10 Foods and Ingredients to Keep Away from Your Dogs and Cats

Our pets will happily nibble on any morsel of food they come across. Whilst chicken is okay for your dog and tuna won’t hurt your cat, there is some human foods that are poisonous to our pets. It is incredibly tempting to feed our pets tit bits from our meals, but it can lead to illness and even death if enough is consumed. If you think you pet has devoured something they shouldn’t get in touch with your vet immediately.

To ensure you are aware of what could be harmful to your cat or dog, check out our guide below:

Macadamia Nuts

Whilst eating these whole is detrimental to the health of your pet, please be aware that they can be found in many types of foods, including chocolates. What makes a macadamia nut toxic to cats and dogs is yet to be understood but it can cause lethargy, vomiting, tremors, joint pain and pale gums in cats and dogs – usually around 12 hours after ingestion. Most animals will bounce back in around 12 to 48 hours, but keep a very close eye on them and consult a vet if they do not improve.

Grapes and Raisins

Again, like macadamia nuts, scientists do not know what agent makes grapes and raisins poisonous to cats and dogs. However, if eaten, these fruits can cause acute kidney failure in dogs and cats. You should contact your vet even if you don’t notice any signs of illness as signals can occur up to 24 hours later and include vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy.


This artificial sweetener can be found in everything from gummy sweets, mints and honey, to peanut butter, toothpaste and mouthwash. It seems nothing is safe from containing xylitol. It is very harmful to dogs because it causes a sudden release of insulin from the pancreas if eaten. This results in hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). It can also cause liver damage in dogs and dogs will often show signs of illness in 30 minutes through vomiting and loss of coordination.


One of the nation’s favourite health foods can cause damage to our pets. Anything linked to avocados, including the pit, tree leaves, and tree bark are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Pets will likely appear well and then fall foul of violent vomiting and diarrhoea. Seek the advice of a vet immediately and always make sure you mention they have consumed avocado if you expect they have.

Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine

It is drilled into most dog owners that chocolate is a no-no for man’s best friend. Chocolate contains the chemical theobromine, which is toxic to dogs if they consume a lot of it. Chocolate also contains caffeine, the same stuff that is found in fizzy drinks and coffee. Dogs will fall ill if they consume chocolate with high levels of theobromine and caffeine. Dark chocolate is the worst offender as it contains higher levels of these compounds; just a couple of squares can cause illness in smaller dogs. Dogs can die if they eat enough chocolate and owners should look out for vomiting, diarrhoea, panting, seizures and irregular hate rate. If you think your dog has ingested chocolate ring you vet immediately.

Garlic and Onions

Whilst garlic and onions elevate dinners around the UK on a daily basis, your cat or dog should never eat the popular ingredients. Both garlic and onions contain a chemical that damage the red blood cells of cats and dogs. This can lead to red blood cells rupturing and losing their ability to carry oxygen effectively. Whether raw, powdered or within a meal, keep garlic and onions away from your pets in any form.