It’s hard to resist a wagging tail and a pair of big, brown, begging eyes. And while certain human foods are palatable for dogs, it’s important to know which are not – because unfortunately, the bad ones can severely harm and even kill your dog. The following list of bad foods and their dangers may seem dire, but if you familiarize yourself with these harmful human foods, you’ll be better equipped to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Foods that are poison to you pup
Enemy #1: poultry bones. Bones and dogs go hand-in-hand, so it can be easy to forget that only the bones from hoofed animals are right for dogs. Poultry bones – everything from chicken thighs to turkey drumsticks – splinter and can puncture your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. These bones are dangerous to dogs of all sizes, and the decline and death that results can take several days. Instead of giving your dog bones from the table, buy specially marked dog bones at the store.
Enemy #2: chocolate. The general rule of thumb with chocolate is that the darker it is, the more dangerous it is. You also need to take into account the size of your dog and the amount of chocolate eaten. A small dog who eats a bar of baking chocolate (very dark chocolate) may be in serious trouble – call your veterinarian immediately in this case. On the other hand, if your 100-pound dog eats one small milk-chocolate candy, it will probably be fine.
Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that’s toxic to dogs. Combined with chocolate’s caffeine, which speeds up the heart rate, this human delicacy can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, and coma. Also, because dogs process chocolate more slowly than humans, your pup may seem fine after eating the bar, but could still become very ill over the course of the next twenty-four hours. Cocoa powder is also very dangerous. Milk chocolate and white chocolate, which contain less cacao, are less dangerous.
Enemy #3: onions. For you, onions are foods that spice up nearly any dish, but for your dog, they’re deadly. Onion poisoning develops symptoms slowly. It can be caused by one large dose of onions or a small amount eaten steadily over the course of several days. All onions are dangerous -- fresh onions, dried onions, cooked onions, and even onions on pizza.
Onions (and garlic, to a lesser extent) contain a toxin that causes haemolytic anaemia, in which the dog’s red blood cells burst while they’re circulating through its body. Initial symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, followed by lethargy, dark urine, and trouble breathing. The full affect of the poisoning won’t be felt until a few days after the dog consumes the onions. Again, both the size of the dog and the amount of onion eaten are important factors.
Enemy #4: fatty foods. A neighbor hosted a wedding at his home recently and was puzzled to find that his dog was weak and restless afterward. The veterinarian diagnosed pancreatitis caused by wedding guests giving the dog fatty treats. This dog had to spend a night in the animal hospital, receiving fluids to help her inflamed pancreas. Pancreatitis – and its sister condition gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the stomach – can be caused by fatty foods of all types, whether they come from the table or from a garbage can. Both often require hospitalization.
Enemy #5: macadamia nuts. We think of them as tasty Hawaiian treats, but these nuts contain a toxic substance that causes paralysis, tremors, swollen limbs, and horrible joint pain.
Other dangerous human foods:
Raisins and grapes – can cause severe diarrhea and acute kidney failure.
Bread Dough (with yeast) – the yeast continues to “rise” or expand within the dog’s belly. This can be fatal in both dogs and cats.
Moldy Food – this can cause an array of nasty reactions including seizures, coma, and death. Even in very small amounts, it easily causes diarrhea, which isn’t pleasant for anyone.