Article By: Jan Jeremias, MSc., DTM, RYT, CR

Sometimes our pets look at us with eyes, that say “can I have some” or we think that regular pet food is boring and not exciting for them.

I have never given any of my pets food that I cooked for myself or to fed them at the table, which I am sure disappoints my dog,Tonka. When I do feed my pets human food, I tend to prepare it separately from my own to guarantee that it is not too spicy or contains ingredients that are not safe for them.

If you or someone in your family decides that your pet needs human food, here are some that you may enjoy, but should not be fed to your dog or cat.
1. Chocolate
Chocolate contains caffeine and the chemical theobromine — both are toxic to dogs and cats.

2. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are harmful for pets. Although some may not become sick from eating a few grapes, others consuming just one or two may become very ill.

3. Onions
Allium vegetables, specifically onions, chives, shallots, and leeks are a definite no-no for dogs and cats. A small amount in any form (raw, cooked, powdered, minced, dehydrated) may result in anemia.

4. Fatty Foods
Fried foods, high fat meats, trimmings or bones contain a lot of salt and fat that may cause stomach upset in both dogs and cats.

5. Salty Snacks

Unfortunately, the American diet contains some of the highest levels of salt in the world. As this may be palatable to us it can have devastating effects on your pet. Salty foods and snacks can cause digestive upset, tremors and seizures in pets. For those with heart issues, any food with a lot of sodium can be of great concern.

6. Macadamia Nuts
It only takes a few of these nuts to make a dog very sick. Macadamia nuts can cause vomiting, weakness, and tremors.

7. Anything with Xylitol
According to the ASPCA, xylitol is the sweetener that is not so sweet for pets. This sweetener is found in everything from medications and vitamins to toothpaste, candy, gum, pancake syrup and barbecue sauce. Peanut butter, gum, sugar-free candies, and baked goods may also contain this sugar substitute. Special note: Peanut butter is often used as a treat or to hide medication. Be sure to buy only natural, organic peanut butter that does not contain any salt, sugar or other ingredients.

As summer approaches keep your pets healthy, free from harm and happy.


Jan Jeremias, MSc., DTM, RYT, CR is a clinical research scientist, and expert in the usage of essential oils. Jan is a wellness counselor for pets and is the co-author of the top selling aromatherapy book SpOIL Your Pet: A Practical Guide to Using Essential Oils in Dogs and Cats. Jan is also an energy and Reiki practitioner for Pets.For more information or to schedule a session, contact Jan at 917-865-2155 or or visit Also watch for Jan’s monthly column each month here in PET CORNER at Western Mass Women Magazine and the Hartford County Women Magazine.

By Published On: May 4, 2022Categories: Pet Corner

About the Author: Dee Ferrero

Ms. Ferrero is the CEO of Western Mass Women Magazine as well as the founder of several women's mentor and advocacy groups along the east coast.

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