A big high-five to the New Zealand Veterinary Association for providing this list of the top ingredients found in human foods that could potentially cause your pets harm.
Please remember, this is not an exhaustive list and factors such as the size of your pet, the amount they consume and underlying health conditions come into play. We recommend talking to your veterinarian to learn about your pet’s nutritional needs.
Contains theobromine which causes vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive panting, abnormal heartbeat, seizures or even death. A standard 200g block of dark chocolate is enough to kill a 40kg (approx.) dog.
It is used as a sugar replacement; it is found in treats like sugar-free gum and mints, and even some peanuts butters! Xylitol can cause low blood sugar and liver failure for our pets. So make sure you check your peanut butter ingredients before you make those pup treats and keep your rubbish bin and handbag our of reach so your fur friends can't get hold of your chewing gum.
Onions belong to the Allium family, where all parts of the plant are toxic. Cooking does not reduce the risk, so take extra care with your leftovers or food that accidentally falls onto the floor.
Contains substances that are nephrotoxic, which means they can cause kidney damage and liver failure. Even a small amount of dried fruit can prove fatally toxic. Look out for vomiting, diarrhoea and reduced or loss of appetite.
The effects dramatically increase in pets compared to humans and can be fatal, especially for smaller animals. Be cautious of coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some over the counter medications.
Contains Persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. An even greater risk is the Avocado pit, which is difficult to digest and can cause obstructions in the oesophagus, stomach or intestinal tract.
Stone fruits containing pits are highly risky. Pits can easily become stuck and cause obstructions in the throat or gastrointestinal tract. They also contain cyanide compounds that can be toxic when chewed.
Any amount of alcohol can cause vomiting, seizures and respiratory failure. Drinks are the obvious source but watch out for hidden places such as desserts, sauces and the yeast in raw dough.
Any amount of uncooked bread dough containing yeast can be toxic. The dough expands in the stomach causing bloating and vomiting. Fermented raw yeast can also cause alcohol poisoning.
Also part of the Allium family, these plants can cause red blood cells to burst and prevent oxygen circulating. Dried and powdered forms carry the highest risk due to their high concentration.
As little as 2 to 4 grams of macadamia nuts can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Macadamia nuts can affect the central nervous system, causing weakness in hind legs. Almonds and pistachios also carry a high risk of causing obstruction.
Garlic is toxic for pets and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and in cases of high toxicity cause red blood cells to burst. This is especially the case with powdered garlic which is a higher concentration – so even a small amount can cause your pet, depending on their size, to become ill.