Human foods that aren’t good for your pet

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Human food is not always good for pets. Veterinarian Dr. Stu Robson visits with his dog Tess to explain seven foods that are most likely to make your pet sick.

1. Chocolate, coffee and caffeine

These can be toxic for pets.

Chocolate has a dark side: Cocoa-based products are the items most commonly involved in food poisoning in pets, causing anything from mild problems such as tummy aches to seizures and death.

2. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener

Xylitol stimulates the release of the hormone insulin, leading to a dangerous decrease in blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of xylitol poisoning may develop within 30 to 60 minutes of ingestion, but they also may occur up to 12 hours later. These symptoms include vomiting and signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), such as lethargy, inability to control movements, collapsing and seizures.

3. Onions, chives, garlic and leeks

These common ingredients contain compounds called organosulfoxides.If the dog or cat ingests even just a piece of an onion, it can cause dangerous changes to their blood.

4. Alcohol

Ethanol, or alcohol, poisoning in small animals generally occurs when an animal accidentally ingests an alcoholic beverage. However, cases of alcohol poisoning in dogs have been reported after dogs have ingested rotten apples, sloe berries used to make sloe gin, and uncooked bread and pizza dough, all of which contain the compound.

5. Grapes and raisins

Grapes, raisins, sultanas and currants in both raw and cooked forms have been reported to cause kidney failure in dogs.

6. Hops

Beware, home brewers: hops can be toxic to pets.

Hops contain a variety of compounds -- including resins, essential oils and tannins -- which can lead to fever when pets ingest them. Other symptoms include anxiety, rapid heart rate, panting, vomiting, abdominal pain and seizures.

7. Macadamia nuts

Even small amounts of macadamia nuts can make dogs sick.

Macadamia nuts are popular and healthy snacks for humans, but they can poison dogs. It's not clear how much of these nuts, when ingested by dogs, can cause serious problems.

Symptoms of macadamia-nut poisoning develop within 12 hours and may include weakness, vomiting, inability to control movements, shaking, fever, abdominal pain, stiffness and pale mucous membranes.

By Tess Hill