Search Locations
Find Us
Open 7 Days a Week

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Top Toxic Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Pets.

Chocolate, macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you (and they are!), but they’re actually quite dangerous for our animal companions.Here is a handy list of the top ‘people foods’ to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine

These products all contain a substance called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate…and white chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest…HOWEVER, chocolate of any kind should be avoided.


Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.


The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion as these nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Grapes & Raisins

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets that already have certain health problems, the impact may be even more dramatic.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful, and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B- vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option; However, it can be very dangerous for a domestic pet who might choke, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.


Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, loss of coordination, and lethargic behavior.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.


Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.


Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!

Adopt A Feline Month.

A little known fact: The Arizona Humane Society does not receive any federal or state funding. All the vital rescue and shelter efforts they provide for our four-legged friends are solely funded by the community, so it is critical for those of us that can to support however we can. 

One way to support AHS this month is to participate in their Adopt A Feline Month. People interested in adding a new pet to their home are encouraged to adopt from a local shelter, and save a life. The Arizona Humane Society has two main adoption facilities, and two additional locations at retail sites.

Adoption location addresses, include:

  • Nina Mason Pulliam Campus for Compassion
    1521 West Dobbins Road
    Phoenix, AZ 85041
  • Sunnyslope Campus
    9226 North 13th Avenue
    Phoenix, AZ 85021
  • Petique at Biltmore Fashion Park
    2502 East Camelback Road, Suite 167
    Phoenix, AZ 85016
  • Petopia at Desert Sky Mall
    7611 West Thomas Road, Suite F008
    Phoenix, AZ 85033

“We see a variety of cases – but cats and kittens account for a very large portion of intake during these months,” stated Ashliegh Goebel, AHS Media Specialist.

“To help alleviate the overcrowding of pets in our shelters, we’ve created a special campaign called: Leave No Feline Behind. Cat and kitten adoption fees are waived through
the end September in exchange for a monetary donation of any amount.”

People who are not able to adopt, but who would like to still help in some way may visit for a wish list of items the shelter is currently seeking.
Donations may be made online at and by simply clicking the “donate” tab. AHS has proudly stated that 86 cents of every dollar goes directly to care for over 46,000 homeless animals that enter their doors each year.

Owners that have lost their four-legged family member are advised to contact the AHS’s alternative placement department where shelter employees are charged with returning lost pets with their owners. Pet owners are also encouraged to post missing posters in their neighborhoods and also at all of their facilities.

About Arizona Humane Society

Founded in 1957, the Arizona Humane Society is the state’s largest, nonprofit animal-welfare and protection agency. The mission of AHS is to improve the lives of animals, alleviate their suffering, and elevate their status in society. Follow AHS on twitter, become a fan on facebook, sign-up for the AHS eTails email newsletter, watch adoptable pet videos on YouTube by visiting

To learn more about the AZH Leave No Feline Behind: One By One Until There are None adoption campaign, visit