Chocolate and caffeine are known to be toxic by most pet owners. The primary principle that causes the toxicity is methylxanthines theobromine, which is 3-10 times greater in chocolate than caffeine. Both contribute to chocolate toxicosis, which is potentially life-threatening for dogs though most pets are susceptible. White and milk chocolate contain the least amount of methylxanthines; however, cocoa powder, dark, and baker's (unsweetened) chocolate containing the highest levels.The hazard of chocolate depends on the type of chocolate, the amount consumed, and your pet's size. If your pet ingests chocolate, contact your vet right away. Even an ounce of chocolate could be potentially fatal.
In recent years, the food additive Xylitol has become a very popular ingredient in sugar-free products. It can be found anywhere from gum and candy to baked goods and toothpaste. It is considered a sweetener, so dogs and cats are attracted to it, but when it is ingested by a pet, it can severely affect their liver.
Sharing human food with a pet can be a special treat. Or maybe they get the occasional scrap right from the table (no judgement, I cave to the begging puppy eyes too!). If this describes your relationship with your pet, becoming familiar with common cooking ingredients that are toxic to animals could save your fur (or feather) baby a lot of discomfort, or worse:
- garlic, chives, and onion (powders, too)
- macadamia nuts
- yeast dough (raw)