As owners, we always want the best for our K-9 companions. And sometimes we make mistakes in thinking that certain things that are good for us, can be good for our dogs. Unfortunately, that is not the case and vets often see dogs that have been fed stuff that have caused simple problems. However, there have been situations where they have had to deal with more serious food poisoning.
This is the main reason why we always say that you should talk to your vet or a veterinary nutritionist before changing or introducing a new diet to your dog.
There are several foods that you should never feed your dog, as they can be toxic and harmful to their health. It’s crucial to be aware of these foods and keep them out of your dog’s reach to prevent accidental ingestion.
Common foods that you should not feed your dog:
- Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate have higher levels of these compounds and are particularly dangerous.
- Grapes and raisins: Even small amounts of grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. The exact toxic component is not known, so it’s best to avoid them completely.
- Onions and garlic: These foods contain compounds that can damage a dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. This includes raw, cooked, and powdered forms.
- Xylitol: Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in many sugar-free and diet products, including gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste. It can cause a rapid release of insulin in dogs, leading to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and liver damage. And it is very commonly found in human food, which is why you need to be careful.
- Alcohol: There is a reason why it is mentioned. I have had clients who have told me that they have “shared” their beer with their dog. Alcohol, including alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol, can cause intoxication, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and, in severe cases, coma or death.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some medications. It can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, seizures, and death in dogs.
- Bones from cooked meat: Cooked bones, especially poultry bones, can splinter and cause choking, gastrointestinal blockages, or internal injuries. However, you can choose one of those big raw bones to offer to your dog for teeth cleaning and keeping them occupied. Of course, they need to be supervised.
- Fatty Foods: High-fat foods like bacon, sausage, and fried foods can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life-threatening condition in dogs. It is something that vets see very often and usually, these dogs end up having to eat a special diet for a longer period of time.
- Avocado: Avocado contains a substance called persin, which can be toxic to dogs, especially in large quantities.
- Macadamia nuts: Macadamia nuts can cause muscle weakness, tremors, vomiting, and other symptoms in dogs. The exact cause of their toxicity is not well understood.
- Dairy Products: They are usually recommended for dogs that may be picky or if they are sick and have not been eating for a more extended period of time. However, some dogs are lactose intolerant and may experience digestive upset, including diarrhea, when consuming milk or dairy products. While small amounts of plain yogurt or cottage cheese are okay for some dogs, it’s best to avoid dairy if your dog has known sensitivities.
- Raw eggs: Raw eggs can contain salmonella and potentially lead to bacterial infections in dogs. One of the most famous bacteria found in raw eggs is E. coli. Cooking eggs thoroughly eliminates this risk. If you cook it for yourself, cook it for your dog too! They will enjoy it just as much as they would enjoy it raw.
- Salty foods: Yes, your dog will like it, but it doesn’t mean it’s good for them. Excessive salt intake can lead to sodium ion poisoning in dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death.
- Candy and gum: Many sugar-free candies and gums contain xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs.
Always be cautious with your dog’s diet and avoid feeding them anything from your table or pantry without first checking if it’s safe. If you suspect your dog has ingested something toxic, contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal poison control hotline immediately. And if you want to try out something new, just drop a line to the vet, we are here for your dog!