We all are tempted to give our dogs treats. But sneaking him a bit of food from your plate can have deadly consequences.
The dangers of people food for dogs made headlines recently when the FDA issued a warning regarding xylitol.
Many people don’t know that this sweetener is toxic to dogs. It’s commonly found in sugar-free candies, jams, jellies, toothpaste, chewing gum, and baked goods. But just a tiny amount can cause seizures, liver failure, and death in dogs.1,2
Never, Ever Give Your Dog These Foods
There are a surprising range of human foods that can sicken or even kill dogs. Every dog owner should know what they are:3
- Grapes and raisins. Although veterinarians do not understand the chemical reasons, grapes and raisins cause potentially fatal kidney failure.
- Macadamia nuts. Just six macadamia nuts can harm a dog. They can cause muscle tremors, rapid heart rate, elevated body temperatures, and paralysis.
- Dairy. As dogs grow older they stop producing lactase. This is the enzyme needed to metabolize milk. Consuming milk, cheese, or butter can cause severe intestinal problems.
- Bacon. It can cause pancreatitis. This manifests itself in digestive problems that limit a dog’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
- Bread. This may come as a surprise to many dog owners, but bread is risky. The yeast can remain in a dog’s stomach. It can then cause fermentation of stomach contents. Like rising dough in a bakery, the yeast can expand, causing a stomach rupture.
- Apple cores. The seeds contain cyanide. Even the tiny amount in apple seeds can cause seizures, hyperventilation, and coma.
- Alcohol. Giving your dog alcohol is cruel and a bad idea. It can cause seizures and even death.
- Coffee and chocolate. Both contain a class of chemicals called methylxanthines. They wreak havoc on a dog’s metabolism. They cause tremors, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and death. Dark chocolate, which has higher levels of methylxanthines, is the most dangerous.
- Onions and garlic. These allium vegetables destroy the red blood cells of dogs. This can lead to anemia. Symptoms include vomiting, weakness, and appetite loss.
If you think that your dog has eaten one of these foods, you need to act quickly:4
- First, immediately call your vet for advice.
- Be ready to give the breed, age, sex, and weight of your pet, as well as symptoms. Try to estimate how much of the food was eaten.
Your vet may ask you to induce vomiting. This is usually done by feeding the dog 3% hydrogen peroxide. The dose is 1 teaspoon for every 5 pounds of body weight, but no more than 3 tablespoons.
And you may be asked to give your dog a natural remedy called activated charcoal.5 It’s a supplement many people use to improve digestion. Activated charcoal is available at health food stores and online.
Keep it on hand in case of emergency. Your dog will thank you!
In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch