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12 Foods You Didn’t Know Are Toxic To Pets

Pet Care Tips 5 min read
foods you didn't know are toxic to pets. Dog staring at pizza on counter

With the holidays just around the corner, thinking of how to keep our pets safe from toxic foods is more important than ever. Some foods can be toxic to pets and cause more damage than just an upset stomach, which is why we created a list of 12 foods you didn’t know are toxic to pets.

Here are some examples of toxic foods and plants that can harm your loved pet.

Raisins and Grapes

These can be fatal to cats and dogs, as they have a toxic ingredient in them. Ingesting raisins and grapes, even in small amounts, can lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure and death. Keep your furbabies away from fruitcakes this holiday season, and any food that has grapes or dehydrated fruits.

12 foods you didn't know are toxic to pets. Dog eating grapes

Dough and Cake Batter

Everybody loves cookies and cakes. It is no different with our furry companions. Some ingredients in these, however, like raw eggs and sugar can cause an upset stomach and more serious digestive issues. 

Your furkiddos don’t need to skip out on the tasty treats! It is safer to give them premade biscuits specifically made for pets or make sure your goodies are fully baked. You can make them special treats at home like this Banana & Oat cookie, or if your furbaby prefers, a Peanut Butter cookie.


Chocolates is a huge fan favorite. Although we can experience the wonders of chocolates, there is an ingredient called theobromine that is highly toxic for dogs and cats. Poisoning by theobromine can lead to heart, liver, and kidney failures, seizures, and potentially death. Make sure to keep all the chocolate boxes hidden from your kitties and pups. Save them all for yourself and the human members of your family.

Poisoning by theobromine can lead to heart, liver, and kidney failures, seizures, and potentially death.

12 foods you didn't know are toxic to pets. Dog eating chocolate

Sage, Mint, and Other Plants

Sage and mint taste and smell good to us humans and be attractive to our furkiddos, but, they are something pet parents should be cautious of. Our pets, especially cats, are sensitive to sage and mint as they may cause stomach upset and depression of the central nervous system. You can find more plants that may be dangerous to your pet here.

Poinsettias are one of the most beautiful plants and are fairly common during the holiday season. It works perfectly as a decoration and as a gift but should be kept away from furkiddos.

Although some plants and herbs are dangerous to our pets, there are many that can be incredibly beneficial to their health and wellness. That is why a holistic veterinarian and master herbalist have formulated our supplements thinking of the safety and well-being of our beloved furbabies.

Onion and Garlic

All parts of the onion are toxic to dogs. Garlic (allium family) is also harmful. When they ingest either of these two common ingredients, they can develop hemolytic anemia that may lead to the destruction of the red blood cells, causing severe health problems. These are daily ingredients that are found in many items that we may feed our pets absentmindedly, such as store-bought broths and seasonings so extra attention is required to not let accidentally feed them to our pets.

12 foods you didn't know are toxic to pets. Cat eating onion

Apple Seeds

Apples are delicious. They are crunch, juicy, and healthy for us. Most pets love them as treats and giving them small pieces of apples is totally fine, however, make sure you take out all the seeds. Apple seeds are especially toxic for dogs, as they contain a small amount of cyanide that can poison them, potentially leading to death.

Candy & Artificial Sweeteners

Like the potential hazards that chocolate can offer to pets, other types of candy can be equally harmful. Gums can cause blockage in the stomach and intestines. Chewing gums and candies also contain xylitol, which is a popular sweetener used to replace sugar, which is highly poisonous to pets.

Some products where you can find xylitol are baked goods, juice drinks, chewing gum, candy, human mouthwashes and toothpaste (always use the pet mouthwash and toothpaste), jellies, and jams, cereal, among other products. Candies in general are made for human consumption only.


Coffee is a great way to start the day for humans. Pets are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine and can be poisoned by ingesting even small amounts, so it is important to keep them away from coffee, tea, and any product that may contain caffeine.


Humans are the only mammals that keep drinking milk at all periods of life. In nature, mammals are weaned and do not drink milk if they can eat for themselves. Unfortunately, there is a culture of giving milk, especially for cats, as a treat. Too much dairy can cause diarrhea and stomach upset, both in dogs and cats, and some may even develop lactose intolerance and be allergic to dairy products.

Cat drinking milk

Cooked Bones

Cooked bones are hard and splinter when they break. This is especially dangerous for pets that eat them, as they can cause severe obstructions and lacerations in the GI system. If that happens, it is treated as a surgical emergency with a high risk of death.

With all these foods, during holiday or any time of the year, in case of ingestion, look for a veterinarian as soon as possible. And also, with the right support, you can help protect your pet’s liver and kidneys, and help to detox their system with Milk Thistle and BK-Detox.

NHV Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is a herb that is native to the Mediterranean. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Studies have shown that Milk Thistle decreases or even can reverse damage to the liver which may be caused by the use of prescription medications, heavy metals, toxic agents, or household pollutants. The active compound in Milk Thistle, silymarin, helps to prevent toxins from binding to the liver. This is not only beneficial to the liver itself, but to many other bodily functions.

BK-Detox helps to support the immune system and promotes detoxification of the vital organs and the blood.

We are always here to help you and our fur family!

Dr. Rebeca Oliveira DVM

Dr. Rebeca Oliveira DVM

Dr. Rebeca is a holistic veterinarian from Brazil with a passion for natural and integrative medicine. She’s been studying integrative medicine and alternative (and healthier) diets since 2015, and now started to study the power of herbs with the NHV Family. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her golden retriever, Kuga.

Published: December 19, 2020

2 replies

  1. Nita Bishop says:

    My 17 y.o. Japanese bobtail cat has a cryptococcak nasal cyst, research shows turmeric is a better anti-fungal than fluconazole but my cat started foaming at the mouth! My concerns are will NHV turmeric cause the same reaction? Dr Nita

    1. Team NHV says:

      We would suggest administering Turmeric (and our supplements in general) with food or with your furry kiddo’s favorite treat for convenience.

      Alternatively, you may wish to administer the product via a syringe or dropper directly into the mouth preferably after feeding so that the product is easier on the digestive system.

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