With summer time and mosquito season upon us, I also wanted to address the old myth about giving garlic to your pets for flea and mosquito control. My suggestion is to NOT do it, because both, onion and garlic is toxic to pets - in any form; besides, cats and dogs have no pores to sweat the garlic stench out of (what's supposedly keeps the bugs away.) Cats and dogs have pores only on their pads, so giving garlic doesn't even make any sense at all.
Items to avoid and reasons to avoid: (you can click on the preceding link to find more pet information)
Alcoholic beverages can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
Baby food can contain onion powder, which can be toxic. (Please see onion below.) Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system. This includes low-quality raw hide products (often made in Taiwan or other foreign countries.) Check with your Veterinarian before feeding any of these to your dog(s).
Cat food is generally too high in protein and fats for dogs, likewise, dogfood is unsuitable for cats.
Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems.
Citrus oil extracts can cause vomiting.
Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis.
Grapes and raisins contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.
Hops' unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
Human vitamin supplements containing iron can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Large amounts of liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.
Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
Marijuana can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
Milk and other dairy products. Some adult dogs and cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.
Moldy or spoiled food. Garbage can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.
Mushrooms can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder) contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions, but still toxic.
Persimmons seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Pits from peaches and plums (and other large pits) can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves; potato and tomato stems contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock.
Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
Raw fish can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.
Salt! If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
String can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."
Sugary foods can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Table scraps (in large amounts) are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
Other than the obvious household poisons (such as Drano and cleaning supplies) there's other things your pets should not eat, but common sense and a good Veterinarian can help determine what's safe for our pets. As much as we would like them to be our "furbabies" they are not human beings and have different dietary needs than we do.
My motto simply is: If in doubt, just don't give it!
If You Think Your Pet Has Been Poisoned:
Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. (A $60 fee may be billed to your credit card. Source: Human Foods to avoid for cats)