Who can resist those big puppy dog eyes and cute naughty grin? Not us! However, can a little reward from the table or getting into the rubbish bin really harm your dog?
Well, that depends on what it is and what's in it. If it contains the sweetener xylitol, it can cause your dog some real problems. In fact, there’s a lot of human food your dog should never eat. And, it’s not just because of weight. Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs -- and some of these common foods may surprise you. Why? Because all animals have very different rates of metabolism. Metabolism is the process of breaking down food and turning it into energy.
Below is a list of some common foods and drinks that are unsafe and unfit for canine consumption, many of which are toxic to dogs. Consider printing this list out and keeping it accessible for the family to read at all times.
The casing of apple seeds is toxic to a dog as they contain a natural chemical (amygdlin) that releases cyanide when digested. This is really only an issue if a large amount is eaten and the seed is chewed up by the dog, causing it to enter its bloodstream. To play it safe, be sure to core and seed apples before you feed them to your dog.
Avocados contain persin, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting and heart congestion. The most dangerous part of an avocado is the pit because it is a choking hazard and it is full of persin. If you think your dog has ingested an avocado pit, call your vet asap. If your dog ate a small piece of avocado, it will probably be okay, but make sure you monitor your dog and call your vet for further care.
Cat food contains proteins and fats that target the diet of a cat, not a dog. The protein and fat levels in cat food are too high for your dog, and not healthy. Ingesting too much cat food can result in upset stomach, obesity and pancreatitis.
Chocolate And Caffeine
Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which speed the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system. Depending on the type of chocolate, amount your dog ingested and your dog’s weight will determine how sick (or not sick) your dog may become.
Caffeine is extremely dangerous to dogs, and within 1-2 hours, your dog could be experiencing mild to severe hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, tremors, seizures and death.
When it comes to bones, the danger is that cooked bones can easily splinter when chewed by your dog. Raw (uncooked) bones, however, are appropriate and suitable for both your dog’s nutrition and teeth.
Corn On The Cob
While small amounts of corn are safe for a dog to ingest, giving your dog an ear of corn can be dangerous. If your dog is determined enough (which let’s face it, most dogs are) they will eat the cob and all. The cob can be a choking hazard and can cause intestinal blockage. This could be fatal to your dog.
Cooked and uncooked fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis, let alone unhealthy weight gain in excess.
While garlic can be okay for dogs in tiny amounts (and even beneficial for flea treatment,) more significant amounts can be risky. Garlic is related to onions which are toxic for dogs because it kills dog’s red blood cell count, causing anemia. Signs may include weakness, vomiting and troubles breathing.
Grapes & Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure for dogs. Even a small amount can make a dog ill. Vomiting is an early symptom followed by depression and low energy. We’ve heard stories of dogs dying from only a handful of grapes, so do not feed your pup this potentially toxic food.
In small amounts, liver can be okay but avoid feeding too much to your dog. Liver contains quite a bit of vitamin A, which can adversely affect your pup’s muscles and bones.
Ingesting even small amounts of macadamia nuts can be lethal to your dog. Symptoms include muscle shakes, vomiting, increased temperature and weak back legs. If your dog ingested chocolate with the macadamia nuts, the symptoms can be worse.
Milk & Dairy Products
While small doses aren’t going to kill your dog, they could get some smelly farts and some nasty cases of diarrhoea. Milk and dairy products can cause digestive problems as well as trigger food allergies.
Onions & Chives
No matter what form they’re in (dry, raw, cooked, powder, within other foods etc,) onions are some of the absolute worst foods you could give your pup. They contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate,) both of which can cause anemia and damage red blood cells.
It might go without saying, but never give your dog a spicy variety such as jalapeños or hot peppers! Although pureed or steamed green peppers can be a low-calorie snack, packed with vitamin C and beta-carotene for your 4 legged friend.
Persimmon, Peach & Plum Pits
Pits/seeds from these fruits can cause intestinal issues in dogs. Additionally, peach and plum pits have cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs (and people!)
Raw Meat & Fish
Raw meat and fish can be contaminated with bacteria which causes food poisoning. Additionally, some fish can contain a parasite that causes “fish disease” or “salmon poisoning disease (SPD).”
Symptoms include vomiting, fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Cooked fish is perfectly fine since the cooking process kills the parasites but be sure to remove all bones to avoid choking or internal organ risks.
Raw meat can be safe to feed dogs, but only if you know it’s uncontaminated and safe for consumption. In fact, raw diets for dogs are increasing in popularity.
Rhubarb & Tomato Leaves
These contain oxalates, which can cause, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, tremors and bloody urine.
Just like salt isn’t the healthiest thing for humans, it’s even less healthy for dogs. Too much of it can lead to sodium ion poisoning, which may result in vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, increased temperature, seizures and even death.
This applies to any food containing sugar. Make sure you check the ingredient label for human foods – corn syrup (which is a less expensive form of sugar or glucose) is found in just about everything these days. Too much sugar for your pup can lead to dental issues, obesity and even diabetes.
Sugar alcohol found in gum, candies, baked goods and other sugar-substituted items, xylitol, while causing no apparent harm to humans, is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure and even death for your pup.
Just like yeast rises in bread, it will also expand and rise within your pup’s tummy. Make sure they don’t get any. While mild cases will cause gas and discomfort — too much of it could rupture their stomach and intestines. Yeast dough is also dangerous because as it ferments and rises it makes alcohol which can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Candy, Chewing Gum, Toothpaste & Mouthwash
Not only does candy contain sugar, but it often contains xylitol, which can lead to vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures and liver failure.
Do not give your dog alcohol on purpose. Alcohol can cause not only intoxication, lack of coordination, weak breathing and abnormal acidity but potentially even coma or death.
An ingredient in beer that can be toxic to your dog is hops. The consumption of hops by your dog can cause vomiting, panting, increased heart rate, fever and even death.
Please note that there are certain foods and drinks not covered above which are also considered unsafe, and just because it’s not on this list doesn't mean it's not toxic or dangerous for your pet.