I think it's fair to say that Abilenians love their pets. Most of us treat them as family, and when that's the case, it's tempting to feed them human food. Around my table, Buck and Peep are excited - sometimes ravenous - about getting a bite dropped to them at mealtime. Though some folks are strictly against feeding table scraps to pets, others don't mind sharing. However, there are some foods that are just plain dangerous for your pet. You've got to be in the know.

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An article from the Humane Society of the United States claims you can feed your pet human food, but with some important exceptions. Below you'll find some of the most common foods that can be dangerous to animals. The list was developed by the ASPCA and is not conclusive. Any decision to feed your pet people-food should be discussed with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist.

If you suspect your pet is in danger, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.


Photo: damedeeso/Getty Images
Photo: damedeeso/Getty Images


Alcoholic beverages or foods infused with alcohol are bad news. They can cause a variety of problems for your pet including diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, coma and even death.


These are mainly a problem for horses, birds, donkeys and rabbits. Avocado can cause cardiovascular damage or death in birds. Horses and donkeys can experience swelling.

Chocolate, Coffee

These contain a substance called methylxanthines. When ingested by your pet, this substance can cause everything from excessive thirst to seizures and even death. The darker the chocolate, the higher amount of methylxanthines and potential danger.


Any fruits containing citrus are a no-go. These can cause irritation and even affect the central nervous system, if ingested in significant amounts.

Grapes, Raisins

Both of these contain toxins that can cause kidney failure.

dog having nice breakfast in white bed
Photo: damedeeso/Getty Images

Macadamia Nuts

These can cause vomiting, weakness, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. The signs usually show within 12 hours and can last 24 to 48 hours.

Milk, Dairy Products

Pets don't have the necessary enzymes to break down the lactose in milk. Ingesting dairy products can cause diarrhea and other discomforts.


Nuts like pecans and walnuts contain oils and fat that can cause a pet to vomit, and possibly experience pancreatitis.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These can cause gastrointestinal irritation and lead to red cell damage.

Raw Meat, Bones

Giving your pet uncooked meat could spell trouble, with risk of salmonella and E. coli. Bones may seem like a natural snack for dogs but take caution. Domestic pets could choke, or the bone could splinter and become lodged in your dog's digestive tract.

A happy puppy pug waiting for a treat with mouth open and tongue out
Photo: Vantage - Drone Services/Getty Images


This sweetener is used in many items, including candy, baked goods, and toothpaste. If ingested by your pet, it could cause an insulin release which might lead to low blood sugar and/or liver failure.

Yeast Dough

Be careful with raw dough around your pet. When ingested, it can rise in the digestive tract causing pain and discomfort. In some cases, it can make the stomach twist and become a life-threatening emergency.

Though this list is nowhere near complete, these are a good starting point. With the holidays in session and more feasting around the house, be in the know about potential interactions between pets and people-food.

Yep, Abilenians love their furry friends and don't mind showing them off. Look below for some of our favorite pet pictures from Abilene listeners.

LOOK: Adorable Pets of Our Abilene Listeners

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