Category Archives: toxic food for pets

turkey day feast for pooches

ok, this year Thanksgiving and my birthday are one and the same day…

so what are you and your dog up to for turkey day (remember, be good, it’s a day to be thankful and grateful and appreciate all you have…

Genetically modified ingredients can be an unwelcome and hidden guest at your Thanksgiving celebration. This year, GMO Inside, a new coalition that advocates for increased consumer awareness of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods, is offering tips and suggestions for consumers on how to remove unwanted GMOs from their holiday feasts. From identifying GMO–laden products and offering non-GMO alternatives to giving tips on how to help spread the word on genetically engineered foods, GMO Inside hopes to give consumers the information they need to celebrate a non-GMO Thanksgiving.

Alisa Gravitz, president, Green America said: “Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Consumers should be able to do this without worrying about feeding hidden GMOs to their loved ones. GMO Inside’s Thanksgiving campaign allows people to make educated decisions about what will be served at their holiday gathering.”

Some common Thanksgiving products that are suspect for GMOs include: Campbell’s Tomato Soup, Wesson Canola Oil, Bruce’s Yams, Hershey Milk Chocolate, Pepperidge Farm Crackers, Kraft Classic Ranch Dressing, Rice-a-Roni chicken flavored rice, Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce, and Kraft’s Stove Top Stuffing. GMO Inside provides alternatives to these foods here:

If you already purchased holiday food containing GMOs, you can check to see if food containing GMOs has money-back guarantees. If it does, you can send food back to the manufacturer and ask for your money back.

Sixty countries around the world have labeled GMO foods. GMO Inside believes that all U.S. citizens have the right to know what is in the food they eat. Genetically engineered foods have not been adequately tested for human consumption. It is unethical to put an experimental technology into the food Americans feed their families without providing information on the label that allows Americans to choose whether or not their food contains GMOs. Americans deserve to know if there are GMOs inside.
and here are some no no foods to not feed your pooch

and instead of and/or in addition to eating turkey, you could adopt one… Adopting a turkey is a great way to give “turkey day” a new, kind meaning.

Anyone want to adopt me??? LOL…

here are some yummy sounding recipe items…

a turkey day feast for pooches

If you’re looking for a delicious grain-free treat for your pooch, follow a standard turkey meatball recipe and omit the breadcrumbs. Here is one of our grain-free personal favorites:

1 lb. ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. sweet basil
1 1/2 tsp. parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup romano or parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients together and roll into small balls. Place shaped meatballs on a baking sheet and bake for 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


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is your dog naughty or nice?

If a dog’s prayers were answered, bones would rain from the sky. ~ Old Proverb

back to our regularly scheduled blogging…

it matters when traveling with your pooch whether you go to grandma’s house or not… if your pooch is naughty or nice, right… no one likes to hang out on the holidays (or any other time) with misbehaving pets. Ahead of time, it is good for pet parents to help their furry friends with their manners. And make sure that their pets are safe and comfortable.  And get your pooch a licker license…  :-)

Woof Report has some lists to check off to help with packing and other travel related items…

now how many other holiday songs can I massacre, I mean, change with meaningful canine lyrics… especially having to do with cookies????

Jingle Bones…

do you have any ideas/songs for dogs for the holidays???

Do share.

And here are some more tips for holiday pet safety…

Even if you think your little ones are ready for a puppy or kitten, save pet adoption for after the holidays. With guests visiting your house, holiday decorations on display, and myriad other distractions during the week, it’s the worst time to try and introduce a small animal to its new home. Also do not give anyone a gift of a pet because many pets given as gifts end up at the shelter.

During the holiday season; we all worry about eating the right foods, managing mountains of wrapping paper and preventing our houses from burning down from all of those holiday lights. This year, VCA Animal Hospitals encourages you to think about the holidays from another perspective: your pet’s.

Pets tend to get just as excited as humans about wrapped gifts, festive decorations and delicious food. What our furry friends do not know is that some holiday details can be dangerous. Our gift to you is the best advice condensed into 10 fast facts to keep you and your pet safe this holiday season.

Protect and cover all prepared and uncooked foods, especially uncooked dough which can expand and cause severe stomach pain in your pet.

Every pet parent should know: keep all plants (especially poinsettias, peace lilies and mistletoe) out of your pet’s reach.

Tasty treats are very tempting for dogs and cats, so try to keep them out of reach and most certainly off the ground when you are unwrapping gifts.

Hanging lights and ornaments can be inviting to extra playful pets, but they can also be dangerous. Be sure to keep all decorations out of a pet’s reach.

Opening presents is fun, but it’s best for pets to stay away from all ribbons, wrapping paper and “linear foreign bodies” to avoid accidental ingestion and internal complications.

Left by themselves, pets may get into holiday food that can be potentially dangerous to their health. Foods with grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts can cause problems ranging from digestive upset to possible organ failure.

If you haven’t been warned already: keep all chocolate out of your pet’s reach! There are toxins present in chocolate which can cause problems ranging from mild digestive upset to seizures and can even be fatal. For more details about the hazards of chocolate, see our article “Chocolate Poisoning“.

Dinners around the holidays are all about sharing. Although you may want to share with your pets, try to keep in mind that sudden rich diet changes are likely to upset a pet’s stomach. If you wish to feed your pet a special treat, give only a small amount of table food mixed in with their regular dinner.

Any cords you may have near the floor can be a real danger to your cat. Their sharp teeth can easily puncture electrical wires.

You should try to keep your pets out of the kitchen during the hustle and bustle of the season, as to avoid them getting burned or otherwise injured.

For further information about each fast fact shown above, be sure to visit VCA Animal Hospitals’ Resource Library.

Deck the Halls with bones and folly…

and here is an inspiring tale about Little Red, a former M. Vick dog, who was recently (two months ago) adopted into her furrever home… she still has a LOT of FEAR to overcome. And is taking steps. Her mom is Awesome. And last week, Little Red freaked OUT when she first saw the Christmas tree all lit up. She was terrified and would not go anywhere near it despite the fact that her sleeping place was close by. Little’s mom asked her Facebook pals for advice. She received a lot. And was reassured. Little’s Mom stepped UP big time, treating Little Red, giving her natural calming, anti-anxiety remedies including Bach Flower’s Rescue Remedy and something called Chill Out that I’ve never heard of and voila… the photo below tells what eventually happened. Am SOOOOOO proud/thrilled for Little Red and her mom.  Our friend Stacy Dubuc said that Gingerella was once afraid of Christmas trees, too and had to overcome her fears and did. Am so happy/proud of ALL of the Vicktory dogs and their parents who have given them soooooo much love and care.

and a reporter wrote a nice story about Little including a poem and photo of Little wearing Handsome Dan’s t-shirt, that he got her to keep their connection forever. So sweet. Bring the tissues…

Cannot give them kudos without another surprise photo for you below… of our boy Patrick, healthy, loved, happy and cared for by the vets at GSVS Hospital… Merry merry merry…

we have some more V-dog photos coming up soon, stay tuned !!!!

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Season’s Eatings

 Veterinarian Reveals How to Avoid Dangerous Trend Among Pet Owners

Do we pay the mortgage or surgery for the dog?

That’s the question a lot of pet owners face in this challenging economic landscape, and unfortunately, it’s a question that’s coming up a lot more often.

“The same thing that is happening to people who can’t afford healthcare is happening to pets, only with pets it’s worse,” said veterinarian Lori Pasternak, of Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care ( “When people can’t afford healthcare, they self-treat their colds and flus and ignore serious symptoms until they eventually land in the emergency room. With pets, the same takes place, but in many cases, it leads to the pet winding up needing expensive treatments or surgical procedures that the owners cannot afford. The result is that they end up allowing the pet to be euthanized, simply because they cannot afford the much needed treatment. What’s even more tragic is that it can be avoided with a few simple and affordable steps.”

Pasternak – whose affordable surgical and dental practice works out creative methods of payment to help pet owners avoid making that tragic choice – wants pet owners to consider the same kind of preventative medical visits that their own doctors recommend for them.

Her tips include:

• Pet Healthcare Plans – Many pet clinics and veterinarians offer some variation of a pet healthcare plan in which the owner pays a nominal monthly fee of $20 to $30, which entitles them to a number of free check-ups and wellness visits for their pets. Some plans even include a limited selection of prescriptions and diagnostic tests in that plan, or they discount them deeply. Routine checkups can catch some serious illnesses before they become serious, and prevent a situation in which the treatment is not affordable.

• Preventative Dental Cleanings – The most common way for dogs to get infections is through their mouths, so keeping their teeth and mouth clean is a great way to prevent disease. Keep in mind, one of the most expensive procedures for dogs is dental work. What’s worse, because your pet doesn’t know how to complain, you won’t know how bad its teeth are until after your dog stops eating. Just because they are eating does not mean they don’t have tooth pain. They will eat until they cannot stand it anymore. Then it may be too late. Routine dental cleanings will go a long way to improve your pet’s health. Most infections are introduced through the mouth, so keeping the mouth healthy will help keep your pet healthy.

• Pet Your Pet – Pet and rub your pet often and all over. Not only will they enjoy the attention, but it will enable you to easily determine if they have any bumps or lumps that could be indicators of infection or disease. These growths are much easier and less costly to remove if taken off when smaller than a quarter, so actually petting your pet can help your ability to detect these anomalies early.

“Being a pet owner is not only a joy, but it’s also a responsibility,” Pasternak added. “They depend on us for everything and ask for nothing in return but our love and attention. The best part is that keeping them healthy is a lot easier and affordable than allowing them to get sick. Our goal is to eliminate economic euthanasia and we hope that every pet owner can help us accomplish that by doing their small share in helping all our pets live longer and healthier lives.”

She also has tips for the holidays, ways to keep our pets safe.

“The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy for our families, but in preparing for the season, many pet owners run the risk of exposing their pets to household dangers that could present potential life-threatening hazards to their pets,” said  Pasternak. “These latent hazards could derail a family’s holiday season if their pets become ill as a result of these hidden perils.”

Pasternak’s list of prospective risks include:

• Decorations – While holiday decorations can make a home feel more festive, they can be tantalizing traps for pets. Pet owners should keep decorations and ornaments higher up on trees so they are not consumed by pets. If a pet decides the colorful garland or tree trim might make a tasty snack, they can and will get stuck in your pet’ intestines, necessitating immediate surgical removal. Moreover, exposed cords from electric lights can cause electrocution or oral burns if chewed.

• Gift Wrap – When it’s time to pull all the gifts out of hiding to be wrapped, take care that your pet isn’t in the room as you spread out all the wrapping paper, bows and ribbons. If a cat should starting gnawing on the ribbon, it will literally “stitch” the cat’s intestines together as it is being passed through the gut. Surgery is one holiday gift you don’t want to give your family pet.

• Holiday Feast – While turkey and ham make up the majority of traditional holiday meals, turkey and ham bones can become lodged in the intestines if swallowed in large pieces. Be careful that your guests don’t give in to the holiday spirit too much and choose this time to offer table scraps to your pets. Your pet could become seriously ill or even choke to death.

• Flowers – The poinsettias many choose to use as holiday centerpieces are also toxic to most household pets if they are chewed and swallowed in large enough quantities. The level of toxicity is completely proportionate to the size and weight of your pet, but instead of doing the math on that equation, it’s better to choose other types of floral arrangements that don’t endanger your pets.

“The holidays should be a time for fun, not an unscheduled trip to the animal hospital,” Pasternak added. “If something does happen, don’t hesitate to take your pet to the nearest animal hospital, and know that if you come to ours, we work with our pet owners on affordable payment structures in emergency cases. But we’d rather not see you this season. The best holiday gift you could give your pet is a hazard-free household so they can enjoy the warmth and joy of your celebrations safely and soundly.”

About Lori Pasternak

Lori Pasternak, DVM, graduated from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. She worked in a full-service practice in Richmond, VA for 13 years prior to opening Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care, where her mission is to help pet owners avoid economic euthanasia by offering “bare bones” fees for services and accepting creative forms of payment.

Fa la la la la la la la…


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Pet Food Revolution

love Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution, saw an episode last night where he dressed up as a tomato and other outrageous stuff in Los Angeles. The LAUSD blocked him from going into any of the schools / kitchens, what are they hiding? UGH…

He did a demo with a cow showing people what the disgusting pink slime crap is that is fed to kids… leftover scraps from cow meat goes into a bucket, ammonia is poured over it and then it is minced or something and that is what is fed to kids, mystery slime…

and he made a comment that made me ANGRY. He said people can feed that garbage to dogs because they can eat it. NO WAY.  I wrote to him and told him there is NOT a chance I would feed that to my fur baby… She deserves better, too.

In fact, I find that attitude reprehensible. People have an idea that dogs and cats, hey they’re just a dog or just a cat, NO RESPECT, Jamie Oliver, for the animals. Our pets are four legged friends who deserve kindness, too. And better diets than the crap given to them from the grocery stores/pet stores.

