Let’s face it, when our lovable pooches flash us those beggar eyes, it’s more than tempting to feed them a seemingly harmless bite off our plates, but what “human” foods are actually toxic for dogs? Most of us know to avoid biggies like chocolate, but many people are unaware of unsuspecting dangers like xylitol, which is often buried among common household ingredients.
What Foods are Toxic for Dogs?
Chocolate contains the chemicals theobromine and methylxanthine, which are toxic to both dogs and cats and can cause poisoning, and in rare cases, seizures and death. Dark chocolate contains the highest concentration of these harmful substances, while white chocolate has the lowest.
2. Garlic and Onions
Allium vegetables (garlic, onions, chives) cause gastrointestinal irritation and can lead to red blood cell damage, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and other more severe signs of toxicity such as rapid heart rate and weakness.
3. Grapes and Raisins
While further studies on toxicity are still needed, it’s best to hold off from feeding your dog grapes and raisins, which are known to cause vomiting, lethargy, depression, and possibly lead to kidney failure in dogs.
4. Macadamia Nuts
While xylitol-free peanut butter is a safe treat for dogs, even a small amount of macadamia nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia. Other symptoms of macadamia nut toxicity include shaking and muscle weakness for dogs.
5. Milk and Dairy
Dogs do not naturally produce lactase, the enzyme required to properly break down and digest lactose in dairy products. As such, milk and cheese can upset your dog’s stomach and cause diarrhea or vomiting. Some pups are also allergic, which can cause irritable itching.
6. Raw Dough
Raw dough, especially containing yeast, is harmful to dogs. The yeast can both bloat and irritate your dog’s digestive tract and also produces ethanol which essentially converts to alcohol and leads to poisoning.
7. Raw Meat, Raw Eggs, Raw Bones
Raw meat, fish, and eggs produce bacteria like salmonella or E. coli that can cause food poisoning for both us and our dogs! Additionally, raw eggs contain avidin, which is an enzyme that decreases biotin absorption and can lead to coat or skin issues. Also avoid feeding your dog raw bones, which can splinter and cause your dog to choke.
8. Beverages with Alcohol and Caffeine
Sharing a few sips of even just wine can lead to alcohol poisoning for dogs and has a toxic effect on your dog’s liver, which is not designed to process alcohol. Many dogs also have a high sensitivity to the yeast in beer. Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea are also harmful, as caffeine contains methylxanthines, just like chocolate, another derivative of the cacao seed.
First of all, what is Xylitol? It is an artificial sweetener common in low-calorie and sugar-free foods. Common products and foods that contain xylitol are some sugar-free barbecue sauces and pancake syrups, sugar-free candies, toothpaste, gum, and certain peanut butters, so make sure to double-check the label before indulging your pet in a peanut butter treat. Products containing xylitol can cause dogs’ blood sugar to drop and in severe cases, liver failure when insulin levels jump to hypoglycemic levels.
10. Salty and Sugary Foods
Just like with humans, fur babies should avoid junk food, too! Dogs are far more sensitive to seasonings, especially sodium, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and in severe cases, seizures. Avoid snacks like potato chips, pretzels, and desserts with high sugar.
Although we know what ingredients are harmful to them, our dogs have a habit of digging into dangerous temptations. For mild mishaps, check out Romeo’s pumpkin remedy for an upset stomach. However, if your fur baby ingests any of these toxic foods in large quantities, please consult your vet!
Special Guest Star featured in this week’s photos: Romeo’s sister, Jasmine!