Pet owners often view their four-legged friends as part of the family, meaning that dogs and cats are often fed the same food as that eaten by the human family members. Problems can arise, however, when dogs and cats are fed table scraps that can cause varying degrees of harm, even death.
Most people know that chocolate is harmful to dogs and thus avoid feeding their pets slices of chocolate cake, chocolate candies etc. However, small pieces of chocolate often fall on the floor or are left out on easy-to-reach surfaces and are consumed by pets. While some dogs and cats would need to eat a large amount of chocolate to die, smaller amounts of chocolate can cause diarrhea and other intestinal maladies.
Onions and garlic can also be toxic foods for cats. Feeding food to dogs and cats that contains garlic or onions can cause anemia and damage to red blood cells. These ingredients can often sneak into a pet's food dish because people do not always recognize individual seasonings present in a particular food as coming from plant that is toxic to cats.
Chicken bones are not toxic in and of themselves, but bone fragments can splinter and lodge in the gums, throat, and intestines of pets. As enjoyable as pets find chicken bones, they will ultimately cause more harm than good.
Grapes and raisins are also toxic foods for cats and dogs and have been linked to kidney damage in both types of animals. While scientists do not agree on the particulars of why and how much, most do agree that raisins and grapes are very toxic plants for cats and dogs to consume.
Macadamia nuts are also toxic foods for dogs, causing intestinal and muscular maladies. Both macadamia nuts and macadamia nut cookies should be kept out of the reach of dogs. You can add walnuts to the list, they are also toxic to dogs, and peanuts can cause an allergic reaction in dogs that are allergic to peanuts.
Cat foods can be a toxic food for dogs due to their high fat and protein makeup. Other such fatty foods that dogs often love such as bacon and ham can also be dangerous and unhealthy for dogs to eat.
Milk can cause upset stomachs and intestinal problems for cats, particularly adult ones. Some cats are even lactose-intolerant and do not need the nutrients found in milk for a balanced diet.
Mushrooms are often toxic plants for dogs, severely damaging numerous organs when ingested. The kidneys, liver, and brain are particularly affected by mushrooms and can shutdown, leading to coma and death. Owners are cautioned to beware of wild mushrooms that can grow in the backyard as these can also be a highly toxic plant for dogs if ingested.
Alcohol should never be given to pets; this should be a given, but is worth stating anyway. Dogs are particularly susceptible to hops and can thus not tolerate even a small amount of beer.
As tempting as feeding table scraps to your dogs and cats can be, owners should exercise caution when feeding their pets table scraps. The best policy is no scrapes AT ALL. Better to be safe then sorry.