As fur parents, one of our most important responsibilities is ensuring that our dogs only have access to healthy food items that won’t harm their health. While there are many dog-friendly food options out there, it’s important to know about foods that poison dogs. By knowing what they are and how they can harm our dogs, we can prevent our pets from suffering serious health issues, including death.
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Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to accidentally give human foods that can poison dogs. So, it’s essential that we take the time to learn about foods that are poison to dogs.
What are common foods that poison dogs and what fruits can dogs not eat?
In this article, we will discuss some of the most common foods that can poison dogs, including chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, xylitol, and avocado. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the foods that you shouldn’t feed your furry friend so you can keep it away from toxic substances.
Foods That Poison Dogs
Want to keep your dog safe? Here are some foods that poison dogs:
The next time you’re tempted to share your chocolate snack with your dog, think again. Chocolate is considered toxic for dogs because it contains a compound known as theobromine. It can lead to seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it has. So, while you may not notice any harmful effects from a small piece of milk chocolate, a large chunk of dark chocolate can be lethal.
“Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs can range from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and death. The toxicity depends on the amount of theobromine ingested and the size of the dog.” – Dr. Klein
Grapes and Raisins
While grapes and raisins are beneficial for humans, it’s best to keep them away from dogs. They’ve been known to cause kidney failures in canines so even a small amount can be poisonous. A dog suffering from the effects of grapes and raisins will vomit, have diarrhea, and be lethargic.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic can cause damage to your dog’s red blood cells and can lead to anemia. Weakness, pale gums, and lethargy are some of their immediate side effects. Note that onion and garlic powder are also harmful.
“The ingestion of even a small amount of onions or garlic can cause a dog’s red blood cells to rupture, leading to anemia. This can be fatal if not treated promptly.” – Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club
Xylitol is usually used as a substitute for sugar. It’s usually a main ingredient in candy, sugar-free gum, mouthwash, and toothpaste. When ingested by a dog, it can make its body release insulin too fast and cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Other side effects include liver failure, seizures, and even death. Even modest amounts of this substance can be toxic so keep food with xylitol safely beyond your dog’s reach.
Avocado contains a substance called persin, which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea in our pets. The pit of an avocado can also cause block dogs’ digestive systems if ingested. While the flesh of an avocado isn’t toxic to them, it’s best to avoid giving them avocado altogether.
Alcohol is highly toxic to dogs, and even small amounts can lead to alcohol poisoning. Dogs that consume alcohol may show signs of diarrhea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. It can even lead to coma and death.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause dogs to experience restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and seizures. In severe cases, it can cause death. Keep caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and soda away from your dog. Never give it medications that contain it.
Macadamia nuts are also toxic to dogs. Symptoms of macadamia nut poisoning include weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia (elevated body temperature). Keep all macadamia nuts and products containing macadamia nuts away from your dog.
“Macadamia nuts can cause vomiting, lethargy, hyperthermia, and tremors in dogs. These symptoms can last for up to 48 hours, but they are rarely fatal.” – Dr. Wismer
While small amounts of salt are generally safe for dogs, excessive amounts can be harmful. Symptoms of salt toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death. Avoid feeding your dog salty snacks like potato chips, and make sure it always has access to fresh, clean water.
Yeast dough can expand in a dog’s stomach, causing bloating and discomfort. In addition, the fermentation process that occurs when yeast dough is eaten can result in alcohol poisoning. Keep all yeast dough away from your dog to prevent any potential health issues.
Bones (Especially Chicken Bones)
While many dogs love to chew on bones, certain types of bones can be dangerous. Chicken bones, in particular, can splinter and cause blockages or puncture the digestive system. This can be a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention. It’s best to keep your dog away from bones and instead provide it with safe chew toys.
What Fruits Can Dogs Not Eat?
While many fruits are safe for dogs to eat, there are some fruits that can be toxic to them. Some fruits that dogs should not eat include:
- Cherries (especially the pits)
- Peaches (especially the pits)
- Plums (especially the pits)
- Apples (especially the seeds)
- Apricots (especially the pits)
- Grapes and raisins
You may also wonder, “can dogs eat dates?” These fruits look like giant raisins but their flesh and pits aren’t toxic to dogs. However, they can cause choking and intestinal blockage among canines so it’s best to avoid dates as well.
“Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. We’re not sure why, but it’s best to avoid them completely.” – Dr. Tina Wismer, Medical Director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
If you suspect that your dog has ingested any of the foods mentioned above, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately. Some symptoms of food poisoning in dogs include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.
How To Keep Dogs Away From Toxic Food: Prevention Is the Best Medicine
Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to keeping our furry friends safe from the harmful effects of certain foods. In addition to knowing about foods that poison dogs, there are additional measures you can take:
1. Control Access
One of the most effective ways to prevent your dog from eating toxic foods is to keep them out of reach. Make sure to store all food items in secure containers or cabinets, and avoid leaving food out on counters or tables where your dog can reach them.
If you have a particularly curious or mischievous dog, you may need to be especially vigilant to ensure they don’t accidentally ingest anything harmful.
2. Shop Carefully
When shopping for dog food or treats, make sure to read the ingredients carefully and avoid products that contain any ingredients that are known to be toxic to dogs.
3. Consult Your Veterinarian
If you feel unsure about certain food items, consult your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist. They can not only warn you against harmful substances but can also help ensure that your dog’s diet meets its nutritional needs.
4. Teach Your Dog Sound Eating Habits, Don’t Feed It Table Scraps
Finally, it’s important to teach your dog good eating habits and discourage it from begging or scavenging for food. Dogs that are accustomed to getting table scraps or stealing food are more likely to eat foods that are toxic to them, so it’s important to establish clear boundaries and stick to a regular feeding schedule.
By taking proactive steps to prevent your dog from eating toxic foods, you can help ensure its long-term health and well-being. Remember, prevention is always better than treatment, so prioritize your dog’s safety and take the necessary precautions to keep it healthy and happy.
“Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your dog from toxic foods. Keep all harmful foods out of your dog’s reach and never leave your pet unattended with food that is potentially toxic.” – Dr. Klein
Education and Awareness Are Key
We must take the necessary steps to keep our furry friends safe from foods that can poison them. Being aware of common human foods that can harm dogs is an important first step toward ensuring their health and well-being.
At the same time, we should educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms of food toxicity in dogs. If we suspect that our pet has ingested something toxic, we should be willing to seek immediate veterinary care, especially if we notice troubling signs.
Preventing food poisoning in dogs requires vigilance and preventive measures. This includes keeping all toxic foods out of reach, properly storing food, and avoiding feeding dogs table scraps.
By taking proactive steps to keep our dogs safe, we can help our pets avoid food poisoning so they can lead happy and healthy lives.
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