It seems logical to assume that foods that are healthy for humans are also healthy for your pets. Not only is this not true, but certain healthy human foods could spell disaster for our furry canine and feline companions.

Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine contain toxic methylxanthines. Baking and dark chocolate are especially dangerous, causing diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, and seizures.

Alcohol has the same effect on a pet’s brain and liver that it has on people, but it takes much less to hurt your pet. The smaller your pet, the worse the poisoning, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, coordination problems, difficulty breathing, and coma.

Onions, garlic, and chives can cause anemia. Cats are actually more susceptible, but canines tend to eat more, resulting in weakness, pale gums, and breathing problems.

Grapes, raisins, and currants are highly toxic to dogs. Even a few can cause kidney failure and, in some cases, death. They cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, abdominal pain, weakness, dehydration, and tremors.

Milk and dairy products. Most dogs are lactose intolerant. Sometimes soft cheeses in small amounts are used in training as rewards. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting.

Macadamia nuts are poisonous to dogs. Other nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats, such that large amounts should be avoided. Symptoms include weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, fever, diarrhea, and pancreatitis.

Salty foods like potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in older pets. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures.

Xylitol is increasingly added as a sweetener to numerous sugar-free products, including gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release, which can lead to liver failure or death. Symptoms include vomiting, decreased activity, weakness, staggering, incoordination, collapse, and seizures.

Fatty Foods like bacon and butter can cause pancreatitis, a painful condition where the body starts digesting itself. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and abdominal pain.

Marijuana edibles are dangerous to your pets. Symptoms include weakness, acting drunk, and incontinence.

Corn cobs and peach pits can cause a blockage, obstructing your pet’s intestines. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and abdominal pain.

Keep your pet healthy and safe. If you think your dog ate something dangerous, call your veterinarian or the National Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 immediately. Always keep a fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide available to induce vomiting, if necessary.

The Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society is comprised of more than 75 small animal hospitals and more than 220 practitioners in Erie and Niagara Counties. It exists to advance public awareness and understanding of appropriate and compassionate pet health care, veterinary services, and the veterinary profession.