Trick or Treat? 5 Surprising Foods You Shouldn’t Feed Your Pet


Sharing morsels of food while you’re cooking dinner or giving your pet a few leftovers after a meal is as normal as giving them a snack from the treat jar. Sorry to burst your bubble, but what if we told you that a lot of human foods are bad for your beloved companion?

Even if your pet has eaten these foods in the past and hasn’t had an issue doesn’t mean that they aren’t bad for them. These foods could be causing issues that you’re not even aware of.

Here’s our list of foods you should never feed your pet, no matter how cute they are.

1. Chocolate
This one’s a no-brainer, right? You’ve always heard that chocolate is bad for pets. But there’s a surprising number of people that still give it to them, even if it’s just a tiny amount! Not only can it cause vomiting and diarrhea, but the more the pet eats (and the darker the chocolate) their risk for serious issues like seizures, tremors, or even death increases significantly! It’s best to just leave the sweets for the trick-or-treaters.

2. Dairy Products
Surprisingly enough, dairy products can cause digestive issues with pets. Because dairy is intended to help young calves grow big and strong there is a high fat content in it, which can cause pancreatitis in your pet. Our pets also do not have the enzyme to breakdown milk sugar; so giving your cat a bowl of milk is not ideal. If you normally give your pet medicine inside a slice of cheese try switching to peanut butter or store bought pill pockets.

3. Bacon
No, not the bacon! Everyone remembers the adorably funny video of the Maple Bacon Dog on Youtube. But did you know that fatty meats like bacon, ham, and meat trimmings can also cause pancreatitis? It’s no fun for you or your pet when that happens so it’s best to avoid these fatty foods altogether.

4. Garlic & Onions
Fresh, cooked, dry, or powdered; these two vegetables are a big NO when it comes to your pets. Garlic and onion are extremely dangerous and can cause damage to red blood cells, respiratory issues, anemia, and organ damage. Keep your onion rings and garlic knots safely away from curious little dog and cat noses!

5. Sugar-Free Treats
The danger in sugar-free gum, candies, and sweets is the ingredient that makes them sweet. Even in small quantities xylitol causes dangerously low blood sugar that can be life-threatening for your pets. Double check the ingredients on your favorite sugar-free items (even toothpaste or peanut butter) and make sure to keep them out of reach of your pets at all times. If your pet loves peanut butter take a look at pet brands that make their own peanut butter for a safe alternative that you know you can trust.

The Takeaway
We all love to treat our dogs to a little snack from the fridge every now and then, and a lot of veggies or fruits can be ok for your pets to eat. But the most important factor is to keep it in moderation and always do your research. When in doubt, ask a vet! You can always call your regular veterinarian or even give us a shout if you’re just not sure about something. Always steer clear of any items listed on this page.

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At Happy Tails Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Greensboro, NC, our kind and knowledgeable team is available to provide gold standard emergency vet care for you and your pet. We’re available in the late night and early morning hours during the week, and 24/7 on weekends for your convenience.