8 Things Your Pet Should Never Drink (Slideshow)
April 4, 2014
Your dog might think he’s people, but not every tablescrap is good for him
We once knew a dog who refused to let you drink a beer without giving him a sip first. That’s all he wanted — just one sip — but he got his sip or you wouldn’t be left alone for days. So while we’ve seen evidence that a sip of beer now and again won’t kill a dog, it’s decidedly not a great idea to give beer to your dog. Why? The hops in beer are actually poisonous to dogs, and those that drink beer can, just like people, experience decreased coordination, vomiting, and central nervous system depression. However, dogs may have stronger reactions than people to just one beer: tremors, abnormal blood acidity, difficulty breathing, and the prospect of landing in a puppy coma. So it's really never a good idea to give a dog beer. If your dog just won't be happy without his brew, a company in Seattle, Bowser Beer, has started making a safe non-alcoholic drink that dogs can lap up to their heart's content.
Anything derived from grapes — wine, raisins, juice — is a bad idea to give to your pooch. While grape juice might lower LDL (bad) cholesterol in people, it’s terrible for pups. While your dog probably won’t have experience any ill effects from one sip, it’s better not to risk giving them any at all. Grape juice can lead to kidney failure in dogs, the symptoms of which can include vomiting and seizures. Exposure to grape products can even kill them.
Your Morning Smoothie
While yogurt and rice can be great dish for a sick dog, that doesn’t mean anything mixed into yogurt will be good to share with your pooch. Is there avocado in your smoothie? Don’t give your pet a spoonful: while some dogs and cats are fine with avocado, others are very sensitive to the stuff. Other pets, like birds and horses, can be killed by persin, a toxin found in avocadoes that is fine for people, but no good for many animals.
Hot chocolate, chocolate milk, a chocolate milkshake: really chocolate anything, you guys. While chocolate might be your favorite treat (and while your pet might beg for a taste), it’s actually toxic to them. Why? Humans can break down a substance in chocolate called theobromine much more easily than pets can. Consumption of chocolate by dogs and cats can lead to seizures, low blood pressure, or even cardiac failure.
Pepsi, Coke, Dr. Pepper, or Mr. Pibb… your pup should refrain from all of these, and not just because the extra sugar can give her a case of puppy diabetes (yes, that’s actually a thing). The problem in these drinks is the caffeine: while pets may be attracted to these sweet drinks, it’s also possible that they may cause hyperthermia, abnormal heart rhythms, an elevated heart rate — and might kill them. If you want to give your dog a treat, make sure it's suitable for his or her system.
While pets may be OK even if they get inadvertently inebriated, you should be careful to keep adult beverages out of a puppy’s reach. Liquor isn’t good for animals, and because pets tend to be much smaller than people, alcohol poisoning can happen much more quickly and easily for them. Obviously you should never intentionally give a dog alcohol, but if they accidentally get their paws on some, be sure to call your vet.
Just like people, dogs and cats can actually be lactose intolerant — and often are. While the image of a kitten curled up with a saucer of milk is a charming one, the reality is often far less pleasant: cats can experience stomach upset that leads to vomiting.
Sugar-free Drinks Made With Xylitol
Most often found in sugar-free gum (which you shouldn’t give to your pets either), xylitol can also be found in some diet and “health” drinks. It is extremely toxic to dogs and can cause hypoglycemia.