While we all love to treat our pets from time to time with some delicious human food, it’s always best to be aware of what is safe to be giving your pooch, and also what isn’t.
Human foods may be okay for us, since we are humans after all, but there are some delicious treats we enjoy that are completely toxic to dogs.
In aid of all dog owners out there, we’ve devised a list of human foods that should be kept away from your best boys and girls to make sure they’re as healthy as ever.
Also, don’t panic if you’ve fed your dog anything on this list previously. Just don’t do it again! Remember that if you have any concerns; be sure to give your vet a visit.
Let’s start with the obvious. I’m fairly sure that ALL dog owners know not to treat their dog with anything chocolatey. You may not know the reasons why though.
Chocolate has a stimulant in it called theobromine. While this stimulant is fine for us, it’s poisonous for dogs. It can affect their guts, heart, central nervous system and kidneys. It can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, hyperactivity and seizures.
Signs of theobromine poison will occur between 4 and 24 hours after ingestion, so if somehow your pooch gets its teeth into a block of chocolate, get to the vets as fast as possible before any damage is done. For more detail, check our chocolate consumption article.
Grapes & Raisins
The toxic substance to dogs within Grapes isn’t specifically known, but it has been known to be the reason for liver failure.
Experts agree there is no safe dosage that a dog can consume when it comes to grapes and raisins, so keep them away – and any food that contains them like Hot Crossed Buns, Raisin Cookies, Mince Pies etc.
Onion, Garlic & Chives
Make sure that any alliums are kept well away from your pets. While you may not think to feed these to your dog anyway, be sure you’re not feeding it any food containing them.
It can lead to stomach and gut irritation, and possibly red blood cell damage and anaemia. Onions are particularly toxic to dogs out of the lot – so no more table scraps or left-over pizza!
Dogs are a lot more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people. While a few naughty and uninvited laps of your tea or coffee shouldn’t do any harm, a handful of coffee beans or tea bags can spell trouble.
Signs of caffeine poisoning are similar to that of chocolate poisoning.
Always be sure you drink responsibly. However, for your dog, don’t let it drink at all! Alcohol is extremely toxic to dogs, and even a small quantity of alcohol has the potential to become fatal. This includes foods that contain or are cooked in alcohol.
Vomiting, diarrhoea, poor coordination, difficulty breathing, central nervous system, depression, tremors, blood changes and comas are all the effects of doggy alcohol poisoning, as well as death. Be sure to keep it well out of reach.
Milk & Cheese
Dogs don’t have a considerable amount of the enzyme lactase which is used to break down dairy products such as milk and cheese. Because of this, keep milk and cheese out of their diet as it can cause stomach upsets and digestive problems.
This may be surprising, but it’s actually advised not to leave your dog with a bone. It’s not that it’s poisonous for them or anything like that, it’s just best to keep an eye on your pooch if you do choose to give it a bone.
The reason for this is your dog won’t just chew a bone, it’ll probably devour the whole thing. This can lead to choking and intestinal obstructions from swallowed bone pieces. Splinters can also cause internal injury, so always be aware on how much they’re consuming if they are allowed a bone.
The same way you shouldn’t be eating mouldy food, neither should your dog. The difference is, you will think it’s disgusting where your dog will think it’s marvellous!
Don’t give in to your dog’s begging and be sure to keep mouldy food and waste bins out of their reach. The toxins are just as bad for your dog as they are for you.
Xylitol is a sweetener that is found in a lot of sugar-free foods. It also causes insulin releases in a lot of species that aren’t humans, which leads to fatal lowered sugar levels. It’s extremely toxic to dogs and they are sensitive to even the smallest amounts.
Under no circumstance should your dog ever ingest anything containing xylitol. However, if it does then seek urgent vet care.
It’s not good to feed your dog nuts, especially macadamia nuts. If your dog eats them then it can experience depression, tremors, vomiting and high body temperature.
These symptoms last up to 24 hours usually, so if you suspect your dog has eaten any quantity of nuts then make a note of the approximate quantity and be in touch with your vet.
Fruit with Pits & Seeds
A little fresh fruit shouldn’t do your dog any harm, but be sure anything with seeds or pits are not given. Fruit such as avocado, peaches and seeded water melon can potentially choke a dog as well as block the small intestine.
The pits of peaches and plums also contain cyanide, which as we know is a no-go food wise. We know not to each them, but dogs unfortunately don’t. That means it’s our duty to be sure they don’t!
Speaking of avocado’s, take extra care to keep them away from your dog. Avocado’s contain persin, which doesn’t settle too well with dogs at all.
Persin can be found on the flesh of the fruit, the leaves on its plant and its bark so if you happen to grow them then keep them out of a dog’s reach.
You may hear of people feeding their dog on a raw diet, but the same way we shouldn’t be eating raw egg, neither should your dog. Food poisoning from bacteria such as salmonella or E. Coli are both possibilities.
If you do decide to give your dog an egg for breakfast, then cook and scramble it first, but if you’re still unsure then ask your vet for advice.
Raw Meat & Fish
Just like raw eggs, raw meat and fish carry bacteria that won’t settle with your dog very well. Fish such as salmon, trout, shad or sturgeon can also carry a parasite which can cause “fish disease”. Always be sure you cook your dog’s fishy or meaty goodness first!
First signs of the likes of “fish disease” can include vomiting, fever and huge lymph nodes. While it’s treatable, don’t let it hang about. Get to a vet as soon as possible.
Crisps & Salty Food
Just like in humans, too much salt will make your dog very thirsty. It can also lead to sodium ion poisoning which can be fatal.
So, while sharing a single crisp with your dog isn’t going to do any harm, you could develop a bad habit. It’s probably best to stick with the dog treats instead.
Hopefully this list has come in a lot of use to you. Although, the more you already knew, the better! Just be sure to keep an eye on what your dog eats and all will be fine.
Image credit: ASPCA