Are you wondering if the scrap of food or bit of candy you are about to feed your dog is safe? The truth is that some human foods are toxic to dogs and you should keep it out of reach of your beloved pets. If your dog does eat any of these foods, it’s very important that you take him or her to a vet right away.
Pet owners should never give their pets any type of alcohol, this includes drinks and foods that are fermented. When a pet ingests alcohol-containing foods and drinks, they can develop ethanol poisoning, which causes vomiting, problems breathing and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can cause your dog to fall into a coma and may result in death.
Any Type of Salty Snack
Dogs should not have a lot of salt in their diets. While the occasional potato chip may not be harmful if your pet has a lot of fresh water available, dogs can develop salt toxicity, which causes vomiting and loose stools, higher than normal body temperatures, tremors and seizures. In severe instances of salt poisoning, it can even lead to comas and death.
Apricots & Cherries
Apricots and cherries contain cyanide in the leaves, stems, seeds and pits. While humans aren’t likely to eat the leaves, stems, seeds and pits, your pet will eat the entire fruit and could develop cyanide poisoning, which causes red gums, dilated pupils, problems breathing and shock. Severe cases can lead to death.
Avocado pits are primarily a choking and obstruction hazard in dogs. If your dog accidentally eats the fruit, including guacamole, it contains persin, which is a toxin. It generally causes stomach and intestinal upset. The good news is that persin poisoning doesn’t normally lead to death.
You should never allow your pet near any food or drink that contains caffeine. This includes coffee and coffee grounds, tea and tea bags, soda and any food, pill or candy that has caffeine added to it. A small amount of accidental caffeine ingestion may not cause major problems in large dogs, but caffeine ingestion has been known to lead to the death of small dogs.
Everyone knows that dogs love to chew on bones, but it’s best to let your dog chew on the rawhide bones from the pet store or large bones from cuts of red meat for the healthy marrow inside. However, you should never let your dog eat poultry bones, including chicken bones because they pose a choking hazard and can splinter into sharp points that could damage your pet’s internal organs. If you do give your let a large red meat bone, make sure to watch them while they chew it. Even red meat bones can splinter.
You can still get your dogs fresh ingredients without giving them bones. Services like The Farmer’s Dog offer fresh ingredients from a human-grade kitchen.
Chocolate is double-dangerous for dogs because it contains both caffeine and theobromine, which are both toxic to dogs. Because of the high risk of illness and even death in dogs, you should keep all chocolate containing items, including baker’s chocolate, cocoa powder, dark chocolate in areas of your home where your pet cannot reach. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning don’t occur right away. The first symptoms usually appear between 6 and 12 hours after ingestion and may last as long as 72 hours. Since the symptoms can be severe and include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, coma and even death, it’s very important that you contact a vet right away if you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate.
Garlic and Onions
Garlic, onions and even chives can be toxic to dogs. This is because all of these foods contain n-propyldisulfide and thiosulphate. While n-propyldisulfide and thiosulphate are not harmful to humans, when dogs eat these foods, they can cause red blood cell damage and anemia. Symptoms of n-propyldisulfide and thiosulphate poisoning in dogs include an elevated heart rate, weakness and vomiting.
Grapes & Raisins
Grapes, raisins and foods containing raisins should never be given to dogs. This includes oatmeal raisin cookies and raisin bread. Signs that your beloved dog may have ingested a large quantity of grapes include weakness, dehydration, a decrease in appetite, excessive drinking of water and pain in the abdomen or tenderness.
Hops are an ingredient used to make beer and other fermented alcoholic beverages. If you like to make your own home-brew, it’s very important to keep your ingredients away from your pets. Hops poisoning can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, elevated temperature and an increased heart rate. You may even notice your dog panting excessively.
Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener that can most often be found in certain gums, hard candy, baked goods and calorie-free or low sugar fruit drinks. It is also poisonous to dogs in small quantities. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include low blood sugar, vomiting, a decrease in activity levels and weakness. Your dog may even experience seizures and severe cases of poisoning can lead to death.
Dogs should never be allowed to eat yeast or bread dough that has not been cooked. Yeast can cause extreme bloating of your pet’s stomach, because as the yeast continues to ferment in the warm moist confines of your dog’s stomach, it causes the stomach to expand, which can lead to severe complications, including a distended stomach, weakness and an elevated heart rate. In severe cases, this condition can cause death.
If you regularly have these foods, drinks and ingredients in your home, it’s best to keep them on high shelves, in sealed containers and in drawers where your dog cannot reach. When you throw away any item or container that has these products in them, it’s best to take the trash immediately outside and put it in your trash bin. If you suspect that your dog has eaten any of these forbidden foods and/or drinks, you should call your veterinarian right away or visit an emergency veterinarian or pet hospital.