Toxic Food for Dogs

Our furry friends are born adventurers, and they often explore the world by tasting everything in their path. This includes items they find, like food, which can sometimes be hazardous to them. It’s crucial to be aware of the human foods that could spell disaster for your canine companion and ensure they’re kept safely out of paws’ reach. Familiarize yourself with the telltale signs of food-related trouble in dogs, and if you ever suspect your four-legged explorer has indulged in something they shouldn’t, don’t hesitate to dial your vet right away. Your pup’s health is always a priority!

Symptoms of food poisoning in dogs

  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Blood in the urine
  • Bloody poop
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hyperactivity
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of coordination
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Unsteadiness when standing or walking
  • Vomiting

When should I take my Dog to the Vet?

Early intervention is critical, if you suspect your dog ate something toxic, call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Common Human Foods That Are Toxic to Dogs

1. Onions, Garlic and Chives

Whether the’re raw, cooked, or in their powdered form, the members of the onion family are particularly toxic in a dog’s tummy. These ingredients can trigger red blood cell damage, initially manifesting with vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and a lack of interest in dinner. Surprisingly, the signs of onion-related illness may not be apparent right away, making an appearance a few days later, turning your pet into a detective trying to solve the mystery of the upset stomach!

Symptoms to watch for:

  • dark urine
  • gums that have lost their rosy glow
  • heart racing
  • shortness of breath
2. Chocolate

Chocolate poses a severe threat to dogs due to its theobromine and caffeine content, both of which can lead to life-threatening heart and central nervous system issues in canines. The outcome can vary widely based on the quantity ingested, spanning from mild stomach discomfort to the most severe cases of kidney failure and, in extreme instances, even death.

It might take 6 to 12 hours for symptoms to manifest, and the type of chocolate consumed plays a significant role in its toxicity, with darker chocolate posing a greater threat than milk chocolate, and white chocolate being the least dangerous. Body weight is another crucial factor to consider; the smaller your dog, the greater the risk they face if they consume chocolate.

3. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts contain a toxin capable of impacting your dog’s muscles and nervous system, potentially leading to weakness and swollen limbs. Even in small amounts, a few nuts can cause difficulty walking, with muscle tremors, distress, and elevated body temperature. Typically, this condition is not fatal and tends to resolve within 1-2 days.

Symptoms Include:

  • Depression
  • Excessive panting
  • Hyperthermia
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
4. Cooked Bones

You might be aware of the caution against offering your dog cooked bones, but it’s worth noting that many veterinarians advise against giving dogs any type of bones, as they believe all bones carry a health risk.

Chewing on bones can lead to a range of injuries and illnesses in dogs, including:

  • Bacterial illnesses from raw bones
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Broken teeth
  • Constipation
  • Choking
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal tract blockages
  • Perforation of the gut which can be fatal
  • Vomiting
5. Grapes & Raisins

Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs and can trigger acute kidney failure and liver damage. Although the precise toxic component remains unidentified, some dogs can consume them without issue, while others display symptoms after just a small quantity. To err on the side of caution, it’s advisable to refrain from feeding your dog grapes or raisins, which can also be present in various products like cakes, biscuits, and cereals. Affected dogs typically experience vomiting within a few hours and may exhibit signs of renal failure within 3 to 5 days.

6. Peanut Butters and Other Nut Butters

Peanut butter is a well-known canine delight and is safe to eat. However, it’s essential to inspect the ingredients of any peanut butter or nut butter you intend to offer your dog, as certain types may include xylitol.

Even minimal quantities of xylitol can induce the following reactions in dogs:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Seizures
  • Liver failure
  • Death
7. Xylitol (Artificial Sweeteners)

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener present in various human products such as sugar-free gum, candies, and toothpaste, can lead to a drop in a dog’s blood sugar levels by triggering a swift insulin release and can lead to seizures, liver failure, and even death

8. Alcohol

Even small amounts of alcohol can have a profound impact on dogs. While it can induce intoxication like it does in humans, it may also result in symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and potential damage to the central nervous system.

In addition, hops, the essential ingredient in beer production is highly toxic to dogs. They can trigger a severe and often fatal condition known as malignant hyperthermia in dogs. This condition leads to uncontrolled and rapid overheating of the body, with certain breeds like greyhounds being especially vulnerable.

Alcohol can cause the following symptoms in dogs:

  • Depression
  • Decreased Coordination
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling
  • Collapse
  • Coma
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Worst Case Death
9. Avocados

It’s important to keep avocados away from your dog’s menu. Avocados harbor persin, a toxin that can induce diarrhea, vomiting, and even prove fatal for dogs. While avocados are often praised as a “healthy fat” for humans, they contain excessive fat for dogs, putting them at risk of pancreatitis.

Symptoms of Avocado poisoning include:

  • Coughing
  • Cyanosis
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Lethargy
  • Myocardial Necrosis (heart damage)
  • Panting
  • Death
10. Raw or undercooked meat

There has been a growing trend among dog owners known as raw feeding. This approach promotes the idea of providing your furry friend with a “raw diet” to mimic the eating habits of their wild ancestors. However, it’s crucial to remember that while wild dogs may thrive on raw meat, it doesn’t necessarily mean the same approach is suitable for your domestic pet dog.

Raw or undercooked meat may harbor bacteria, including Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which have the potential to cause illness in dogs. Today’s factory farming methods make our meat products prone to bacteria or parasites that can cause foodborne illness and moreover the increasing use (and misuse) of antibiotics fuels the evolution and dispersion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Therefore, unless you’re serving up high-quality, specially prepared dishes like steak tartare, it’s best to keep raw food away from your dog.

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