Human Foods to Keep Away from Your Pet

Red wine and chocolate

Pets often beg for table scraps, knock dishes off of tables and counters, and sometimes help you “clean up” after preparing a meal. However, it’s important to note that some human foods are harmful to dogs, cats, and other animals. If you have any concerns about a food that your pet has eaten or any odd symptoms that have developed, contact the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group   or your regular veterinarian for more information.

Onions and Garlic

All members of the onion family, including garlic, can be harmful to both cats and dogs. When these foods are ingested, they damage red blood cells and can cause anemia. If your pet ingests a very small amount of onion or garlic, you likely don’t have to worry; however, large amounts of onions or regular small servings of onions can lead to poisoning and the need for immediate veterinary care.


Alcohol has the same effect on your pet’s body as it does on yours, leading to inebriation and liver damage. However, it takes far less alcohol to harm your pet— as little as two teaspoons of strong liquor such as whiskey can cause severe illness in cats and small dogs. Consuming large amounts of alcohol or alcohol with a high proof can cause vomiting, coma, seizures, and even death.


Chocolate can be toxic to both cats and dogs because it contains a substance called theobromine. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate contain the highest amounts of theobromine, but the chemical is found in all forms of chocolate, including white chocolate. Never feed your pet a piece of chocolate or allow the pet to lick chocolate cake batter or icing as a “treat.” Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration and other problems.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group has been proudly serving the North Dallas area for more than 20 years. If you have questions or would like to schedule a vet visit for your pet, please call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309. You can find more information about your pet’s dietary needs on our blog.

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