Dog owners love giving their dogs treats and table scraps. Most dog owners are responsible enough to know that not all foods are safe for dogs. However, dogs will find a way to get access to something tasty – maybe something left on the counter or from a small child. Depending on the food and the amount consumed, the dog may just experience an upset stomach for a few hours. In some cases, it is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate veterinary care.
Below is a list of foods that your dog should never eat. Some are more dangerous to your dog than others, and the risk that each of these foods presents depends on the quantities your dog consumes, your dog’s weight and your dog’s overall health condition. If you think your dog has eaten any of the foods listed below, the safest course of action is to contact your vet immediately.
Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, and Caffeine
Any food or drink containing any one of these ingredients is very toxic, and often fatal, to your dog. Under no circumstances should your dog consume these. Keep your dog away from chocolate of any kind (including white chocolate, and especially dark chocolate), tea and coffee, in any form, including the beans and the grounds. Also, never allow your dog to have any form of cocoa, colas, or energy drinks. You will also find caffeine to be an ingredient in some cold medicines and pain killers. If your dog ingests any of these substances, you need to treat it as a life-threatening emergency and contact your vet immediately.
Food Containing Artificial Sweeteners, Especially Xylitol
Artificial sweeteners are in every kind of sugar-free processed food. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener often used in certain sugar-free candy and can be found in some human toothpaste. It is especially dangerous for dogs and can be lethal if ingested. Xylitol can make your dog’s blood sugar drop and cause liver failure. Early symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and difficulty walking or uncoordinated movements. Later symptoms could include seizures followed by liver failure in just a few days. If your dog ingests anything containing Xylitol, consider it a life-threatening emergency and contact your vet immediately.
Alcohol does damage to a dog’s liver and brain. Whether the alcohol is in liquid form or an ingredient in food (think rum cake at holiday time), it is dangerous. Just a little bit of alcohol, especially for a small dog, can do serious damage to your dog’s health. At a minimum, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and problems with coordination. Worse, it can interfere with your dog’s ability to breathe, cause the dog to go into a coma or die.
Onions and Garlic
Your dog will have an anemic reaction to onions and garlic, as they kill your dog’s red blood cells. That is true whether the dog consumes it in raw, powdered, or dehydrated form. Food containing those ingredients should not be given to your dog, including that found in some baby food. If the dog eats too much at one time, it can cause poisoning. Signs of toxicity are weakness, vomiting, and breathing problems.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are extremely toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure. Even the smallest amount can make your dog very sick. Signs that your dog has consumed these items are repeated vomiting, and within a day, your dog will become lethargic and depressed.
Nuts, Especially Macadamia Nuts
Nuts are another dangerous food for a dog, but be especially careful to keep your dog away from macadamia nuts. It only takes a few raw or roasted macadamia nuts to make your dog extremely sick. Signs that your dog has consumed macadamia nuts include muscle shakes or trembling, vomiting, high temperature, and difficulty walking. Many times, macadamia nuts are coated with chocolate. Consuming those nuts and chocolate together is potentially fatal to your dog and you must contact your vet immediately if this occurs.
Fruits and Vegetables with Pits
Any fruits and vegetables with pits are dangerous to your dog. The pits and seeds can cause blockage in the dog’s intestines. Examples of produce with pits include avocados and persimmons. In addition to blockages, the pits of some fruit contain cyanide, which is poisonous. Examples of those fruits are peaches and plums.
Raw Eggs, Meat, and Fish
In the wild, your dog would be eating a raw meat diet. However, your dog is not a wild dog. Raw foods contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and parasites, and it can make your dog very sick. The first signs of food poisoning are vomiting, fever, diarrhea and swollen lymph nodes.
Salt and Salty Snacks
Too much salt is harmful to your dog because it can cause sodium ion poisoning. Signs that your dog has eaten too much salt are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, fever and seizures. It may even cause death.
Speak to an Experienced Pet Care Professional at Paw Pals
For professional help with the care of your dog, contact an expert at Paw Pals. They are trained in proper dog care techniques and first aid. When you are away from home for any length of time, a dog sitter from Paw Pals can make sure your dog gets the right care if an emergency were to arise. Call them today for more information.