As the leaves begin to change color and the weather cools down a bit in our Smyrna community, we start to think about all the fun fall activities we can do with our pets. From going for long walks in the park to cuddling up on the couch, there are endless possibilities. However, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that come along with this season, specifically when it comes to the food we feed our furry friends. Many of the items that are poisonous to pets are more prevalent during autumn and holiday months. Here are five toxic foods to watch out for:


While chocolate may taste delicious to us, it is toxic for dogs and cats. Theobromine, a stimulant found in chocolate can cause diarrhea, seizures, tremors, and heart failure in pets.


Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener that’s often used in gum, candy, baking goods, and toothpaste. It’s safe for humans, but toxic to dogs and cats. Xylitol can cause a drop in blood sugar levels, which can lead to vomiting, loss of coordination, and seizures. It can also cause liver failure.


Just like chocolate and xylitol, alcohol is poisonous to pets. Alcohol can cause nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures. It may also be fatal. Never give your pet alcohol under any circumstances, and promptly dispose of empty bottles or cans which may be within reach of your dog or cat.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs and cats. Even a small amount can be deadly, so avoid giving them to your pet altogether. If you think they’ve eaten grapes or raisins, call your veterinarian right away. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and lack of appetite.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic contain compounds that can break down red blood cells in dogs and cats. This can lead to anemia or even death. If you think your pet has eaten onions or garlic (even if they just licked something that contains them), call your veterinarian. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and breathlessness.

This autumn season, be sure to keep an eye out for these five toxic foods: chocolate, xylitol, alcohol, grapes and raisins, and onions and garlic. Many of these items are more prevalent during the autumn months due to holidays, so it’s important to be extra vigilant. If you think your pet has ingested any of these substances, call your veterinarian immediately. Symptoms vary depending on the substance but may include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, lethargy, loss of appetite, breathlessness, or heart failure. By being aware of these dangers, you can ensure that your pet AND YOU have a happy and safe autumn season.