If you are a pet owner, you might have been tempted to spoil your furry family member with a treat from your plate. But before you do, make sure you're not sharing one of the common foods that can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, medical problems for cats and dogs.
In a new review of studies, two animal health researchers in Italy drew up a list of the foods that are the most common culprits in pet poisonings worldwide.
"Several foods that are perfectly suitable for human consumption can be toxic to dogs and cats," the researchers wrote in their review, published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science. "The poisoning episodes are generally due to lack of public knowledge of the serious health threat to dogs and cats that can be posed by these products."
Sometimes, owners give these harmful foods to their dogs and cats, but a lot of times, pets accidentally ingest these foods, which happen to be commonplace in homes. The researchers found that, in the past decade, reported cases of pet poisoning have involved chocolate and chocolate-based products, plant foods in the Allium genus (including onions, garlic, leeks and chives), macadamia nuts, Vitis vinifera fruits (including grapes, raisins, sultanas and currants), foods sweetened with xylitol (such as sugar-free chewing gums and cookies), ethanol in alcoholic beverages, and unbaked bread dough.
The list of human foods that are toxic to cats and dogs continues to grow as cases get reported. And in many instances, scientists don't know the exact biological reasons why certain foods sicken animals. [10 Things You Didn't Know About Dogs]
"While some foodstuffs, such as chocolate, have long been known to cause poisoning in dogs and cats, others, such as grapes, had previously been considered unlikely to cause problems, and have emerged as a potential concern only in the last few years," the authors of the review, Cristina Cortinovis and Francesca Caloni, of the University of Milan in Italy, wrote in their paper. And as a result, poisoning cases have sometimes been wrongly diagnosed, they said.
In general, dogs are affected more than cats, in part because they eat pretty much anything, whereas cats are somewhat protected because they're pickier eaters, the researchers found.
Click through for more on what's known about foods that are toxic to dogs and cats, according to the review...