Much like we do with our family and friends, sharing meals together is an enjoyable part of life. While you may have good intentions of sharing some of your favorites food as a treat with your dog, there are some foods that are actually very toxic and even deadly to dogs if consumed. We’ve put together a list of foods you should avoid ever sharing with your dog.
Alcoholic beverages and foods cooked with or containing alcohol may cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity and can even be responsible for death or inducing a coma if consumed. Never serve your pet alcohol.
Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine
All three of these products contain substances called methylxanthines, found in cacao seeds which are used to make the products. They sometimes also appear in the nuts of the extract used in some sodas. Ingestion of these products may cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Out of all chocolate, dark is more dangerous than milk because of its high levels of methylxanthines.
Stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants are made up of varying amounts of citric acid, an essential oil that may cause irritation and possible central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. If they consume a small portion, such as just the fruit, problems are likely to be minimal beyond minor a minor upset stomach.
Coconut and Coconut Oil
Ingesting these substances in small amounts are not likely to cause serious harm to your dog. The flesh and milk of fresh coconuts do contain oils with the possibility of causing upset stomachs, loose stools or diarrhea. Use caution when serving your dog foods with these substances.
Grapes and Raisins
The toxic substances in grapes and raisins are unknown, but they are known to cause kidney failure.
These nuts cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. If ingested, these signs will begin to appear within 12 hours and may last between 12 and 48 hours.
Milk and Dairy
Dogs do not possess the amount of lactase that that humans do in order to break down milk and other dairy products. Avoid allowing your dog to consume these products, as they may cause diarrhea and other digestive issues.
Nuts contain large amounts of oils and fats. These include almonds, pecans, and walnuts. These oils and fats are known to cause vomiting and diarrhea along with potential pancreatitis in dogs.
Garlic, Onions, Chives
Vegetables and herbs such as these may cause gastrointestinal irritation and possible red blood cell damage. Even though cats are susceptible to these issues, dogs are also at risk if they consume a significant enough amount.
Raw or Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
Salmonella and E. coli are frequently found in raw meat and eggs. These bacteria are just as harmful to dogs as they are humans. Raw eggs also contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), leading to skin and coat problems. Avoid feeding raw bones as they present a choking hazard.
Salt and Salty Snack Foods
Large amounts of salt consumption can cause excessive thirst and urination in dogs. The following symptoms may be visible in the event your dog has consumed too much salt: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures.
Xylitol is a sweetener found in goods such as chewing gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. These increase the amount of insulin produced by most dog breeds and can lead to liver failure. Hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels) is also a result of increased levels of insulin. Keep an eye out for vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination as signs of poisoning, as these may also lead to seizures, elevated liver enzymes and liver failure within a few days.
Yeast rises and causes gas to accumulate in a dog’s digestive system. This can cause painful stomach bloating and be life threatening if it progresses enough. Yeast also produces ethanol as a by-product, and raw bread dough may also cause your dog to become drunk.
How to Get Help
If you believe your pet is suffering from any of these symptoms listed after consuming a toxic substance, see a veterinarian immediately. You may also contact the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center line at (888) 426-4435.