Many dogs tend to eat any food they find on the floor. Dog owners also like to spoil their four-legged friends with some treats. When your dog yearns for a bite of your food, it’s tempting to give in. Most pet owners know that chocolate is toxic. But do you all the other foods that are dangerous for dogs?
Why can’t dogs eat certain foods?
Dogs can’t eat everything that we eat because some healthy items for us are toxic and dangerous foods for dogs. If your dog eats something toxic, the dog could get seriously ill, suffer organ damage, or even die.
Responsible dog owners, therefore, not only need to be careful with food, but they also need to ensure their pets don’t accidentally ingest other items that you use daily, like medications or toothpaste.
To control what your dog eats and know precisely how much he’s eating, you can buy an automatic pet feeder. That way, you can control what goes in the feeder. Visit petsho.com/automatic-pet-feeder to learn more about pet feeders.
Poison warning signs
If your dog has eaten toxic food, watch for these symptoms: diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, coughing, stomach cramps, wobbling, tipping or falling, muscle tremors, paralysis, agitation, elevated heart rate or temperature, and bleeding.
If you suspect your dog has eaten any poisonous foods, contact your vet immediately to begin treatment.
The usual suspects
Most people know that chocolate (cocoa) is toxic to dogs. Cocoa contains theobromine, a substance that can kill dogs because their bodies are unable to metabolize it.
The purer the chocolate, the more dangerous it can be for your dog. For example, 10 grams of dark chocolate per 1 kg of your dog’s body weight can be deadly. Never feed your dog any food that contains cocoa.
Walnuts and macadamia nuts are especially dangerous for dogs, but no nuts are suitable for dogs. Eating nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially deadly pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts also can cause tremors and hyperthermia, a dangerously elevated body temperature.
While most dogs love peanut butter and remember a peanut is a legume, not a nut, a few dogs are allergic to peanuts. Signs of a peanut allergy include itchiness, redness, and bald patches.
And although most dogs can eat peanut butter, avoid any that use the sweetener xylitol, also known as birch sugar, because it quickly can cause liver failure and death. Xylitol also is commonly found in sugarless gum and breath mints.
Onions and garlic
Onions, garlic, leeks, and chives contain disulfide and sulfoxide, toxic to dogs because they can’t digest them. The substances can cause permanent red blood cell damage. Consult your vet immediately if you think your dog has eaten any of these items.
Grapes and raisins
Dogs should not eat even a small amount of grapes or raisins because they can cause kidney failure and death. Although scientists haven’t determined what substance in grapes is toxic, they suspect the poison is produced as the dog’s liver metabolizes the grapes. If you suspect your dog has eaten grapes or raisins, don’t wait. Induce vomiting immediately and call your vet.
Some surprisingly dangerous foods
Although avocado is a healthy fat for people, it is toxic for dogs. Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, and heart damage. Both the avocado fruit and pit contain persin. The pit also is a choking hazard.
Neither dogs nor humans should eat raw or undercooked pork because doing so can cause trichinosis, a parasite infection. That infection can cause severe muscle damage.
Checklist of dangerous foods for dogs
Alcohol — Can cause respiratory failure, central nervous system depression, abnormal blood acidity, coma, and death.
Almonds — Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially deadly pancreatitis.
Apple seeds — Contain a form of arsenic that can prevent the blood from carrying oxygen.
Avocado — Contain persin, a fungicidal toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, and heart damage.
Caffeine — Found in coffee, tea, and soft drinks, caffeine can cause abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and death.
Cashews — Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially deadly pancreatitis.
Chocolate — Can cause abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and death.
Chives — Can cause red blood cell damage.
Dairy products — Like people, some dogs are lactose intolerant and suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, stomach bloating, and pain.
Grapes and raisins — Can cause kidney failure and death.
Honey — Raw honey contains botulism spores that can be fatal for puppies or dogs with compromised immune systems.
Garlic — Can cause red blood cell damage.
Leeks— Can cause red blood cell damage.
Lemons and Limes — Psoralen compounds and aromatic oils in lemons and limes can cause an upset stomach.
Macadamia nuts — Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, potentially deadly pancreatitis, tremors, and elevated body temperature.
Nutmeg — In large amounts, can cause hallucinations and high heart rate.
Onion — Can cause red blood cell damage.
Paprika — Can also cause gastrointestinal irritation, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Also irritates dogs’ eyes and skin.
Peanut butter — Some dogs are allergic to peanuts. Watch for itchiness, redness, and hair loss. Avoid peanut butter with artificial sweeteners.
Pear seeds — Contain a form of arsenic that can prevent the blood from carrying oxygen.
Pecans — Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially deadly pancreatitis.
Raw potato — Cooked OK, but raw potato contains solanine, a toxic compound to some dogs.
Salt — Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures. Can be fatal.
Walnuts — Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially deadly pancreatitis.
Xylitol — Even small amounts of this artificial sweetener, also called birch sugar, can quickly cause liver failure and death.
Talk to your vet
When in doubt, err on the side of caution and consult with your vet. Most toxic foods for dogs cause damage quickly, so you don’t have time to waste. Keep our checklist of dangerous foods for dogs handy and your vet’s number on speed dial.