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Originally published April 8 2010

Protect Your Pet: Common Pet Poisons in People Food and Plants

by Aaron Turpen

(NaturalNews) We all love our pets, whether they are cats, dogs, birds, or all of the above. There are foods that might be considered fine for you and your family, but are definitely not for your four-legged friends. Many of these are commonly understood to be bad, but some are not so obvious. Let's look at human foods that might be all right for you to eat, but definitely aren't good for the critters in your household.1

Chocolate and foods related to the cacao bean, such as coffee, contain what's called methylxanthines. These are part of the "caffeine kick" that these foods provide, but they can cause severe digestive and diuretic problems for your pets.

While many might enjoy a glass of vino occasionally, almost all alcoholic beverages are not good for your pets. All the symptoms of a Saturday night frat party will appear in your pet, but aren't funny at all. In fact, they can be deadly.

While many humans love avocados for dips, dressings, sandwich toppings, and more, they contain Persin. This substance can cause upper digestive problems in dogs and can kill birds and rodents with much worse internal problems.

Undercooked Bones
Giving your dog or cat bones leftover from your dinner might seem like a natural thing, but it can lead to serious problems. Domestic pets, especially dogs, have been bred away from their natural state and are not equipped to handle brittle (raw) bones. Most human cooking of meats is not sufficient to soften any bones inside it enough to feed to a pet. Table scrap bones are best composted rather than fed to pets.

Most people aren't aware that many dogs are allergic to many types of nuts. Especially macadamias. While not always fatal, the symptoms are disturbing and could warrant a trip to the vet should they occur.

This sweetener is used in a lot of candies and gums as well as in over the counter toothpastes. It's not good for pets for the same reason large doses are probably not good for you either. It triggers insulin release, which can lead to hypoglycemia, liver failure, and worse.2

Plants to Avoid
Some plants are also bad for your pets. Some species, such as dogs and cats, which are often allowed to roam freely around a home or yard, are especially susceptible to them. Most animals instinctively know that these plants are potentially poisonous, but that is no guarantee they won't get into them.3

The common plants you might have in your neighborhood that your pet should avoid are: azalea/rhododendron, tulips, marijuana, lilies, English ivy, oleander, and most commonly poisonous plants such as tobacco and chrysanthemum.

1 - People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets, ASPCA

2 - Xylitol - Is It Safe or Effective? by Rami Nagel, NaturalNews

3 - Plants Poisonous to Livestock and other Animals, Cornell University Dept. of Animal Science

About the author

Aaron Turpen is a professional writer living in Wyoming in the USA. His blogs cover organic/sustainable living and environmental considerations ( and the science debunking mainstream medical and proving alternatives (

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