9 Unhealthy Foods That You Must Avoid Feeding Pets

There are many foods that you can feed your pet without worrying about your pet facing any digestive or health risks. But there is a long list of foods that can cause serious damage to your pet. So, here is the list of top nine unhealthy foods that you must avoid feeding pets.

1. Bacon

Bacon has been linked to cancer, but there are more reasons why you should avoid feeding your pet this unhealthy food. Bacon contains very little nutritional value and is high in fat, which can lead to obesity and other health issues in dogs.

The high fat content in bacon can cause pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas that causes severe abdominal pain. 

Pancreatitis can be life-threatening if not treated promptly with intravenous fluids and supportive care in an emergency veterinary clinic. If you feed your pet bacon regularly, he may develop pancreatitis sooner than other dogs because his pancreas has been overworked by processing all that fat into energy over time.

2. Chocolate

During the processing of chocolate, both milk and sugar are added to the cocoa beans to create a delicious treat. However, these two ingredients are extremely unhealthy for dogs and cats. Milk, which is a natural part of chocolate, contains lactose and sucrose which can cause digestive upset in pets. The sugar in chocolate can lead to obesity, diabetes and dental health issues such as tooth decay over time.

Other ingredients in chocolate may also be harmful to your pet’s health. For example, caffeine can be toxic to dogs while caffeine-free dark chocolate contains methylxanthine alkaloids which can lead to vomiting or diarrhea if consumed by dogs or cats.

3. Coffee

Coffee has been shown to be unhealthy for humans, and it can be just as harmful for pets. While coffee itself is not poisonous to animals, there are additives that could cause problems. Coffee contains caffeine and other stimulants, which can make pets feel hyperactive or nervous. 

It's also addictive! Just like humans are addicted to coffee and other caffeinated drinks, dogs can become dependent on coffee too! If your pet gets a hold of some coffee grounds or even just smells the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, they may try their hardest to get more caffeine into their system—even if it's bad for them!

4. Alcohol

Dogs are much more sensitive to alcohol than humans are. A dog's liver cannot metabolize alcohol as efficiently as the human liver does, so it takes longer for the alcohol to leave its system. In addition, because dogs have a lower body temperature than humans, it takes less alcohol to reach toxic levels in a dog than it would in a person.

Cats are even more susceptible than dogs to alcohol poisoning. Cats lack an efficient mechanism for breaking down ethanol (the alcohol found in alcoholic beverages). They cannot handle even small amounts of alcohol because their livers process it very slowly and inefficiently. Cats also have less water content in their bodies than other mammals do, which makes them dehydrated after consuming even small amounts of alcohol.

5. Onion, garlic and chives (in any form)

Onion, garlic and chives are members of the Allium family. These foods are toxic to dogs, cats and other animals. They contain a compound called N-propyl disulfide, which is similar to thiosulphate, a chemical present in garlic that can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs.

Onion toxicity results in Heinz body formation in red blood cells, which causes hemolytic anemia and jaundice. Symptoms of onion toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums or mucous membranes (e.g., nose), weakness or lethargy, loss of appetite and abnormal heart rate or rhythm (arrhythmia). Some dogs may exhibit no clinical signs at all after ingesting onions. Others may only experience mild gastrointestinal upset.

The toxic dose of onion is estimated at 10 mg/kg if fed as fresh table scraps or 5 mg/kg if fed as dry powder or tablets. The smaller the dog, the lower the toxic dose needed for poisoning to occur.

6. Grapes and raisins

Grapes and raisins are not healthy foods for your pet. They can cause kidney failure and even death in dogs, especially when consumed in large quantities.

The most common reason for grape toxicity is their high sugar content. Dogs get all of their energy from carbohydrates, so they need a lot of them to sustain themselves. When they eat too many fruits with high sugar contents at once, they can develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

In addition to this, grapes contain an unknown toxin that humans can't digest but dogs can. This toxin causes kidney failure in dogs by interfering with their ability to metabolize certain amino acids properly.

7. Avocado (leaves, pit, seeds)

If your dog eats any avocado, even just a small piece of the pit, there is a risk of poisoning. In fact, many cases of avocados causing toxicosis occur when dogs have gotten into the trash and eaten avocado pits discarded by their owners.

The toxic dose for avocado varies between species and has not been determined in dogs or cats. However, it has been reported that there have been cases of toxicity in dogs after ingesting as little as 1/8th of an ounce (about 3 grams) of avocado seed per pound of body weight (1 kilogram).

There are no known antidotes for avocados or other plant products that cause toxicosis in dogs. Treatment consists simply of inducing vomiting within two hours and monitoring for complications such as liver failure or blood clotting problems.

8. Macadamia nuts and walnuts (in large amounts)

The macadamia nut is a tree nut that comes from the South Pacific island of New Caledonia. The nuts are considered a delicacy, but they're high in fat and very low in protein, so they aren't suitable for human consumption.

Macadamia nuts can cause serious health problems in pets because they're toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets when eaten in large amounts, according to PetMD.com. If your pet consumes less than 5 percent of its body weight in macadamia nuts or walnuts (about 1 ounce for a 10-pound dog), it's unlikely there will be any effects. 

However, if your pet eats more than this amount, it could experience vomiting and diarrhea as well as tremors and seizures. In extreme cases — usually involving larger dogs — death can occur due to liver failure or heart arrhythmia.

9. Cooked bones

Cooked bones can be dangerous to your pet's health because they splinter into sharp shards when chewed, which can cause serious damage to the mouth and digestive tract. Bones can also lodge in your pet's throat or become stuck in the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach).

If your pet eats cooked chicken bones, there is a risk of perforating their internal organs or causing an obstruction of their intestines. This could lead to an emergency surgery to remove the bone fragments from their digestive tract, which can be very expensive.

Dogs and cats have no teeth designed for chewing bones. They have evolved over thousands of years on diets consisting mainly of meat and other soft foods, so they don't know how to properly digest hard objects like cooked chicken bones.

In closing, it's best to carefully think through the consequences of your lifestyle choices before they result in ruined health or death. Think of your pet as a living being, and not just a possession, and take note of these unhealthy foods that you must avoid to make sure you're giving them all the health benefits they deserve.

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