Although dogs are generally considered to be carnivores, they can adapt to a wide-ranging diet, and do not depend solely on meat to satisfy their dietary requirements. Dogs can digest a variety of foods, including grains and vegetables; an all-meat diet actually lacks calcium and iron, but most commercially available dog food addresses this issue.


Domestic cats prefer moist foods rich in amino acids such as meat. They are finicky about the temperature, smell and texture of their food, and learn quickly to reject foods that they have not liked in the past. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant and do not digest the sugars in milk easily which can cause gastric distress or diarrhea.


Dogs are notorious for begging for table scraps, and may at times help themselves if given the opportunity. Cats are less likely to do this, but their curiosity may lead them to try things a cat would not ordinarily eat. This is where understanding what is safe and what can harm your furry friend is of paramount importance.



Chocolate is definitely something you do not want your pets to eat. It can cause theobromine poisoning and be fatal for both dogs and cats, depending on the amount ingested.


Onions and Garlic

Large amounts of onions or garlic are poisonous to cats. 


Pretzels and Chips

These foods are generally saturated with salt, which is not really good for humans or animals alike. Although your cat is probably not going to eat a bag of salty pretzels, dogs may enjoy the experience. This can even lead to sodium poisoning, the effects of which include vomiting, diarrhea and possibly death.


Fruits and Sweets

Most fruits are high in sugar which can lead to blood glucose issues, but the most dangerous of these are grapes and raisins.  They have been shown to cause serious kidney issues and even death when consumed by dogs.



While it seems that every dog would just love to gnaw on a bone, and they may, bones are known for causing wounds in the mouth, stomach and digestive tract. Some bones splinter easily, increasing the risk of sharp fragments injuring your pet internally.



Any amount of liqueur can be dangerous or even fatal, and should always be avoided.



Certain houseplants are also very dangerous, such as the Poinsettia, the aloe plant and plants of the lily family.. They are known to cause permanent and life-threatening kidney damage resulting in death.


By no means is this a comprehensive list of foods or other materials that are dangerous to your pets. Do not hesitate to contact us at Normandale Veterinary Hospital with questions you may have regarding this subject, or if your pet has ingested anything suspect. The well-being and longevity of your furry friends is our top priority!