Watch Out! These Common People Foods are Toxic for Your Dogs!
Just Say No
You know the routine. You sit down to eat and then, those large, brown eyes gaze up at you from under the table. The slow thump-thump of an ever-optimistic tail starts up. The heavy sighs begin. The drool pools between your feet. Your dog is a master communicator when it comes to trying to convince you he will die if he can’t share your meal! No matter how hard your dog tries to convince you otherwise, there are certain human foods that should never be shared with your canine companion.
Avocados - Good for Guacamole, Not for Buddy
Avocados are bad news for various reasons. Persin, an ingredient in avocados, can wreak havoc with a dog’s digestive system and cause vomiting and loose stools. Like any fruit with a large, hard stone (plums and peaches are also potentially dangerous), avocado pits can get stuck somewhere inside your dog’s digestive tract. In the worst case scenario, an obstruction can be fatal. Dogs who like to nibble should be kept away from avocado plants - all parts (bark, leaves, and seeds) contain persin and are potentially dangerous.
Some may think it’s cute to slip Buster the Boxer a swig of beer or a ‘special’ brownie. But alcohol and marijuana are both bad news for dogs. Smaller dogs have less tolerance and coma or death can result from ingestion of recreational substances.
Worse than Bad Breath
Foods in the allium family (onions, garlic, chives) can be dangerous for dogs even though dogs often love the smell of foods that contain garlic. By killing red blood cells, consumption of onions or garlic can lead to anemia in dogs. Breathing problems and vomiting are two symptoms to watch out for.
Not So Sweet
Fun foods containing sugar or chocolate are not a good idea for dogs. In general, the darker the chocolate the more dangerous it is, though all forms of chocolate should be avoided. If a dog consumes enough (easier when the dog is small), chocolate consumption can lead to heart problems or even death. Sugar, though not toxic in the same way as chocolate, can cause excessive weight gain. Just like in humans, packing on the kilos can lead to diabetes and lethargy. An inactive couch potato pooch is at risk for heart disease and joint problems. If you think providing diet snacks made with the artificial sweetener xylitol is a good idea, think again. Xylitol can be toxic to dogs, causing plunging blood sugar levels and, in some cases, liver failure.
Don’t Share Your Meds with Fluffy
Also hard on the liver is acetaminophen, an ingredient commonly found in headache and fever-control medications for people (commonly marketed as Paracetamol or Tylenol). Don’t be tempted to treat your dog with one of your headache pills - the result could be deadly. Liver damage is the likely result of acetaminophen toxicity in dogs.
The List of Foods Your Dog Should Avoid is Long
Other common foods that are on the no-go list for dogs include grapes and raisins (too many can cause kidney failure), caffeine (watch out, you may find caffeine in soft drinks and cold medications - not just your cup of tea or coffee), ice cream (which can be hard on a dog’s stomach and may also cause an allergic reaction), and macadamia nuts.
Keep the Vet’s Number Handy
Though symptoms of poisoning vary depending on what and how much your dog has eaten, if your usually perky pet suddenly seems lethargic, keeps vomiting, shakes, has convulsions, or has persistent diarrhoea, visit your vet immediately. If at all possible, try to figure out what your dog consumed as treatments vary depending on the toxin.
What your dog should be eating is a well-balanced dog food specially formulated to meet canine dietary requirements. Visit the Rawmate website to learn more about your dog’s nutritional needs.