Foods Your Dog Should Not Eat

December 23, 2011

Alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on humans. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death.

Avocados contain a substance called persin, which in large amounts can be toxic to dogs. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit.

Cooked bones have been softened and may splinter off in the dog’s mouth, stomach or digestive tract causing major problems. Bones can cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog’s digestive system.

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage
In large amounts, they can possibly be bad for pets causing gas. It contains isothiocyanate, the tummy upsetting culprit.

Chives, Garlic and Onions
If a dog ingests onions or even onion powder, the animal may develop a condition called Heinz body anemia, a form of hemolytic anemia that destroys red blood cells. This can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. Just eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness. Chives should also be avoided. Common signs that your dog has developed Heinz body anemia are pale gums, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, weakness, bloody urine, vomiting and lethargy. This particular type of anemia can also cause kidney damage.

Candy and Gum
Xylitol is often used in candy, gum and other sweets. It can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog’s body which in turn can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop and cause liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures. Liver failure can occur within just a few days.

Caffeine, Coffee, Tea
Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a dog. Symptoms of poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee, caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and energy drinks.

The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine. It’s in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate. Problems resulting from eating chocolate include: vomitting, diarrhea, excessive thirst,abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.

Raw Eggs
The first problem with raw eggs is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. The second is that raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems.

Fat Trimmings
Too much fat at one time can overload the pancreas and lead to pancreatitis.

Grapes and Raisins
Although it isn’t clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign. The dog will become lethargic and depressed.

Too much liver can lead to vitamin A toxicity. Liver flavored pet food and treats are fine to give to your pets though – the key is moderation.

Reaction to a drug commonly prescribed for humans is the most common cause of poisoning in dogs. Just as you would do for your children, keep all medicines out of your dog’s reach. Never give your dog any over-the-counter medicine unless told to do so by your vet. Ingredients such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common in pain relievers and cold medicine which can be deadly to dogs.

Milk and Other Dairy Products
Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset. Some sources do recommend yogurt since it is lower in lactose and contains healthy probiotics.

Nuts – Macadamia, Walnuts
Dogs should not eat foods containing macadamia nuts because they can be fatal. As few as 6 raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Walnuts and their hulls are particularly poisonous to dogs. They are more susceptible to black walnut poisoning after ingesting the hulls or shells of the nut. Peanut butter appears to be safe for dogs but in moderation due to the fat content.

Persimmons, Peaches, Pears, Plums
The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs.

Raw/Undercooked Meat and Bones
Raw meat can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract. Many vets have reported problems with broken/chipped teeth or tiny bone fragments getting lodged in the dog’s intestinal tract.

Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death. The dogs may have kidney problems as they have trouble excreting the excess salt from their bodies.

Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Rhubarb
OK to give in small amounts. While they are not toxic, they are high in oxalic acid, a compound that interferes with calcium absorption.

Stems Potato, Tomato and Rhubarb Leaves, Vines
The leaves, stems and other green parts of these roots and vegetables are highly toxic to most pets. The leaves, stems and vines of these plants contain oxalates, which can harm the digestive, nervous and urinary tract. Symptoms of oxalate toxicity are dilated pupils, heart arrhythmias, irregular heart beat and tremors

Feeding dogs sugary foods is like feeding them drugs. It can lead to obesity, dental problems, and even diabetes.

Yeast Dough
Uncooked dough can stretch the dog’s abdomen and cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Kitchen Pantry
Many other items commonly found on kitchen shelves can harm your dog. Baking powder and baking soda are both highly toxic, as well as nutmeg and other spices. Keeping food items high enough to be out of your dog’s reach and keeping pantry doors closed will help protect your dog from serious food-related illness.

If Your Dog Eats Something it Shouldn’t
It’s a smart idea to always keep the number of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center – (888) 426-4435 – where you know you can find it in an emergency. If you think your dog has consumed something that’s toxic, call for emergency help at once.


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