It can be hard to resist your dog’s big puppy dog eyes when they are sitting beside you begging for a bite of your food, but there are a number of foods that can be extremely harmful for your dog to eat. Here is a list of some of the biggest offenders, and why they should be avoided when you are looking for something to treat your dog with as a snack.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in things like gum, candy, toothpaste and other things like diet food. It can have very serious consequences for your dog if ingested, because Xylitol has been shown to cause your dog’s body to increase the amount of insulin it regularly produces, and this can happen very quickly after ingestion. The symptoms of Xylitol poisoning are lethargy, nausea and vomiting and coordination loss which can eventually develop into seizures. Eventually Xylitol poisoning can cause liver failure if not diagnosed within a few days so it is very important to be careful not to leave your dog unattended around items that contain this sweet chemical.
We’ve all heard of dog owners who occasionally let their pup have a sip of beer or two when they are having a beer after work. There are some people who even pour a bit of their beer into the dog’s water bowl and allow them to have a drink as a human would. Do not do this! While alcohol may relax you after a long day at the office, it is still a poisonous substance even to humans and for dogs it can be fatal. Upon ingestion, alcohol behaves similarly in dogs as it does in humans, but a much smaller amount can cause very serious consequences such as liver failure, depression of the central nervous system, coma and death.
Just as you may become jittery after one too many cups of coffee in the morning, your dog can experience these same symptoms on a more severe scale. Caffeine can cause muscle spasms, tremors, restlessness, and difficulty with breathing. It can even cause heart palpitations, which can lead to life threatening consequences if your dog already has a weak heart.
4. Grapes and raisins
Some fruit is okay to feed your dog when you are looking for a healthy treat to spoil your pet with, but never feed your dog grapes or raisins. It is not yet clear to scientists and veterinarians why exactly grapes and raisins are so toxic to dogs, but they can have very serious health effects on your dog if eaten. Even in small amounts grapes have been shown to cause vomiting and lethargy, and in the most severe cases, death as a result of liver failure.
5. Fruits with pits, and seeds
As mentioned above, some fruit is perfectly harmless to your dog, and is a perfect way to treat your dog without feeding them a bunch of junk food, but it is important to avoid fruits with pits, as they can not only present potential choking hazards, but can also cause serious problems by obstructing the dog’s digestive tract. For this reason you should be very careful if you are going to feed your dog fruit with seeds, like watermelon. In addition, certain fruits like plums or peaches which have pits that contain cyanide, which is very toxic and is fatal for both humans and dogs alike.
6. Onions & Garlic
Both onions and garlic in all forms, be they dried, cooked, dehydrated etc. contain a substance that can destroy your dog’s red blood cells. This effect can lead to anemia in your dog, which can be a lifelong struggle to deal with. If you think your dog has consumed onions or garlic you can look for the symptoms of anemia. These include pale gums, a lack of interest in food, lethargy, and trouble breathing.
Be on guard when you are having a plate of avocado toast in the morning, and make sure that your dog doesn’t sneak a bite (or the whole plate) when you aren’t looking. Avocados contain a substance called persin, which can cause nausea and diarrhea in your dog. If you grow them yourself, make sure to watch your dog around the garden as the skin, flesh, and the seed all contain this chemical. As with peaches and plums and other foods that contain a large pit or seed, avocado seeds can become a hazard if ingested because they can cause obstruction in the dog’s bowels which can lead to death.
8. Macadamia Nuts
Even in very small amounts, macadamia nuts can be a very serious health risk to your dog so avoid feeding them to your pet even if it seems like the nuts are a healthy snack for them. Macadamia nuts can cause muscle spasms, rapid heartbeat, nausea, and even paralysis of the hind legs.
Almost everyone knows not to feed their dog chocolate, but do you know why this is? Chocolate contains a substance known as Theobromine which can cause serious problems for your dog. Theobromine has been shown to cause abnormal heartbeats, and sickness, as well as seizures and potentially death in dogs. Every kind of chocolate is bad for your dog to eat, but the darker the chocolate, the higher the amount of Theobromine is present and therefore bitter dark chocolate or baker’s chocolate is the most poisonous to your dog.
Even though dogs love crunching on a bone, which can provide hours of entertainment, as well as a convenient distraction when you are trying to get work done, you need to exercise caution before letting the dog have his bone and going about your day. It may seem surprising to hear but bones are not necessarily always as safe of a treat for your dog as one might think. This is because of the hazards presented to your dog from bone shards that may break off as your dog chews. These sharp fragments of bones can not only be a choking hazard but could puncture your dog’s throat or digestive tract. It is okay to let the dog have a bone, but once the bone has broken up into several smaller pieces, it will be time to discard them and get a new one.
So there you have it, a list of the 10 most dangerous food items to avoid feeding to your dog. We all want to spoil our dog from time to time, but it is best to avoid feeding them table scraps altogether and instead go with a treat that you know will be healthy, and satisfying, without having to worry about potential health hazards.