Everybody deserves a good treat now and then, and it’s certainly fun to spoil our family pets. After all, they’re always giving us plenty of love and attention without asking for anything in return! We’ve all heard stories about daring dogs that loved salsa and playful puppies that would go to any length to sneak a bite of cheese. But just because your pet wants a bite doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for her.


At Normandale Veterinary Hospital in Edina, MN, we know how much our patients’ pet parents love to spoil them, but we also want to keep everyone safe and healthy. That’s why we’re sharing this handy guide to dangerous or unhealthy snacks that you should never feed your furry family members. Contact us to schedule your next pet care appointment and find out about healthy diet choices for your pets.

Pet Diets and Human Diets

The first thing to know about pets’ digestion is that they have different nutritional needs and metabolic rates than humans. Although this list has many of the worst culprits on it, don’t consider it a comprehensive list. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before giving your pet a new food or snack.

Doggo Don'ts

Dogs are notoriously un-picky eaters, and when left to their own devices, they’ll eat just about anything they can get their muzzles on. Some dogs are known to even sneak food off of the counter and out of the trash, so be super careful when you’ve got any of these items around:


●        Apple seeds: Apple seed casings contain a cyanide-releasing chemical that can be dangerous to humans and pets in large quantities. It’s best to core apples so they’re free of seeds before feeding them to dogs.


●        Avocado: The avocado represents a choking hazard for dogs, and the fruit itself contains persin, a fungicidal toxin.


●        Peaches and plums: Like apple seeds, pits from plums and peaches can release cyanide. These fruits can also cause intestinal problems for dogs.


●        Garlic, onions, and chives: All of these delicious seasonings can upset dogs’ stomachs and worse, cause anemia and red blood cell damage when larger amounts are eaten.


●        Sugar and sugar substitutes: Sugar is unhealthy for dogs and can cause dental issues, obesity, and even diabetes. Sugar substitutes like xylitol are also unhealthy and can interfere with insulin production and cause liver failure.


●        Popcorn: Popcorn can become lodged in your pet’s airway, cause dental injury, or damage her throat. Stick to special “dog popcorn,” available from gourmet dog treat manufacturers.


●        Salt: Just as with humans, too much salt can be unhealthy or even lead to sodium ion poisoning.


●        Fat trimmings: Fat trimmings, whether cooked or uncooked, can lead to pancreatitis in dogs.


●        Cooked bones: Although most types of raw bones are fine for dogs, cooked bones can splinter.


●        Raw meat and fish: Dogs may love the smell of raw meat, but it’s important to remember domestic dogs are not wild animals. Harmful bacterias in these products like Salmonella and E. coli are just as dangerous for dogs as they are for their human families.


●        Raw dough: Avoid feeding your dogs raw dough that contains yeast as it can cause bloating, lead to a dangerous condition called stomach twisting, or even release ethanol.


●        Alcohol: Alcohol is extremely dangerous for animals to consume and can lead to inebriation, breathing trouble, coma, or even death.


●        Caffeine: Never allow your pet to drink even a little caffeine. Within an hour or two of consumption, your dog can become extremely ill, experiencing an increase in blood pressure, elevated heart rate, seizures, or death.


●        Cannabis: THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, is toxic to dogs. Keep this and all medications out of reach of your pets.


●        Chocolate: Like caffeine, chocolate contains chemicals called methylxanthines that are toxic to pets and can lead to severe illness or death. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for pets, but you should avoid giving your dog this sweet treat altogether.


●        Milk and dairy: Although minute amounts of dairy are generally safe, they can cause diarrhea and extremely bad gas as dogs are lactose intolerant. Some dogs are also allergic to dairy products.


Call Our Edina Emergency Veterinarians

If you suspect your pet has eaten something dangerous, don’t take a chance with her health. Call our Edina pet care team at 952-831-8272 or contact us online to speak with our emergency veterinarians.