Human Toxic Food for Dogs & Cats


This is National Poison Prevention Week… it’s meant to be for people, but should also apply to our pets…

The following is a list of foods to avoid feeding your dog/cat.


Avocado leaves, fruit, seeds and bark contain a toxic principle known as Persin. The Guatemalan variety is most toxic – but all have toxic potential. They cause vomiting/diarrhea – primarily gastrointestinal distress.


(all forms)

Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. The toxic dose is 2 baking squares for a 10lb dog. Regular chocolate bars have little real chocolate and are seldom toxic.


(all forms)

Coffee contains dangerous components called xanthines, which cause nervous system or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation


The primary concern here is severe gastrointestinal upset- and in some cases Pancreatitis. This can be fatal in some pets- and it is ALMOST always triggered by a High Fat Meal, such as gravy or bacon.


Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscles of dogs. This has led to paralysis. A small number of nuts and even the butter can cause this.


Many moulds contain a type of toxin called an Aflatoxin. This is thought to be a common cause of “compost toxicity”. Signs include GI (Vomiting/Diarrhea), muscle tremors, in-coordination, elevated temperature, excessive salivation, and liver damage. Avoid feeding ANYTHING mouldy to your dog or cat.


Onions contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Pets affected by onion toxicity will develop anaemia. 1 Onion can cause this. Fortunately ALL dogs recover once they are stopped from ingesting onions.


As few as 6 grapes and raisins have caused acute kidney failure in some dogs. The toxic ingredient is not yet known. There is no treatment. AVOID feeding ANY grapes or raisins to your dogs.


The yeast dough/uncooked bread dough will rise in your pet’s stomach causing severe gastrointestinal distress (vomiting/diarrhea), bloating, and signs of alcohol toxicity.


Xylitol is a artificial sweeter found in “SUGAR FREE” Products, such as gum, candy etc. Signs relate to a sudden drop in glucose (blood sugar), in-coordination, collapse and seizures. Avoid feeding any gum/candy to your pets.


While the fruit is fine for your pet to eat, ingestion of large amounts of stems, seeds and leaves of these fruits can be toxic. They contain a cyanide type compound and signs of toxicity include apprehension, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation and shock. Note – it’s the seeds and stems that contain the toxic component, not the fruit itself.


Potatoes and other Solanum species, including the tomato, are members of the nightshade family of plants. These plants contain solanine and other toxic alkaloids which, if eaten in large enough amounts, can produce drooling, severe gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite, drowsiness, central nervous system depression, and confusion, behavioural changes, weakness, dilated pupils and slowed heart rate.


High levels of nutmeg can be toxic, even fatal. The toxic component is unknown. Signs of toxicity include tremors, seizures, nervous system abnormalities or death.


The green parts of the tomato plant are considered toxic because they contain solanine, which has the potential to produce significant gastrointestinal and central nervous system effects.

Hawaiian Principle & Culture

Since the Hawaiian culture was founded on the principle of Aloha – which is Unconditional Love and Compassion – it was only natural that the healing techniques of the Kahunas should follow suit.

To Native Hawaiians, believe all of nature is imbued with the same living energy, or spirit, that is inherent in humans. They make no distinctions between alive or dead, animate or inanimate, conscious or unconscious. Consciousness, they believe, is everywhere, in everything; the rock on the shore, the wave on the ocean, the bird diving into the wave to catch the fish that ‘hears’. I deeply resonate with their ways and there is a lot of other ancient cultures that follow the same believe …

In the Ancient Hawaiian Tradition, the Kahuna Lomi communicated with the Spirit of the Body. Each body part had its own consciousness, which in turn contributed to the collective that made up the larger consciousness of a person.

The Hawaiians look at things in terms of energy flow, following the idea that an idea or belief can block energy flow as much as muscle tension can. Kahuna (as some call it Lomi Lomi) helps release the blockages, whilst at the same time giving the energy new direction. Thus Kahuna is not just a physical experience; it also facilitates healing on the mental, emotional and spiritual levels as well. The Hawaiians view all aspects of the body as one and believe that the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual are all part of the ‘whole’ self – when healing occurs on one level, it impacts on all levels.

