Who can resist those big brown eyes, or cute doggy grin? Can a little reward from the table really hurt your precious furry kids? With holiday parties right around the corner, we decided it was time to remind dog guardians of the perils of leaving a dish too close to dog level, or unintentional treats from guests that can hurt our favorite companions. Some of these may surprise you.
No matter how good you think the guacamole is, you shouldn’t give it to your dog. Avocados contain a substance called persin. It’s harmless for humans who aren’t allergic. But it’s highly toxic in most animals, including dogs. Just a little can cause your dog to vomit and have diarrhea. And, if you happen to be growing avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit
Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol – none of it’s good for your dog. That’s because alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. And, the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.
Onion in all forms – powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated – can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But just eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause onion poisoning. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for dogs. But it’s not a good idea. Although it isn’t clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And, just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting and being hyperactive are early signs. Within a day, the dog will become lethargic and depressed. The best prevention is to keep grapes and raisins off counters and other places your dog can reach.
Dogs should not eat nuts or foods containing nuts because nuts can be fatal. As few as 6 raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, leading to possible kidney failure and death.
Candy and Gum
Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog’s body. That can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop and lead to liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures, and liver failure can occur within just a few days.
Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine. It’s in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating chocolate, even just licking out the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.
Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums
The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them. Dogs don’t.
There are two problems with giving your dog raw eggs. The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. The second is that an enzyme in raw eggs interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your dog’s coat.
Raw Meat and Fish
Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that causes food poisoning. In addition, certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite that causes “fish disease.” If not treated, the disease can be fatal within 2 weeks. The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Thoroughly cooking the fish will kill the parasite and protect your dog.
It’s not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.
Before it’s baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that’s exactly what it would do in your dog’s stomach if your dog ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch the dog’s abdomen and cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Thanks for watching out for our best friend’s health and happiness always!
For more information, see the infographic below and visit Dog Food Insider here.