We, human beings, have over the course of time developed a digestive system that is capable of handling and digesting a wide variety of foods. As time passed by, we became increasingly more creative with our food, we created new foods, new combinations of food and new supplements to enhance the experience and pleasure of eating. However not all our foods are good to our dogs and because of this there are some foods you should not feed your dog, since they will cause him harm.
The majority of dogs love food and are specially attracted to what they see people eat, and although sharing a small bit of your food with them is fine and kinda nice, you should take caution of which foods you should not feed your dog.
Our veterinarian has put together a small list of the most common foods we often eat and what substances they contain that can be harmful to dogs and what symptoms they can cause. Although a list enumerating each food or substance would be quite small, we thought it would be a nice idea to provide a small walk-through of each item for a better understanding, to prevent a poisoning situation and in the event such situation arises, you can be more knowledgeable, able to recognize it and act on it on the behalf of your dog’s well being.
- Sodas, chocolate and coffee:
Sodas, chocolate, coffee and other caffeine based products most often contain substances called methylxanthines. These can be found in the extract from some nuts used to make sodas, and in coffee and cacao seeds. Depending on the quantity ingested and weight of your dog, methylxanthines more commonly cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased body temperature, excessive thirst and urination, although less common it also causes abnormal heart and breathing rate, tremors, seizures and in some cases death.
Chocolate intoxication is more recurrent during holidays and as a general rule of thumb the darker the chocolate the more methylxanthines are present, while white chocolate contains the least amount.
- Raw or Undercooked Meat and Eggs:
As some may have heard of Salmonella and E. coli poisoning, sure you have heard that if not promptly treated most times leads to death, this not only affects people as it also affects animals in general. These bacteria can be found in meat or eggs that haven’t been properly cooked, these bacteria cannot endure the temperatures that well cooked meat and eggs reach, therefore the most wise thing to do is never feeding raw or undercooked meat and eggs to your dog.
Most people simply assume since dogs are descendants from wolves and since these eat bones and raw meat, people then assume feeding bones to a dog is healthy and natural, however this isn’t entirely accurate. Dogs have for a long time broke apart from their wolf ancestry and with it they became more dependent on human beings when it comes to feeding, many dogs often choke themselves when eating bones, others sometimes eat a splintered bone that punctures their digestive system. The dangers with bones are many and the best thing you can do to prevent your dog from experiencing these dreadful experiences is by simply not giving him any bones.
- Grapes and Raisins:
Recent studies have associated grapes and raisins with the development of kidney failure in dogs, those who already have health problems should avoid ingesting them as a precautionary measure. Unfortunately since this is kinda new and no further development in this field is publicly available, isn’t clear why some dogs can eat both fruits while remaining unaffected by them, nor is it clear the factors leading to kidney failure, however it is suspected that different levels of toxicity in these fruits are the likely responsible. Therefore as a general rule of thumb, avoid feeding grapes and raisins to dogs who already have digestive and/or related health problems, plus avoid feeding such fruits when these display an high toxicity level to any dog at all.
Intoxicated dogs exhibit vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea and lethargy in the first twelve hours following the ingestion of grapes or raisins. As it progresses the dog refuses to eat, becomes increasingly lethargic and dehydrated, increase in urination is also common. Death caused by kidney failure can happen ranging from two to four days, depending on size, weight of your dog and if it suffered or is suffering from other health problems. When the dog survives the intoxication it is possible that he may develop kidney problems. Veterinarian treatment is recommended soon after intoxication is detected.
- Onions, Garlic, Shallots and Scallions:
These vegetables are the most commonly used members of the onion family, these contain compounds that are responsible for damaging dogs red cells when ingested in considerable quantities. Garlic tends to be more toxic than onions and as a general rule of thumb the stronger the taste the more toxic it is.
Although it is uncommon for dogs to eat raw onions or garlic to cause a serious health problem, exposure to concentrated forms of these vegetables either in powdered or liquid form poses a serious health risk to your dog.
Since damage to red blood cells isn’t obviously noticeable, an affected dog can take up to 5 days to show signs of intoxication, your dog may seem weaker and reluctant to move, play or do pretty much anything else besides laying down. A sign common in mild and severe poisoning cases is orange-tinged to a dark red urine color. Poisoned dogs should be taken to the veterinarian for immediate care.
- Macadamia Nuts:
These kind of nuts are common in cookies and candies, even though they aren’t life threating to your dog, ingesting a considerable amount of these nuts or foods containing them, can cause rear legs muscle weakness, general bodily pain, tremors and low fever. Generally these symptoms subside over the course of 48 hours, either way, care should be provided for small or medium-low sized dogs who ingested a high amount of nuts, and for any dog who is suffering from other health problem, specially when such problem is related to the digestive system of the dog in question. Also, if you are a nice owner you should consider providing veterinarian care any way, as they will take precautions and steps to reduce the discomfort and pain your dog is experiencing.
