You’re fixing dinner and you look down and see the cutest, saddest eyes of your canine friend looking at you so intently. Before you slip them some of your human food, think twice! In your desire to give them a special treat, you may actually harm them. Most of us know that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but many other foods healthy for humans could cause your dog to become fatally ill or die.
Elmo’s Kitchen, an animal diet consultancy, has provided the following list of ten foods dangerous if fed to your dog.
A well-known toxic food for dogs, chocolate contains theobromine. Denver veterinarian Kevin Fitzgerald, PhD, told WebMD, “The buzz we get from eating chocolate may last 20 to 40 minutes, but for dogs it lasts many hours,” he says. “After 17 hours, half of the theobromine a dog has ingested is still in the system.” In small amounts, your dog can experience diarrhea and vomiting. Severe cases cause hyperactivity, seizures, respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. No amount of chocolate is OK for your dog. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate are most risky, but even white and milk chocolate pose risks.
2. Food Containing Artificial Sweeteners (Soda, Candy, etc.)
Dogs cannot process these chemicals so feeding them food with artificial sweeteners can cause serious liver damage. While products like xylitol do not affect human blood sugar levels, they can lead to a rapid and sever drop in blood sugar level for dogs. Symptoms include disorientation and seizures within 30 minutes of ingesting the chemical.
3. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins can be fatal to a dog. These bite-sized fruits seem like a perfect little treat but they cause ingestion which can result in acute kidney failure.
No Starbucks for Fido! According to the Pet Poison Helpline, dogs ingesting caffeine experience hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, vomiting and sometimes death.
5. Macadamia Nuts
This is just nutty! Macadamia nut toxicosis will not likely be fatal to your dog, but it can cause serious symptoms including weakness in rear legs, tremors, vomiting and fever. These symptoms usually subside after 48 hours with veterinary care.
Members of the onion family (onions, shallots, garlic, scallions, etc.) propose a serious risk to the health of your dog. Eating these foods can cause hemolytic anemia, a condition where red blood cells burst, if not treated may be fatal. Concentrated forms of these foods such as dehydrated onions, onion soup mix or garlic powder are even worse. Symptoms may not appear for 3-5 days and include weakness, unwillingness to move, discolored urine.
What? No guacamole? With the many health benefits avocados pose to humans, it is a surprise that they are toxic for dogs. The chemical persin within the fruit can cause mild stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. Ingesting the pit can be very serious and requires urgent veterinary care. Avocado is sometimes used in pet foods where the meal or oil used does not pose a hazard to your dog.
8. Cooked Bones
Don’t just throw your dog a bone! Cooked bones crack and splinter when your dog chews them. These pieces are known to get caught in a dog’s windpipe or even worse tear their mouth or internal organs.
No fungi for your little guy! Mushrooms can cause symptoms such as liver damage, abdominal pain, drooling, kidney damage, diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions, coma or death.
10. Fruit Pits and Seeds
Be careful when giving your dog fruit. Seeds and pits from apples, cherries, peaches and plums are contain toxic cyanide. This poisonous chemical is very dangerous for dogs. Seeds can also get caught internally and cause obstructions in their intestines. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of apetite, abdominal pain, swollen abdomen, fever dehydration and shock. Left untreated, this can be fatal within 3 to 4 days.
If you think your dog has ingested any of these foods or any other toxic substance, call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.