Why Cats and Dogs Can’t Eat Chocolate or Other Foods

9 months ago

Your cat lady friend has asked you to cat-sit her loves while she’s away for the weekend. You arrive at the house and open the fridge to feed them something healthy like chicken. You notice a bar of chocolate and decide to give it to them as a treat.

Wow! That’s a siren! Your friend calls you and yells at you. Turns out she has an alarm system that goes off when there’s any danger to her kitties. You should never ever feed them chocolate!

It has some toxic substance in it called theobromine. No worries, human metabolism naturally takes care of it, and that’s why you can safely eat chocolate. Lots of it, the more, the better. Sorry got carried away.

It doesn’t work this way for cats though. Another dangerous component is caffeine. When they both build up in a cat’s body, it can lead to really serious problems, like increased heart rate and breathing, tremors, seizures, and even liver failure and coma. All sorts of chocolate are dangerous to them: semi-sweet, milk, and even white chocolate with its low percentage of cocoa.

Also, there are chocolate brownies, donuts, cookies, and candies. The worst kinds are dark and baker’s quality chocolate because they have more cocoa in them. A tiny square of baking chocolate can do as much harm as twenty-three wrapped chocolate drops. Chocolate ice cream might not be that dangerous cocoa-wise, but it also has sugar and lactose from the milk, so it’s another no-go.

Chocolate is also poisonous to dogs, but the hazard depends on their size. Owners of hamsters, rabbits, and birds must all exclude chocolate from their pets’ diet, too. Artificial sweetener xylitol is also bad for all pets with no exceptions.

It can be found in candy, sugarless gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and many diet foods. It’s most dangerous for dogs. You’d better make sure any foods containing it are out of reach.

Most cats just love tuna, and it’s fine for them to eat the cat food variety of it. Regular canned tuna for humans on a regular basis can deprive them of some important nutrients cats need to be healthy. Don’t leave open cans anywhere accessible for your kitty. The liver is safe for felines in small amounts, but too much of it can give them more vitamin A than they can handle.

Neither cats nor dogs need onions in any form: powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated, in their diet. Garlic is 5 times stronger than onions, so it must be excluded, as well. Never give your cat a saucer of milk, a piece of cheese, or other dairy.

Most felines can’t digest lactose, so it would cause them serious stomach issues. The same is true for dogs. Dairy products can cause food allergies in them. So, instead of sharing your ice cream cone on a summer day, give your pup cold water to drink.

Grapes and raisins aren’t exactly the best treat for your pet. Even a small amount can make them sick. Early symptoms would be sluggishness in dogs and hyperactivity in cats. Caffeine in coffee, tea, and even the beans and the grounds, as well as cola and energy drinks, can be fatal for your fluffy family member. It increases heart rate and breathing, makes them restless, and gives them muscle tremors as early symptoms.

Fat trimmings off meat and bones, both cooked and uncooked, can give your kitty or doggy some bad digestion issues. Bones are dangerous for both as they can choke on them. They can also become an obstruction in the digestive system, and that’s no good. Raw eggs and meat can be the reason for food poisoning cats because of some sneaky bacteria in them.

Raw egg whites also contain a protein that can give your kitty skin and coat problems. Raw fish is also bad, it contains an enzyme that destroys vitamin B, which is super important for felines. When they don’t have enough of it, they can have neurological problems.

Now, if you like to feed your cat dog food or your dog cat food, stop right there. If either of them tries a bite of other species’ food by accident, it won’t be that bad. On a regular basis though, cats need a diet that’s richer in proteins and certain vitamins and fatty acids. Dog food doesn’t have enough of these nutrients. Dogs need a much more balanced diet than cats and cat food is too high in fat, calories, and protein for them. It could lead to obesity and seriously upset their tummies.

Something as harmless and vitamin-rich as avocado can give your pup food allergies. The reason for it is that the leaves, seed, bark, and fruit of an avocado are all rich in persin. Too much of this fatty acid-like substance can cause less than pleasant stomach issues. Plus, the seed can become an obstruction in the stomach.

Avocados are also one of the most dangerous foods for rabbits and are bad for pet birds because of persin. Some types of birds are fine with it, and some give them heart damage. So it’s better not to play the guessing game and not give them the fruit at all. Persimmons, peaches, and plums are a no-go because they have seeds or pits. Peach and plum pits aren’t just a prospective obstruction in the intestines but also have cyanide in them. It’s poisonous for both people and dogs.

When yeast dough gets in a cat’s or dog’s stomach it does its natural thing — it rises. This can stretch the pet’s abdomen and give them pain. When you’re baking, don’t leave the dough where your pet can snack on it. Just six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make your dog really sick. It’s even more dangerous when Spot gets chocolate with macadamia nuts. Well, that’s a bad twofer right there!

Even if it begs for chips or pretzels, never give it to your pup. Too much salt will make them thirsty and can also give them unpleasant stomach issues and depression. For pet birds, salt is even more dangerous. Just one pretzel can upset the fluid balance in them and give them dehydration.

Apples, cherries, apricots, pears, and other fruits with seeds and pits are all dangerous for birds because of the cyanide they contain. Without seeds, they’re safe to eat. Rabbits are better off without them, too.

Tomatoes are perfectly safe for birds, but their stems, vines, and leaves are toxic and must be avoided. High-fat foods, such as butter, oil, fatty meats, and nuts can give birds, especially Amazon and Quaker parrots, high cholesterol and obesity. Onions and garlic in large amounts cause digestive problems in birds. Mushrooms have the same effect.

Hamsters need a diverse diet that must not include processed sugary foods, junk food, tomatoes because they are acidic, and bitter almonds because they’re rich in cyanide. Peanuts have too much fat for a hamster, and the salty option can make them dehydrated. They can only handle really small amounts of fruit, and it must always be properly washed, as well as vegetables.

Fat is bad for your pet fish, so make sure there’s no more than 3% of it in the food you get for it, and up to 6% for carnivores. Always keep their dry food in a tightly sealed smaller container. Water ruins it, and when you open a large container a lot, fish food absorbs moisture from the air.

In the wild, turtles never miss a chance to eat and can snack on almost anything. They won’t find dairy there, and they can’t break down lactose, so don’t feed them milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products. Don’t give them too much raw meat, fish, or chicken as they’d get more protein than they need.

Processed human foods such as sausage or canned foods, French fries, and ketchup are a terrible idea, as well. They have too much salt and other preservatives. Also watch out for fruits, especially if you have an aquatic turtle.

Rabbits don’t need yogurt drops, high-carb treats like muesli, bread, pasta, cookies and crackers, and cereal in their diet. Iceberg lettuce is another no-go because it has a chemical that’s dangerous for their health. Potatoes and parsnips with lots of starch are difficult to digest. Peanut butter also gives them a tummy ache.

Hamster food, as well as dog or cat food, must never end up in a rabbit’s bowl. It has too many of the wrong vitamins and minerals and not enough nutrients the rabbit needs.


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