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Dangerous Foods for our Dogs

There are many common foods that we eat on a regular basis that can actually be harmful to your dog! Read below to learn more about some of the top...

There are many common foods that we eat on a regular basis that can actually be harmful to your dog! Read below to learn more about some of the top 10 food hazards and what potential side effects they could cause.

Dangerous Foods:

  1. CHOCOLATE – Chocolate contains a substance from the cocoa seed referred to as methylxanthine that can be very harmful to dogs when ingested. Depending on how much was consumed, side effects of eating chocolate include vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal and elevated heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even death. Severity of signs coincides with the amount and type of chocolate consumed. Dark chocolate and Baking chocolate contain the highest amounts of methylxanthines.
  2. MACADAMIAN NUTS – Side effects of consumption usually show up within 12 hours and present as vomiting, twitches, weakness, or elevated body temperature.
  3. OTHER NUTS – Nuts contain oils that are healthy for us to consume, but dogs sometimes do not digest the oils as well and can develop diarrhea and vomiting and potentially pancreatitis.
  4. GRAPES AND RAISINS – Both have been found to be toxic to some dogs. The exact toxin in grapes and raisins is unknown, but it is best to avoid giving these foods to your dog. Potential grape/raisin poisoning can cause kidney damage.
  5. ONIONS AND GARLIC – Consumption in small amounts will not cause significant problems in a dog; however, consumption in large amounts can cause stomach irritation and red blood cell damage.
  6. SPICY AND SWEET FOODS – Try to avoid sharing spicy and sweet human foods with your dogs. Consumption can cause GI irritation resulting in vomiting and diarrhea and can even cause them to develop pancreatitis. Especially avoid any sweets that contain Xylitol as the sweetening agent as consumption can result in serious illness in dogs such as liver failure, weakness, and seizures.
  7. SALT – High levels of salt ingestion can cause Salt Poisoning. Avoid giving your dog salty foods such as pretzels, popcorn, potato chips, etc. Even home made play-dough can contain a toxic amount of salt.
  8. ALCOHOLIC DRINKS – Be careful where you put your adult beverage so that your dog can not drink it. Over consumption of alcohol in your dog can lead to weakness, respiratory depression, and even a coma.
  9. DAIRY PRODUCTS – Although no serious concern, consumption of milk and other dairy products can cause diarrhea and GI upset. Dogs do not contain the proper enzymes to break down milk like we do and therefore are unable to digest it properly.
  10. RAW MEAT AND EGGS – Raw meat and raw eggs can be harmful because they have the potential to contain bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella which can make dogs (and their humans!) very sick. It is best to cook raw meat for our dogs the same as we would cook it for ourselves to prevent infections with these bacteria. Raw eggs also contain an enzyme that presents absorption of the B vitamin, Biotin, in their diet. Reduced absorption of this enzyme can cause skin and hair coat problems.

If you ever have any concerns with consumption of any substances that may be toxic, please call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline. They are open 24/7 and can give very helpful advice on how to treat at home or recommend emergency care.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center




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