We all want what’s best for our pets. And that often means getting them the best food we can. Unfortunately, we also know that some dogs will eat almost anything, and many owners take a certain delight in sharing their meals with their best friends, or watching them eat “human food.” Well, in some cases, it’s a good idea to leave the human food with the humans. Check out this list of 10 normal, everyday foods that may be fine for you but are toxic foods for dogs.
We get it; you want your best friend to have some of your birthday cake. But chocolate has a few compounds that can potentially make for a very bad birthday surprise: caffeine (see “Coffee” below) and theobromine, which can cause symptoms like vomiting, excessive thirst, abdominal discomfort, severe agitation, irregular heart rhythm, seizures and even death.
Tip: In particular, stay away from dark chocolate, which is more dangerous than other kinds.
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The Fluffington Post has it right; the only thing your dog should be doing with an avocado is demonstrating its balancing skills. Avocadoes contain persin, which may be toxic to some dogs.
Tip: According to the ASPCA, Guatemalan avocados are deadlier than other varieties.
You know what yeast does when you bake bread? It rises. You know what yeast does in your dog’s stomach? Yup… it rises. And that can cause all kinds of problems, from bloating to alcohol intoxication.
Tip: Baked bread is okay for your dog, but you don’t want to go overboard.
You might need that morning cup of Joe, but your dog sure doesn’t. Caffeine can be fatal for dogs, especially in large quantities. So add tea and other caffeinated beverages to the list.
Tip: Be careful with this one, because sadly, there is no antidote.
5. Grapes and Raisins
Talk about grapes of wrath! No one really knows why as yet, but grapes and raisins have been associated with kidney failure in dogs. Also, it appears that not all dogs are negatively affected by them… but hey, why take that chance?
Tip: Look for symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy, within 12 hours of consumption.
Guess what? Dogs can get drunk too. Only, they get drunk far sooner and with a lot less booze than we do. And the results are about the same: everything from vomiting and loss of coordination to seizures and even death is on the table when Fido hits the hard liquor. Best to avoid it completely.
Tip: Be particularly wary of beer; cultivated hops have been associated with poisoning dogs.
7. Onions and Garlic
Basically, this is the only type of dog we want to see with onions. Anything from the onion family (throw in shallots and scallions) can attack your dog’s red blood cells. That can lead to anemia, which causes weakness, vomiting and breathlessness, among other symptoms.
Tip: The stronger it is, the more deadly it can be, so if you have to prioritize, put garlic at the top of the do-not-eat list.
8. Candy and Gum
It may look hysterical to see your pooch chewing on a pack of gum or a chewy candy, but you’ll want to avoid it. Many of these sweets contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which affects the insulin circulating through your dog’s body. This can potentially cause hypoglycemia and liver failure.
Tip: Liver failure in your dog can occur in just a few days, so be very careful with this one.
Many commercial dog foods have sodium in them, so this isn’t a complete taboo. Just be careful that your dog isn’t eating too much, or they can get sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.
Tip: The Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources suggests that a dog weighing around 33 pounds should consume no more than 100 mg of sodium a day.
10. Macadamia Nuts
Healthy snack for you? Sure. Healthy snack for your dog? Heck no. It only takes a handful of these nuts to get your dog sick and suffering from nausea, muscle and joint pain, swelling and lethargy. In some cases, it can even be fatal.
Tip: Raw or roasted makes no difference when it comes to macadamia nuts. Keep them away from your dog!