Great Dane Lady Approved: Dangerous Foods for Your Pet

The Great Dane Lady, Linda Arndt, has more than 38 years of experience as a canine nutritional consultant and breeder. In our Great Dane Lady Approved series, Linda will talk about her research and work with Precise. You can explore Linda’s website at

Chocolate, fruit and nuts may sound like tasty delights to you, but these foods can be downright deadly to our four-legged friends. Below is a roundup of common household foods and items that pose a threat to your beloved pets. Avoid these common toxins to help your dogs and cats live long, healthy lives.

Grapes and Raisins
Healthy for you? Yes. Healthy for pets? No. If consumed, grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs and cats. Experts suspect it has something to do with a chemical in the fruit’s skin. Raisins are even more dangerous because they contain a concentrated supply of toxins. Keep this snack out of the reach of your pets.

Chewing Gum
A dog might be attracted to the sweet-smelling gum that your kids are chewing or that’s tucked away in your bag, but the artificial sweetener, xylitol, can be deadly to pets. This sweetener is found in many types of gum and breath mints and can cause a low-blood sugar crisis in your pet. In fact, just a piece or two of gum can kill a dog.

It may seem unlikely that a dog would eat cigarettes, but those nosy little creatures will gobble them without a second thought. Nicotine is highly toxic so it doesn’t take much to cause a health crisis for your pet, including seizures, coma and death.

Who doesn’t find chocolate irresistible? But when it comes to dogs, chocolate is one deadly treat. Caffeine-like stimulants in chocolate known as methylxanthines can produce vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and even death.

Animals are much more sensitive to alcohol than humans and can quickly be in a life-threatening situation. Alcohol ingestion can lead to seizures, heart arrhythmia, vomiting, coma and death.

Pain Relievers
Keep your medicine cabinets shut tight! According to Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the number one insurance claim by far for poisonings in 2007 was owner-induced. In most cases, the problems were caused by owners giving their pets drugs intended only for human use. Never give your pets these types of drugs without consulting with your veterinarian. One tablet of acetaminophen can kill a cat.

Ever had your cat poke its head into your cup of tea? Bet you didn’t know it could be downright dangerous depending on the type of tea you’re drinking. Caffeine is toxic to both cats and dogs. Depending on how much is consumed and the size of your pet, ingesting it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, coma and even death.

You’d probably never consider giving your dog a piece of an onion, but if you toss her a piece of steak or a bit of stir fry cooked with onions, you’re putting your dog in danger. Onions are toxic to dogs and cats whether they’re raw or cooked. When ingested, onions can cause hemolytic anemia, a condition that destroys the red blood cells in the bloodstream. A dog with onion poisoning may become lethargic or have difficulty breathing. Generally, a large amount of onions would need to be consumed to pose a serious threat to your dog, but cats are highly sensitive to onion toxicity.

In general, stick to feeding your pets properly with dog food formulas designed with them in mind. Precise formulas provide all the nutrients, protein and healthy ingredients your pets need to stay happy and healthy!

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