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Dangerous food

4 October 2020

Wanted or not, fall is fast approaching. Sandals give way to rain shoes, beach trips stop, kids are finally back to school and yes, even after COVID! Personally, I love this time of year for hiking in the woods with the family and my Italian Greyhound, Pablo. Unfortunately, we need to be extra vigilant for the dangers we may encounter during this time of year.

With the end of summer we are becoming a homebody and now live indoors. Our animals, like your dog Ti-Loup and cat Fluffy, are therefore more exposed to the risks of food left unattended. Unfortunately, I regularly see foreign bodies or poisonings in the hospital from table scraps or dangerous food that guests feed animals.

Dogs and cats are used to eating the same food every day. Their gastrointestinal system develops natural flora (or bacteria) that specifically digest their regular food. When they eat something they are not used to, like nachos and chicken wings, they can develop severe inflammation, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also lead to more serious conditions such as pancreatitis.

Common food

In addition to foreign foods, some foods are toxic to them, such as grapes (in all its forms, raisins, raisin bread, fresh grapes …), onions and garlic. Certain foods like corn or nuts can pose a choking hazard.

Since you too want to enjoy the party, be sure to talk to your guests, especially the children, before the parties and remind them not to feed Ti-Loup and Fluffy.


During our walks in the forest, we must be particularly vigilant because there are certain types of mushrooms which can be toxic for Ti-Loup and cause digestive disorders, sometimes serious. Although he likes to sniff around every corner, considering Ti-Loup doesn’t have a good knowledge of mushrooms, protect him by avoiding wild mushrooms, even those located in your backyard.


And yes! they still exist. As in my grandparents’ time, mothballs contain either paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene, which can cause serious digestive problems or even poor functioning of the kidneys or liver. The most serious anomaly is damage to the red blood cells. Make sure they are well out of the reach of your pets and children by keeping your cedar closets closed.


Despite its taste and smell appealing to Ti-Loup and Fluffy, antifreeze is extremely dangerous if ingested. It is one of the most common forms of poisoning in pets. As little as a teaspoon in a cat, or a tablespoon or two for dogs, can be fatal. Signs of early poisoning include drunkenness or incoordination, excessive thirst, and lethargy. They can be cured, but often the poison’s progression through the body is very rapid.

Rodenticides (rat poison)

These mouse and rat baits are poisonous and can be fatal if ingested. If Ti-Loup or Fluffy ingests rodenticides, take them to your veterinarian immediately. When possible, bring the label or box that came with the rodenticide so that it can assess the active ingredient and determine its toxicity. When using rodenticides, it is imperative to keep them away from your animals and children of course!


The clumps of decaying organic matter in your compost heap in your yard can contain “mycotoxins”, the molds that cause Ti-Loup to shake. Even small amounts ingested can cause tremors or convulsions within 30 minutes. It is therefore important to watch Ti-Loup in the backyard and to cover your compost.

Hope this will help all pet parents to be more aware of all the possible risks associated with food. So go out with your pets, exercise, and enjoy the beautiful weather in safety and caution.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always ask your veterinarian, he remains your best resource for the health and well-being of your Ti-Loup and your Fluffy.