Most dog owners know it’s not a great idea to feed their canine pal from the dinner table, but once in a while, pieces of food happen to get slipped to a dog. While this is usually fine, there are some people foods that dogs should absolutely not have. Certain foods can be dangerous or even deadly to your dog. Knowing which ones can help you avoid a tragic accident.
1. Garlic and Onions
Keep onions and garlic far away from your dog. Both vegetables are frequently used in human cooking to add flavor, but to a canine they spell trouble. Raw onions and garlic are the most dangerous, but you should avoid exposure to any form of the flavorful foods. Certain compounds within items of the onion family can cause toxicosis in pets. Unfortunately, the symptoms may not show up for three or four days after ingestion. You will notice that your dog seems lazy and his urine will be orange or dark red.
Chocolate may seem like the ultimate treat to dogs with a sweet tooth. Sadly, the caffeine and the theobromine in the chocolate can be deadly to animals. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. If your dog does ingest some chocolate, he may experience vomiting, irritation and pain in his abdomen. Seizures and death may occur in cases where large amounts of chocolate were ingested.
Photo: Luca Nebuloni
Nearly all parts of the avocado tree are toxic to animals, including the fruit. In order to actually poison your pet, he would have to eat quite a bit of the avocado fruit. However, the toxins in the flesh and skin of the avocado are not the only problem. The pit can also pose a choking hazard. If swallowed, it could cause an intestinal blockage.
You may not recognize this ingredient, but chances are it’s found in your sugar-free gum or any other sugar-free items you keep on hand. The artificial sweetener doesn’t cause problems in humans, but if a dog eats it, his blood sugar levels will drop drastically. Seizures and confusion may result. In cases where a dog has eaten a large amount of xylitol, liver failure is one of the more serious problems.
Photo: George M. Groutas
Poultry is a danger to dogs, not because of toxins it contains, but because of the bones. Chicken bones splinter and can cause stomach and bowel obstructions or worse. Raw chicken is safe to give to animals, but once cooked, the bones become potentially deadly weapons. If you suspect your dog has eaten a chicken bone, keep a close eye on him. At any sign of pain or discomfort, see a vet. Often, the bone fragments will pass naturally and without serious effect, but this is not always true.
6. Moldy Food
It might seem natural to toss an older piece of food to your pup, knowing that he’ll eat it even if you won’t. Unfortunately, this could be problematic if the food has mold on it. Some molds that grow on food contain tremorgenic mycotoxins. These toxins can cause tremors which become increasingly worse until they turn into convulsions. The end result, if left untreated, could be death. Avoid giving your dog moldy food and be careful not to leave moldy item in the garbage where your dog might be able to sniff it out.
7. Corn on the Cob
A corn cob may seem like a harmless thing for your dog to chew on, but it can actually be fatal. Bits of corn cob can cause intestinal obstructions, which can lead to serious complications.
8. Dairy Products
Skip giving your dog milk or ice cream, since most dogs are lactose intolerant. While not exactly dangerous, the results are unpleasant. Expect excessive gas and diarrhea with too much dairy. That being said, small amounts of cheese and yogurt may be fine for your dog, since they have minimal amounts of lactose.
9. Raw Salmon
Giving your dog a piece of raw salmon is never a good idea. While cooked salmon is fine, the raw fish can cause SPD (Salmon Poisoning Disease). The disease is caused by parasites and can resemble the parvovirus. The most common symptoms include a high fever about a week after eating the fish, followed by vomiting and bloody yellow diarrhea. The disease is usually fatal unless treated early on.
Small amounts of cooked animal liver are fine for dogs, but beware of giving too much. Since the liver can contain high amounts of Vitamin A, the organ can actually be toxic to animals. An excess of Vitamin A can cause deformed bones, anorexia and even death in some rare cases.
Get your pet to a vet as soon as possible if you suspect poisoning. While most human foods are fine for pets, it is possible for animals to get into foods that are not good for them. Remember that it’s fine to toss a scrap of meat from time to time, but don’t offer any of the foods on this list if you want to keep your dog healthy.