The treats that could spell death for your pet

There are some major foods to avoid for dogs, cats and birds.

Feeling you pet’s eyes on you as you tuck in to your evening meal can pull at the heartstrings, but offering them the leftovers without a second thought could prove fatal.

Dogs, cats and birds have different digestive systems to humans, and foods we enjoy day to day could actually be poisonous to them. While it’s widely known to avoid chocolate and alcohol at feeding time, there are others that may surprise you.

From onions and mushrooms for birds, to cooked meat bones and even raw meat for dogs, there are many foods you may not consider an issue – but it’s best to avoid them to keep your beloved animals safe.

Ben Pearson, Senior Campaign Manager for World Animal Protection, told Starts at 60 that many owners unknowingly feed dogs toxic food that could cause “serious harm”. He added: “If you plan to give your dog commercial treats check the ingredients and ensure it is only on the odd occasion. A good rule of thumb is to check with your vet before feeding your dog a commercial treat, human food or even home-made dog treats.”

Meanwhile, researchers previously found raw meat can become contaminated with bacteria and parasites, so it’s best to avoid feeding any animal too much – or better still, avoid it completely.

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Read more: Raw meat pet foods ‘may carry deadly bugs’, experts warn

“Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health,” the researchers, who were based in the Netherlands, said at the time.

It’s not just your furry pets at risk, and bird owners are advised by Pet MD to avoid anything from chocolate to caffeine and even avocado. Here are a few foods to avoid for your pets:


  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes or alcohol
  • Cooked meat bones
  • Caffeine (for example coffee products)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Yeast dough
  • Corn on the cob
  • Blue cheese
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  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Cooked bones
  • Citrus oil extracts
  • No excess of raw fish or liver in diets, or raw meat and fat trimmings
  • Dog food
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Garlic and onions
  • Mouldy foods


  • Chocolate
  • Apple seeds
  • Avocado
  • Onions or mushrooms
  • Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Caffeine
  • Rhubarb or tomato leaves
  • Dried beans

Have you had any bad experiences after giving your pets any of these treats?