Chocolate sold to humans contains a substance called theobromine, that, even in small doses, can kill dogs and cats. The darker the chocolate, the greater the risk.
Although we can metabolize theobromine, our pets cannot. The compound can stay in their bloodstream for nearly 24 hours after eating and because their system cannot get rid of it, the poison accumulates and can lead to illness and in some cases, death.
Signs to look out for in a cat or dog that has consumed “human” chocolate include: diarrhoea, sickness, general restlessness and frequent urinating. The symptoms can be slow to appear, so if you think your cat or dog has eaten a large amount of chocolate then get them to your vets as soon as possible.
Zylitol is a sugar substitute found in candy, biscuits, cakes, chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwash and some sugar-free foods. It is very toxic to our pets, causing hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). Just 9 pieces of sugar free gum can cause a 45lb dog to suffer hypoglycaemia which can lead to liver failure and even death.
Keep these products safely out of your pets’ reach.
When pups and kittens are born, they able to digest lactose – the main sugar in milk. However, they lose this ability as they reach adulthood. When an adult cat or dog drinks milk, the indigestible lactose may start to ferment, causing a bloated, upset stomach.
This can lead to frequent diarrhoea, sickness and lethargy.
4. Garlic & Onion
If dogs and cats consume garlic and /or onion, they can develop anaemia (a breakdown of the red blood cells resulting in the cells being unable to carry oxygen). This can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, dark urine, weakness, breathing difficulties, organ damage, allergic reactions and asthmatic attacks. The consumption of a small amount of onion, or garlic, can lead to severe poisoning and, if not treated in time, death.
Signs to look for are: Lethargy, weakness, red or brown discolored urine, vomiting, pale gums and diarrhoea. If you suspect your pet has eaten garlic or onion please consult your vet promptly for advice.