Guest post by Chelsea Rivera from SimpleWag.
Can a little reward from the table really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what’s in it. In fact, there’s a lot of people food your dog should never eat. And, it’s not just because of weight; some foods are downright dangerous for dogs.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol commonly used in candy and chewing gum (and some other products, such as peanut butter.) It is also found in some pharmaceuticals and oral health products such as chewable vitamins and throat lozenges. While Xylitol is safe for humans, it can be harmful to dogs. The compound doesn’t affect glucose levels in people, but when ingested by dogs it can cause a dangerous surge of insulin. (In as little as 15 minutes, the blood sugar of a dog that has eaten gum containing Xylitol may register a marked drop in blood sugar.) At higher doses, Xylitol is believed toxic to the canine liver.
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which fall under the methylxanthines category which is toxic to dogs. When we hear the phrase “the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous,” it’s because white chocolates contain fewer methylxanthines. If eaten by a dog, chocolate can cause vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pains, severe agitation, muscle tremors, irregular heart rhythm, elevated body temperature, seizures and death.
Puppies drink milk from their mothers after they’re born. However, like humans, dogs can also suffer from lactose intolerance. Milk contains milk sugar that dogs don’t have the enzymes to break down. Consumption of milk could lead to vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. While it’s not immediately life-threatening, it can contribute to serious bacterial exposure in dogs that could eventually lead to disease.
Onions contain compounds that can be harmful to dogs if ingested in large enough quantities. Onions can damage red blood cells in dogs causing them to become weaker and move around less. If enough onions are consumed, a blood transfusion might be necessary.
One of the more recent discoveries, Macadamia Nuts can be incredibly harmful to dogs if eaten. The specific chemicals found in macadamias are still unknown right now, but they are known to cause a toxic reaction to dogs if ingested. Dogs will develop weakness and an inability to walk, specifically in their hind legs. Vomiting, staggering gait, depression, tremors and hypothermia may follow.
As with chocolate, the stronger the onion the more toxic it can be. Since garlic is part of the onion family it’s even more dangerous to dogs than onions per ounce. Garlic contains compounds that are strong in toxicity. While the effect of garlic consumption to red blood cells won’t appear for a few days in dogs, they’ll be tired and reluctant to move. The dog’s urine will be orange to dark red in color. Like with onions, a blood transfusion might be required in severe cases.
Grapes and raisins can be extremely toxic to dogs. While its currently unknown what chemicals and compounds in grapes cause toxicity to dogs, but the results of consumption can be pretty devastating. Grapes and raisins can cause rapid kidney failure. Other than kidney failure, dogs can also develop vomiting or diarrhea as well as a lethargic state. Dogs will also develop dehydration and lack of appetite. Death from kidney failure may occur within three to four days.
Avocado leaves, pits, bark and fruit contain a toxin called persin. Avocados can have toxic effects on dogs depending on the variety. They can cause upset stomachs, breathing difficulties, fluid buildup in the chest, but the most dangerous thing for them seem to the be the pit. Since it’s slippery, the pit can accidentally be swallowed by dogs, leading to obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract.
Yeast dough used to make bread should absolutely be kept away from dogs at all time. The raw yeast dough can ferment in a dog’s stomach, becoming toxic. Aside from the toxicity from alcohol being produced in the stomach, yeast dough can also expand in your dog’s stomach or intestines and create a large amount of gas in the digestive system. This can lead to severe pain and a potentially ruptured stomach or intestinal tract. Vomiting, abdominal discomfort and lethargy can also occur.
No idea who would ever share coffee with a dog, owners should never let their dogs near coffee or any form of caffeine. Coffee contains a stimulant known as Methylated xanthine. Methylated xanthine stimulates the nervous system in dogs, causing vomiting, restlessness, heart palpitations and even death.