Pet-lovers naturally want to treat their animals well, especially during the holidays. Whether that means building your dog a new house or buying your cat a new catnip toy, there are plenty of ways to show pets just how much you care.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should give them the food and drinks you consume. Just because you like chocolate or ice cream, for example, isn’t a reason to share it with a pet. In fact, giving your pets human foods and drinks can often wreak havoc on their bodies and even cause severe, long-term health problems.
Of course, cats and dogs are different, so what qualifies as “safe” varies based on the animal. But here’s a short list of common human foods and drinks that neither animal should consume:
All chocolate contains toxic substances called methylxanthines, which are stimulants that affect the metabolic process. Even a tiny amount of chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Grapes and Raisins
Dogs can actually suffer acute kidney failure from eating grapes or raisins, but cats shouldn’t eat them either.
Garlic and Onions
They lead to gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage, especially in cats.
Pets cannot process significant amounts of lactose, so milk and other milk-based products results in many an upset stomach.
Large quantities of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets.
This causes gas buildup in an animal’s digestive system, which can ultimately cause the stomach or intestines to rupture.
It goes without saying, but alcohol is on that list too.
Never give your pet a drink—no matter how small a sip. Remember: Alcoholic beverages can cause brain and liver damage in pets (and humans, too!)