Some foods are toxic to pets. Just because cats and dogs are domesticated and live in human conditions doesn’t mean their systems can tolerate the same food you eat. Basically both cats and dogs need a simple diet. Both are carnivores and meat is their natural food. They can also eat chicken, some types of fish and cooked vegetables like pumpkin and carrots.

Foods to avoid:

Some food types will not only upset your pet’s digestive system, they can be absolutely fatal, so avoid them completely.

  • Cooked bones and chicken bones
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Milk (forget the myth that cats love milk – it’s bad for them)
  • Cheese
  • Salted meats like ham
  • Onions and garlic – can be fatal
  • Caffeine
  • Avocados
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Tuna – dangerous for cats except special canned tuna for cats
  • Tomato leaves and stems
  • Rhubarb leaves – poisonous
  • Sugary items
  • Nuts and fruit stones and apple cores


While not dangerous to pets, they do not need them. Many pet food products include a lot of carbohydrates, primarily because it bulks them up, but dogs and cats thrive on a high protein diet and don’t need carbs.

Foods to give:

A healthy diet will help your dog remain healthy and happy. They don’t have an acute sense of taste and are quite happy with a few basic foods.

  • Raw meat –human grade meat. Pet mince and processed pet products may contain preservatives
  • Raw bones about twice a week – not small enough for pet to choke on
  • Raw chicken wings and necks
  • Canned sardines, tuna and salmon, but not every day
  • Cooked vegetables but no onions
  • Pasta in limited amounts (see Carbohydrates above).
  • Plentiful water must be always available.

While it’s tempting to indulge your pet, it’s not a good idea to feed them scraps from the table. It compromises their diet and upsets balance and quantity, as well as influencing their behaviour.

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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