In the 90′s I did some research about cat food since my cats kept throwing up. I almost threw up when I found out what was in most commercial cat food.

Ok this is graphic and disgusting so if you do not have the stomach, see ya later.

what do you think that they do with the millions of dead dog and cat carcasses from shelters across the country. Yes, indeed they send them to rendering plants. And the rendering plants turn DEAD DOGS AND CATS into dog and cat food. I kid you NOT.

Not to mention all of the other shit like feces, pus, hairs, and stuff, yummy.  From that moment on, I stopped buying commercial cat food and started feeding my cats Flint River Ranch. My knowledge and research has evolved since then to feeding Cici grain-free foods and organic foods, meat from free range cows, not factory farmed cooped up and bred to die animals who are full of antibiotics, hormones, fear and terror and sickness.

Research done on rendering plants that sell meat to pet food companies found that the rendering plants accept everything from road kill, dead zoo animals and euthanized pets from both shelters and veterinary clinics. One such plant was found to have rendered 11 tons of dogs and cats in one week! Another plant in California reported processing an average of 200 ton of dogs and cats per month.

Foods your dog should not eat

Our animals deserve SO MUCH BETTER than to eat dead dogs and cats.


Here is a list of companies and the pet foods they manufacture. Huge food manufacturers use pet food companies as a cheap and profitable way of disposing of the waste from their human food manufacturing plants.

* Nestle: Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Purina

* Heinz: 9 lives, Amore, Gravy Train, Kibbles-n-Bits, Nature’s Recipe

* Colgate-Palmolive: Hill’s Science Diet

* Proctor & Gamble: Iams, Eukanuba

* Mars: Kal Kan, Mealtime, Sheba, Waltman’s



and Jamie Oliver deserves a swift slap upside the head for saying that dogs can eat pink slime.

Thank you.

This video is not about pet food but it is important to learn this info about Aspartame, Chicken McNuggets, GE/GMO Frankenfood (corn, cottonseed, soy) and other so-called food stuff that is ILLEGAL in other countries around the world.

If the video makes you mad/ill, then STOP BUYING FAST FOOD, COMMERCIAL BRANDS AT GROCERY STORE CHAINS, TAKE YOUR POWER BACK and join the COFFEE PARTY MOVEMENT… Just found out about this on Facebook.

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warning: cocoa mulch…

Important info to tell every dog or cat owner you know. Even if you don’t have a pet, please pass this to those who do.

Over the weekend the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog Calypso decided that the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn’t acting lethargic in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk . Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly.

Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company’s website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats.

Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey’s, and they claim that ‘It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won’t eat it.’

This Snopes site gives the following information:

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman’s Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called ‘ Theobromine’. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker’s chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.

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eating at the doggie buffet… the way to a dog’s heart is through its stomach…

does your dog enjoy eating at the doggie buffet as much as Cici does?  where do they serve dogs a doggie buffet, you ask… well, anywhere and everywhere I take Cici, to the Office Depot parking lot, running errands, getting gas, walking her around the neighborhood, she finds a yum yum doggie buffet of treats to eat wherever we go… the stinkier, smellier, the better… could be old food that people have thrown away, poop other dogs have excreted, or unknown and unidentifiable objects that I’d prefer not to know what they are… especially when I have to stick my hand into her mouth to get her to drop whatever it is… dead birds and other animals… yuck… but to Cici these delicacies are apparently what make the doggie buffet delectable, exotic and interesting… and a neverending surprise… the entree’s of the day… moo goo poop pan…    sweet and sour dead bird…  egg drop scoop…

fun at the doggie buffet !

I suppose one could host a doggie buffet party where pooches could sample a variety of canine delicacies of high quality, organic and natural dog foods and treats, such as raw foods, real dog bones, grain free kibble, beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans and  apples, Lamb Stew, and hearty, healthy wholesome meals made with oatmeal, carrots and peas. Of course, dessert would consist of special doggie treats to satisfy various canine cravings… yum… chow down !