- Bread Dough:
Some dogs enjoy bread and see them as a kind of treat, however raw bread dough made with live yeast can be dangerous when ingested by your dog. The moist environment of your dog’s stomach is a good environment for the yeast to multiply and grow larger, the problem is that when it grows larger it results in the expansion of the stomach, which can severely decrease the blood flow through the stomach wall, and since the stomach tissue won’t receive enough blood to sustain itself, it would lead to death of the stomach’s wall tissue and this can lead to your dog’s death. Furthermore, expansion of the stomach would cause difficulty breathing, since the expansion would press the diaphragm. Also, yeast multiplication can produce alcohols that would be absorbed, possibly leading to an alcohol intoxication.
When affected, a dog can show an enlarged abdomen, vomiting or attempts to vomit, disorientation, lack of coordination and lethargy, also due to the possible alcohol intoxication, coma and seizures which can lead to death can also be exhibited in some cases.
You should seek veterinarian help either you dog has severe abdominal distension, or shows such severe signs as mentioned before, or if it is so inebriated that it can’t barely stand.
- Moldy Foods:
Many foods overtime when left out in the open grow mold on them, these in turn produce toxins called tremorgenic mycotoxins, these toxins often cause serious health problems when ingested and sometimes even leads to death. Therefore moldy food should never be given to dogs, the signs of poisoning by these toxins start as small muscle tremors progressing to full blown bodily tremors and convulsions. You as a owner are advised to seek veterinarian assistance.
Generally, dogs can drink milk, however they shouldn’t drink milk as it can upset their stomach and cause diarrhea. Also milk has a high fat content that can pose weight problems, furthermore there are some dogs who are lactose intolerant, these should never drink milk at all. If you have an young puppy at your care, then ideally he should have milk from his mother, however if this is no longer possible seek your veterinarian advice for personalized feeding schedule and food. To put it more simple, dogs should have a balanced diet and drink water not milk.
- Salty food:
Consumption of large amounts of salt or salty foods will create excessive thirst and urination. Dogs with an history of heart problems should have salty foods removed from on their diet.
Table scraps, beef jerky, potato chips, some cookies and pretzels most often contain a considerable amount of salt and although it is true that sodium is also required in your dogs’ diet, you do not need to add salt to his diet, since most food itself already contains the necessary amount of sodium.
The normal daily intake of sodium for an 33 pounds (15kg) dog is 0.1 grams, therefore as you see its a really small amount and most foods already contain this amount of sodium in them.
Dogs aren’t normally attracted towards high salty foods and they have some degree of tolerance towards high sodium content in their food, but too much salt can lead to serious health problems. Because salt absorbs water, a dog who has consumed too much salt will be extremely thirsty and will urinate more as the body attempts to process out the salt more quickly. In severe cases vomit, diarrhea and seizure can happen, these are symptoms of sodium ion poisoning and if you dog begins exhibiting these signs you should take him immediately to your veterinarian.
Foods or beverages containing alcohol, obviously should not be given to your dog as they are more sensitive to the effects it causes than humans are. Alcohol causes vomiting, diarrhea, loss of motor coordination and orientation, difficulty breathing, blood acidity, tremors, coma and even death sometimes.
Avocado fruit, seeds, bark and leaves contain a fungicidal toxin known as Persin. The degree of toxic potential varies according to the variety of avocado in question. While toxic to some animals, in dogs serious illness aren’t commonly known, however significant ingestion of avocado might cause mild stomach upset, congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation.
Because of numerous accounts similar to this previous paragraph in other publications about dog or pet health, many dog owners wonder why avocado is present in some dog foods. Well, making this discussion even more confusing we have animal experts saying avocado poses toxicity dangers to dogs on one side, while experts on the other side say such fears are exaggerated. Since the variety of avocado used in dog food and how are they processed isn’t known, coupled with a lack of specific assessment of the toxicity and danger posed to dogs and how this relates to age, weight, breed, and of course the variety of avocado, there are no certainties how your dog in particular will react to avocado.
There are cases of people reporting their dogs have always eaten avocado, some almost as soon and as many fell from the tree without or with little supervision, yet these same owners claim their dogs never suffered any problems related to avocado, some go as far to say their dogs often made a nice collection of cleaned avocado seeds and seem to enjoy this fruit. Although this sounds like good news, there are also cases of dogs who’s owners just by curiosity gave avocado for their dogs to taste and found their dogs agitated, vomiting and with diarrhea.
Due to this uncertainty, lack of clear analysis and medical documentation, no one is sure how best to proceed about avocado therefore your advised to be cautious with this particular food, also note that due to the size of the seed inside the fruit you should exercise more caution as there is a considerable risk of chocking.
Hops are use for brewing beer and dogs who have ingested them have shown life threatening signs in some cases. Ingestion leads your dog’s body to develop high temperature, resulting in damage to and organ failure. Symptoms include restless, excessive panting, tremors and seizures. Rapid veterinarian intervention is required to prevent your dog’s death.
This low caloric sweetener is widely used in sugar-free products, although it isn’t threatening to people since it doesn’t affects one’s blood sugar levels, in dogs it can lead to rapid drop of blood sugar levels which in turn can lead to disorientation and seizures within 30 minutes to 6 hours after ingestion. Ingestion of large amounts of xylitol based products can lead to liver failure and death, therefore you’re advised to seek veterinary care for your dog.
This list contains the most common foods you should not feed your dog with, hopefully with this list you will be able to prevent your dog from experiencing some bad times that would rise from ingesting considerable quantities of some of these foods or substances.