Rather than viewing the client as someone that needs to ‘be fixed’; a Kahuna practitioner views each person as a Being to be assisted in returning to harmony and balance. It is important to remember that the practitioner does not heal but is the facilitator for the healing, creating a safe place for the healing to occur.’ It is the client that does the healing by allowing themselves to open up, receive and let go, using the loving space which has been set up for transformation to take place.

It is correct to say that Kahuna /Lomi -Lomi encompass a massage, but it is not limited to it.

“Native Hawaiians say the true definition of Kahuna / Lomi Lomi is reconnecting with your Spirit.”


Choosing a Pet

Firstly, let’s take a look at the different types of pets available.


These are the most common types of pets available. They have consistently been kept in captivity for a very long time so that they exhibit marked differences in behaviour and appearance from their wild relatives.


These are often kept as pets. When saying ‘wild’, I mean the species has not undergone fundamental change in characteristics or behaviour to allow them to live with us, like insects, reptiles and fish. They are usually kept as a hobby, rather than for companionship.


Firstly, choosing a pet should be a family concern, with everybody’s needs, fears, and sometimes allergies considered. The family should decide together what kind of animal they would like to keep, and also the amount of responsibility each person in the family will take on. The family need to be realistic and understand that promises from children may not always be kept. The goal is to find an animal that will suit your living space, lifestyle, personality and budget. This should not be a rash decision!! The following questions will need to be answered.


  • Do you have the space for a pet?
  • What activities does the family like to do? And Does the animal fit in with that.
  • Do you need to think about whether there is anyone to look after the animal if you’re not able to?
  • How do you spend the day?
  • Do you have sufficient time to spend with it, for daily interaction and exercise?
  • All animals need daily attention. Is everybody in the household at work or school all day? Do you have enough free time to care for the pet?
  • Do you already have other pets in the house, how will they feel about another pet, and will they be compatible?
  • How much will the pet cost?
  • The price of pets varies hugely. One also needs to think about the price of food, shelter and visits to the vets, grooming parlours or boarding facilities.
  • It is highly recommended and a must that pets are bought in two’s, they need animal interaction and communication even more than they need human contact! This does not means that Pets then don’t need human interaction and communication anymore, another pet is not a replacement for human responsibilities and interactions.
  • I would also like to add that NO Animal should be caged purely for human pleasure, amusement or companionship! It is inhumane and we need to change our outlook on this drastically.



It is a good idea to ask somebody else whether they think that a particular pet is a good idea for you, for example, a friend. Before the pet is bought, the person with the main responsibility for the animal needs to research and learn as much as they can about the husbandry of keeping the animal. They can do this by going to the library, researching on the Internet. Be flexible with your choices. It is often the case that your first choice of pet is not necessarily the right pet for you; therefore you have to do your homework properly! If the above factors are not possible, one should rather not consider buying a pet. You may find that a pet doesn’t fit into your lifestyle. But you can still enjoy animals. You may want to feed wild birds outside your window or volunteer at a rescue organisation. You could always consider a pet again in the future when your circumstances change.

Pet Fashions – And the Irresponsible Buying of Pets

I want to talk about the fashion trends that unfortunately cause people to buy pets that don’t really suit their lifestyle.

Unfortunately pets have always been subject to different fashion trends; these trends are usually caused by the media. It seems that people see animals on television etc., advertising that particular animal, and are then encouraged to own one. This is usually done without thinking responsibility about what that pet ownership entails. For example, the movie As Good As It Gets with Jack Nicholson boosted the sale of Griffon Bruxelles. The movie I Am Legend with Will Smith increased the sale of German Shepherds.

It is said that the sales of fish were increased by a half following the release of the film Finding Nemo, and unfortunately the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles increased the sale of terrapins just as the film Ratatouille boosted the sale of pet rats.

It is so sad that after these increased sales, follows the increased workload for the animal welfare and rescue organisations. They have the task of trying to re-home all these animals once they have been abandoned, due to the excitement of owning these animals wearing off and the realisation of the responsibility of looking after them.

This is why it is so important that people own animals that suit their lifestyles, rather than what looks good. I think everybody has a responsibility to discourage people from buying the wrong type of pet for them. So how do we know what pet suits what person or family? Well, we will discuss this in the next blog!