Canada is home to nearly 6 million dogs and 7 million cats. Add in the birds, bunnies, hamsters, and other assorted pets, and Canadians have an impressive population of animals to keep safe. Our furred and feathered friends have different needs than we do, and many of the foods we have around the house can be dangerous or unhealthy for pets.

Foods to avoid for pets

Chocolate: Most pet owners are aware that chocolate these dangers for cats or dogs. Chocolate’s toxicity is due to Theobromine, which is found in higher concentrations in dark chocolate. Risks to pets increase with larger amounts of chocolate or for smaller pets. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate are the most dangerous types of chocolate for animals.

Fatty foods: If it’s not good for you is probably not good for your pet either. This category includes bacon, processed meats, and other similar types of meat with high-fat content.

Grapes or Raisins: Dogs will happily eat nearly any type of food they’re given, but grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure.

Onions or Garlic: Both onions and garlic are members of the Allium family and are toxic to dogs and cats.

Alcohol: As a responsible pet owner, you ready know not to feed Fido or Frisky shots of tequila. However, alcohol can be present in other foods. Unbaked bread dough is a particular risk because the yeast in the dough can ferment in your pet stomach causing inebriation or more severe issues.

Avocado: Avocados contain the toxin Persin, and that’s dangerous for birds, but the avocado seed can be dangerous for other animals as well if swallowed whole.

Cooked bones or poultry bones: Cooked bones and poultry bones can be dangerous for dogs and cats because they’re much more brittle than uncooked bones. Poultry bones are always brittle and should be kept safely away from pets.

Several other common staples around the house can be dangerous for animals, including:
• Caffeine
• Mushrooms
• Macadamia nuts
• Cherries

As tempting as it may be to share food with your pet, it can also be dangerous. It’s always best to feed your pets foods that are designed to keep them safe and healthy.