now here’s some wise common sense tips for feeding multiple dogs treats and/or meals…  Cici has  picked up some bad food habits from other dogs… and I have learned to feed her separately away from other dogs, and that includes treats…to avoid and prevent food fights… in case you want to host a safe doggie buffet party…

feasts for the K9 …–why-do-some-dogs-gobble-up-their-food-at-lightening-speed.html

what is your dog eating?  think outside the bag…



Filed under dog treats, healthy dog food, homemade dog food, toxic food for pets

you’ve heard of Red Bull… now here comes red butt…

now, well… a delicate question… cici has an irritated red butt, is it always something with dogs or what?  am wondering if it could be from the raw food or dragging her butt across the carpet or ? A month or so ago, the vet tried to express her anal glands and nothing … so I put some aloe vera gel from the plant on it this morning… anyone else have an idea?  I also have Bach Flowers remedy cream and some essential oils…   

here’s a video that teaches how to express the anal glands, while we’re on the subject… ugh…

while we are on the subject of disgusting things that dogs do… dogs drinketh and pet parents taketh away and flush… :-)


it snowed a lot, very deep fluffy snow and she enjoyed playing in the white, she has never been in that kind of snow before… California dreamin…  

TIP JARdog_bo11.gifLike my blog? Drop a few bucks into the Tip Jar to buy Cici the wonder dog a bone!

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Dogs and chocolate …

There are numerous routes to take to get to the Bay area from Carson City, Nevada. In the summer, you have more choices than in the winter when the roads can be snowy, passes closed, winds can be blustery and you may be required to put chains on your tires depending upon the winter conditions.  You can drive north up to Reno and take the 80 across to Sacramento and then take the 99 or 5 down south, depending upon where you are going. Or you can take the 50 west past Placerville, which is scenic and takes you below Sacramento, which makes more sense to me. Or you can take the 88 or the 120 into Jackson, hook up with the 5 in Stockton and go to the 205 to the 580 to the 680 and connect with the 101 or the 1.  I like the latter route the best because it seems like there’s less traffic, it’s scenic and  seems to take less time. Besides, often traffic is usually going in the opposite direction, if you time it right. 

I wasn’t going to tell you about the experience we had at one of the chocolate venues we visited but I’ve changed my mind. A guide is not always about positive experiences, it’s about telling people their opinion and letting others decide for themselves. it can serve as a warning. 

We drove on the 88 into Jackson, stayed overnight at a small pet friendly motel near a church for about $60. The motel is called the Linda Vista. It was quiet, homey and adequate for our needs. There are probably fancier, higher priced places that take pups but we found this one and it was suitable. From Jackson, we decided to explore the tiny towns of Clements and Lockeford nearby because there was a chocolate factory, fruit farms, bakery and even a ravioli place.

It was really hot weather in July so by the time we drove the 20 minutes from Jackson to get to the town of Clements, it was 10 a.m. There is a nice coffee shop across the street and I had a wonderful omelette breakfast. on another occasion. But that morning, it was already in the 80′s at 10 a.m.  Sweltering. Now this chocolate factory has a gate circling the property and it was not clear how to get inside. There is also a gift shop. I parked the car and thought because of the fencing around the garden, I could walk my dog there and she would be safe. I could tether her up in the shade while I ran inside quickly.

But I found out that there was no way to get from the parking lot area inside the factory. You HAVE to go through the gift shop. I found that off putting. Once inside the gift shop, a lady came to meet me, who showed me where to go. She was too busy to give me a real tour. So the “tour” was self-guided. You look inside the glass and watch the people working. There is a very short video, too. Big deal. And then you are supposed to go back into the gift shop and buy up some chocolate. Tiny free samples. This was NOT Silly Rabbit or Dagoba. 

I should mention that when we went to Dagoba, all of their big whigs were back east at a meeting. Yet, someone came out, gave me a bunch of samples and talked to me for a few minutes. She showed me around their gift shop. And Dagoba has YUMMY organic chocolates. It is located in Ashland, Oregon. Who could not love a company with a Tao of Cacao newsletter?

The name of the place in Clements is Chocoholics. You’ve probably bought or seen their body frosting for Valentine’s Day or some romantic occasion. I have gone through the town on several other occasions and passed on visiting again due to the unfriendly feel of the gate and the unwelcome attitude found inside. For a place that manufactures a staple for romance, the place should exude LOVE and romance or at least FRIENDLY vibes.

The website looks a lot better than the factory “tour.” Maybe I am just cranky but I think that tours should be fun, informative, friendly and give out free samples. It seems that their tours are another way to make money.  The website indicates that people can take a tour with dessert, boxed lunch and dessert, etc. for a price and a minimum number of people.  This tour gets one cacoa bean overall as opposed to ten cacao beans for Silly Rabbit and Dagoba. Get over yourselves, Chocoholics… gourmet my left foot.

