Dog owners are frequently tempted to share their food with their canine friends, but did you know that a number of foods that are edible for people are dangerous for dogs?
- Chocolate–Chocolate contains theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs. The dose at which poisoning occurs depends on the type of chocolate ingested (dark chocolate contains more than milk chocolate), and the size of the dog, but any dog that eats chocolate and has symptoms of overdose should be seen immediately.
- Avocado–Avocado plants contain persin, which is harmless to people but can be toxic to dogs in large amounts. Persin is present in the leaves, seed, bark and fruit, so it’s best to keep all avocado products away from your pet, and to keep him away from the plants if you grow them.
- Alcohol–Alcohol has the same effect on the canine liver as it does on the human liver. Even small doses can be toxic, especially for small dogs.
- Onions and Garlic-Eating a large quantity of onion or garlic, in all forms, can destroy red blood cells in dogs, leading to life threatening anemia. Garlic is sometimes recommended as a natural alternative for flea control, but you should never use this remedy without speaking to your vet first.
- Caffeine–Found in cocoa, coffee, some soft drinks and energy drinks, coffee or chocolate flavored yogurts and ice cream, and in some cold medicines, caffeine in large doses can be fatal to dogs. There is no antidote to caffeine poisoning.
- Grapes and Raisins–Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in some dogs, although vets aren’t sure why. An early sign of grape toxicity is vomiting.
- Macadamia nuts–As few as six macadamia nuts can make a dog sick. Chocolate covered nuts are even worse. Early signs of poisoning include muscle tremors, elevated heart rate, weakness and vomiting.
- Candy, gum or other products containing xylitol–Xylitol is an artificial sweetener frequently found in diet foods and sugar free gum. In dogs, it causes an increase in circulating insulin, which leads to a drop in blood sugar and can also cause liver failure.
- Fat trimmings and bones–The drippings from a nice roast or turkey make great gravy, but don’t share it with your dog. Fat can cause acute pancreatitis in dogs, and cooked bones can splinter and cause intestinal blockages.
- Yeast dough–Uncooked dough has to be left to rise and if your dog eats it, the temperature inside the intestine is perfect for that process to take place. Except that there’s not stopping it, and the dough will continue to expand. This is an emergency situation.
Early intervention is key to treating poisoning cases, so if you suspect your dog has ingested any potentially toxic foods, he needs to be seen immediately.