets to tremors, seizures, and heart problems. This substance is also found in caffeine, so keep all caffeinated beverages away from your pets as well.

Many cat owners are also surprised to learn that dairy products can be dangerous to give as a treat. In fact, most pets (dogs included) actually become lactose intolerant by the time they reach adulthood, so giving a cat milk or a dog ice cream can actually cause a lot of digestive problems.

Meat scraps are also a food to keep away from your pet. It may seem like a nice treat to throw your dog some leftover turkey at Thanksgiving dinner, but that turkey could still contain small bones that your pet could choke on.

Some other examples of foods to keep away from dogs and cats include:

  • onions and chives
  • garlic
  • grapes
  • nuts

We also recommend keeping an eye on the AVMA’s list of animal food recalls and alerts so you can be made aware if any food or treats you buy for your pets have become recalled.

What to Do if You Suspect Pet Poisoning

If you suspect your pet ate something dangerous, always try to determine what your pet ate, as this can be extremely useful when it comes to determining the proper course of treatment. If you find a chewed up food bag or similar evidence, place it into a plastic bag and bring it with you to our clinic. And of course, be aware of common signs of pet poisoning, such as:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • panting/difficulty breathing