In nearby Lodi, you can visit wineries and sample your heart away.  After visiting Clements, you might just be so inclined. 

Also, Jelly Belly’s has free tours in Fairfield, and stores in Vacaville, Gilroy and Sacramento. Online, they even have a virtual tour you can take. Now that’s called CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH A SMILE.  They do have some unique chocolate jelly bean offerings such as chocolate coconut, chocolate caramel, chocolate vanilla and chocolate fudge brownie. Fun for the whole family …

Now, you must take the chocoholic test…

and here are some free postcards for valentine’s day …

chocolate tis better raw and naked and organic…

and for all of you chocolate dogs out there…

please remember not to feed your doggies any chocolate, it’s toxic for them…




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Foods that are Toxic for Dogs… from my vet…

I found this article helpful so I thought I’d share it with you…




Many pet owners are not aware of some foods that can cause serious illness in our pets.



Chocolate can be deadly to our pets due to theobromine, a cardiac stimulant and diuretic in chocolate. The highest concentration of theobromine is found in baking chocolate. A 20-pound dog will be seriously affected if it consumes just one quarter of a 10-ounce packet of cocoa powder or one half of a block of cooking chocolate. Semi-sweet and dark chocolate contain less, but more than is found in milk chocolate. A dog would have to consume relatively large quantities of dark and milk chocolate to experience toxicity. The size of the pet greatly impacts the severity of the impact. One candy bar eaten by a 100-pound Rottweiler may not cause any signs of illness while the same consumed by a  4-pound Yorkshire terrier could potentially cause death.


Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, increased heart rate, seizures, and coma. Contact your veterinarian immediately. If the chocolate was eaten within three hours, it may be possible to induce the pet to vomit, to decrease toxicity.



Onion poisoning can occur after a single ingestion of a large quantity of onions (ie, 20 to 25 ounces of onion consumed by a 20-pound dog), or after repeated meals each containing small amounts of onion (5 ounces of onion fed to a 20-pound dog several days in a row). Garlic can also cause toxicity in pets, but must be consumed in very large quantities.


Pets affected by onion poisoning will develop hemolytic anemia. Symptoms include lethargy, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and discolored urine. A visit to the veterinarian is warranted. 



Grapes and raisins have been shown to cause acute kidney failure in pets. The exact dose of this food necessary to cause illness is unknown, though a small handful of grapes may be enough to cause toxicity in a 20-pound dog. Pets made ill by grape or raisin consumption are likely to begin vomiting, and you may notice grape skins in the material they bring up initially.


If you know your dog has consumed grapes, contact your veterinarian. Aggressive intravenous therapy may need to be initiated as soon as possible and continued for at least 72 hours. If the quantity consumed is large enough, and damage to the kidney is severe enough, even aggressive therapy may not save the pet.



Many types of nuts can be dangerous when consumed by pets. Even a small amount (one macadamia nut per pound of dog) can cause grave illness. Signs of this poisoning include fever, muscle tremors, weakness, and paralysis of the hind limbs. Some dogs may be unable to rise. Their limbs may be swollen and painful when manipulated. If treatment is sought quickly, your veterinarian may be able to induce vomiting before the nuts are absorbed.


Raw Eggs

Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). A biotin deficiency can cause skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain salmonella, which can cause illness in pets.  If you feel you must supplement your dog”s diet with eggs, cook the eggs before serving. 


Raw Fish

Feeding raw fish can lead to a deficiency of another B vitamin, thiamine. This can manifest as pain along the spine that seems to radiate out from the muscles. Regularly feeding raw fish treats can lead to loss of appetite, seizure, and in severe cases, death.


Poultry Bones

Feeding pets chicken bones can lead to severe gastrointestinal damage. When cooked, the hollow poultry bones splinter into sharp shards as a pet chews them. When swallowed, these shards can lacerate and even penetrate the gastrointestinal tract. Surgery is often required and is invasive, costly and avoidable.


It is important for pet owners to monitor the foods their pets are consuming. During the holiday season, it is important that everyone be informed about the dangers these festive foods may pose to our pets. Ideally, pets’ meals should be restricted to a complete, balanced, high quality, species-specific diet for a long, healthy life.



From an article by Gary L. Ailes, DVM, titled “Dietary Dangers for Our Pets,” VRP Newsletter, Oct. 2007



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