Stop feeding your dog food without knowing how it could affect them. Know which foods are lethal to your dog beforehand, so you can keep them safe.
Human Food Is Not Always Dog-Friendly
Foods that are perfectly suitable for human consumption, as well as other animals, may be toxic and even poisonous to your dog, posing a serious threat to their health and well-being. Why? Because all animals have very different rates of metabolism. Metabolism is the process of breaking down food and turning it into energy.
Please note that while we’re attempting to add every food we can find that is potentially unsafe for dogs, there are certain foods that we may miss, so don’t consider a food safe to feed to our dog just because it’s not on this list of foods bad for dogs.
Your dog may be drunk in love with you, but that’s the only kind of intoxication he needs. Think of your pup as that old college friend who can’t quite hold his liquor…only in this case your dog can’t tell you when he’s feeling queasy. Alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on yours, but it can do big damage to a dog in much smaller quantities.
Even a small amount of alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, comas, and even death. And just like humans, the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.
Onions & Garlic
Make sure your dog stays away from these two, and not just because of garlic breath. Garlic is a controversial ingredient; it has many medicinal purposes and it is an immune booster, but the potential risks outweigh the benefits. Both onion and garlic contain a substance that can damage and/or destroy a dog’s red blood cells, potentially leading to anemia.
Did your dog scarf down the last onion ring when you weren’t looking? Keep an eye out: symptoms of anemia include weakness, pale gums, disinterest in food, dullness, and breathlessness. This risk is present in all forms of garlic and onion — raw, powdered, cooked, or dehydrated.
Does your dog need a little extra pep in his step in the morning? Try an invigorating AM jog, but don’t even think about sharing your Starbucks. Coffee can cause irreparable damage and even caffeine poisoning if consumed in large enough quantities. This risk extends from tea, coffee, and energy drinks to soda, cocoa, and even some painkillers.
Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors, not entirely unlike how we feel after drinking two cold brews in one sitting.
Raisins and Grapes
Grapes and raisins may be sweet to humans but are not recommended as dog food. Its’ toxic substance is yet to be identified, but they are known to cause kidney failure in those dogs which are sensitive. If your dog already has an underlying health condition, they stand a greater risk of the toxicity.
There is no agreed safe dose of raisins and grapes, so it is wise to avoid feeding your dog any of these. In a situation where your dog has eaten grapes or raisins, or any food containing these two, it is best you contact your vet for assistance before it is too late.
Not only do they have a high fat content that can irritate dogs’ stomachs, but also, for unknown reasons, macadamia nuts can be toxic. According to veterinarian Justine Lee, a dose of about two nuts per pound of body weight can result in poisoning that can lead to a temporary inability to walk. In addition to paralysis, dogs can suffer severe weakness, nausea, and diarrhea that requires hospitalisation.
Humans may have no issue with sweets except for the sugar content, however, for dogs, Xylitol, a component of sweets can cause a surge in insulin leading to a significant drop in blood sugar and maybe liver failure. Xylitol poisoning has symptoms, including seizures, vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, and death. It is crucial that you check the ingredients of your foods before feeding them to your dog.
Apart from these common snacks, there are other foods and accessories that should not get into your dog’s mouth. These include raw potato, apple cores, human medicine, uncooked yeast dough, cooked bones, alcohol, seeds and fruit pits. These food products may poison or even kill your dog. You should always stick to approved dog foods and consult with your vet before making any changes.
Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which speed the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system. Depending on the type of chocolate, amount your dog ingested and your dog’s weight will determine how sick (or not sick) your dog may become.
Ingesting too much theobromine and caffeine in chocolate may result in vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, increased urination, tremors, elevated heart rate, seizures and death. Below is a list of most dangerous to least dangerous chocolate to dogs:
- Cocoa powder
- Unsweetened baker’s chocolate
- Semisweet chocolate
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- White chocolate
Fat Trimmings & Bones
We might feel tempted to give our dogs leftover bacon scraps at brunch, but it isn’t worth it. Both cooked and uncooked fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis in dogs. In addition, bones are choking hazards and can also splinter and puncture a dog’s throat or digestive tract. Freshly cooked, high-quality meats, on the other hand, are a great source of safe, pup-friendly protein.
Just like yeast rises in bread, it will also expand and rise within your pup’s tummy. Make sure they don’t get any. While mild cases will cause gas, lots of farting and discomfort — too much of it could rupture their stomach and intestines. Yeast dough is also dangerous because as it ferments and rises it makes alcohol which can lead to alcohol poisoning.
These popular fruits are dangerous for two reasons. First, they have a high fat content, which can wreak havoc on your dog’s tummy. Second, the slippery, hard pit is easy to swallow and can lead to a gastrointestinal obstruction, Dr. Lee notes.
The casing of apple seeds is toxic to a dog as they contain a natural chemical (amygdlin) that releases cyanide when digested. This is really only an issue if a large amount is eaten and the seed is chewed up by the dog, causing it to enter its bloodstream. To play it safe, be sure to core and seed apples before you feed them to your dog.
It isn’t recommended to give your dog one of your vitamins or supplements. Human vitamins often contain 100% of the recommended daily amount of various minerals. This could cause a mineral overdose for your dog.
The most dangerous vitamin is prenatal vitamins, which have a higher dose of iron and can cause iron toxicity in pets. If your dog ingests a bunch of prenatal vitamins (or other vitamins with a high dosage of iron), you should call your vet immediately.
Onions & Chives
No matter what form they’re in (dry, raw, cooked, powder, within other foods), onions are some of the absolute worst foods you could give your pup. They contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate), both of which can cause anemia and damage red blood cells.
A single chip will likely only cause them to drink more water, but just like in humans, an overdose on salt can take its toll on dogs. Large amounts of sodium can cause serious issues like tremors and seizures.
Corn on the Cob
While corn itself isn’t toxic to dogs, it can become a major hazard because the cob (even just a few inches of it) is the perfect size to get stuck in the intestinal tract. What’s more, corn cobs are notoriously hard to see on x-rays and doctors may have to find it with an ultrasound.
You may not know it, but your dog should avoid bacon. It contains high-fat content that can cause pancreatitis, just like ham, or meat trimmings. These meats usually have high salt contents that can cause upset stomachs, bloating among other unwanted harmful effects. You may mess your diet, but keep your canine out of it.
Milk & Dairy Products
While small doses aren’t going to kill your dog, you could get some smelly farts and some nasty cases of diarrhea. Milk and dairy products can cause digestive problems as well as trigger food allergies.