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Ten of the worst

Dogs love scavenging for food, helping themselves to left-overs and eating our sweets and biscuits, but this can be more harmful to your dog’s health than you’d think, there are lots of things that are not suitable for cats too.

Foods to avoid

Cooked Bones

Cooked bones especially poultry bones are very brittle and splintery and can cause choking and splinter in the gut. Raw bones, on the other hand can be beneficial for your pet’s teeth and health. However, if your pet is not used to raw food or bones, monitor them, introduce gradually and only feed them if our pet is in in good health.


Never give your dog chocolate, it can cause seizures and even death. Chocolate contains methyl xanthine alkaloids (primarily theobromine and caffeine) which affect the use of an enzyme that controls hormonal and neurological function. It can cause excessive stimulation leading to increased heart rate, hyperactivity, seizures, coma and potentially death. Other effects seen with chocolate overdose are vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, increased urination, and lethargy.

Raisins and Grapes

Research into the reasons why are inconclusive, but raisins and grapes can cause kidney conditions and failure.


Avocados contain persin, which may be destructive to the heart and lung as well as other tissues in cats and dogs.


Avoid feeding milk to your cat or dog as they are not designed to drink milk after weaning. They cannot produce lactase to digest the sugar lactose in the milk.


Cakes, sweets and biscuits should never be fed to your pet. They contain too much refined sugar and a high proportion of fat. Keep your human treats well away. If you give your dog a small plain biscuit or a slice of buttered toast you are giving him the equivalent of a hamburger in human terms.

Fast Food

Do not feed fatty foods such as pizza, chips and burgers to your pet. Too much poor fat and table scraps can lead to pancreatitis and obesity.


Nutmeg has minute levels of cyanide and can cause dog seizures. The same goes for the pips (seeds) of many fruits including apples. Slice apples rather than feed the entire fruit.


Onions can interfere with blood circulation and cause anaemia in cats and dogs. Garlic can do the same but only really causes problems in extremely large amounts. A small amount of garlic for your dog, (½ to 2 cloves a day) can actually help keep fleas and worms at bay.


Macadamia nuts can cause dogs to have tremors and could lead to paralysis.

Cheap pet food

Avoid added salt and sugar in cheap dog and cat food. Too much salt in your pet’s diet may cause kidney issues and other health complications. Too much sugar is not a good idea, unless it is a natural source from fruit and vegetables.

Exercise after eating

It is better not to encourage any exercise straight after your pet eats. You should wait at least an hour after eating to exercise your dog, as it could cause bloating and general digestive disturbances.

Feeding bowls

Always make sure your cat or dog has fresh, filtered water in a clean stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Plastic bowls can be a breeding ground for bacteria and can leak PCB’s.

If your dog or cat accidently eats any of these foods you should speak to your vet immediately.

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