Two articles in a row on people food might seem to be a bit excessive, but at the emergency clinic we have a saying “if people fed their dogs pet food and walked them on a leash, we would be out of business”. Most of what we do involves dogs and cats that ate something they shouldn’t have. It’s easy to explain the toxins that most people know about: antifreeze (http://www.bestfriendspetcare.com/Pet_tips/antifreezeandpets.cfm); rat poison (http://www.marvistavet.com/html/rat_poison.html); chocolate (http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/pdfs/allpets/chocolatetoxicity.pdf). But there are so many foods out there that are toxic that it’s difficult to keep up!
Here’s a PARTICIAL list of toxins:
Alcohol – fatal in very small quantities
Coffee – Contains the same toxins as chocolate
Macadamia nuts – as little as 4 or 5 nuts can be fatal to a 10lb dog
Garlic – can causes anemia over time
Grapes and raisins – can cause a fatal kidney failure
Onions – can damage a pet’s hemoglobin and impair the ability to use oxygen
Chewing gum – Xylitol (a sweetener) can cause a fatal low blood sugar
It’s important to remember that these are just foods that contain known toxins. Most fats can cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas, http://www.myspecialdog.com/PetPancreatitis.aspx) and any plant can cause irritation to gastrointestinal tract.