We all know chocolate isn’t good for dogs but there are many other foods that can make your precious pooch very sick. The best rule of thumb is to only feed dog food or treats. It is however, important to know what foods may be dangerous, especially if your dog often resembles a furry vacuum cleaner on legs!
What NOT to feed your dog
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins cause kidney failure in dogs, which can be life threatening. Remember that raisins can be found in many cakes and desserts…all the more reason to finish them yourself!
Probably the most common food toxin ingested by dogs, particularly around holiday periods such as Easter and Christmas. The symptoms of chocolate toxicity can range from gastrointestinal signs to seizures and death depending on the amount of chocolate and the percentage of cocoa in it. The higher the percentage of cocoa (the darker it is), the more toxic the chocolate!
Can cause weakness in the hind legs, pain, fever and muscle tremors. The symptoms usually subside within 48 hours.
Onions and Garlic
All close members of the onion family (shallots, onions, garlic, scallions, etc.) contain compounds that can damage dogs’ red blood cells. While it’s uncommon for dogs to eat enough raw onion and garlic to cause serious problems, exposure to concentrated forms of onion or garlic, such as dehydrated onions, onion soup mix or garlic powder, may put dogs at risk of toxicosis.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is widely used in sugar-free gum, as well as in sugar-free baked products. If eaten by dogs it can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar levels and this can be very dangerous.
Never give your dog human medication unless explicitly advised by your vet. Some common human medications can be very toxic and even fatal to dogs. Nurofen for example, will cause life threatening kidney failure in dogs.
Coffee or caffeinated drinks
These drinks act like a stimulant and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, restlessness and an increased heart rate. In severe cases it can cause irregular heartbeats, muscle tremors, seizures and even death. There is no such thing as a safe ‘doggieccino’.
Our dogs are not always the best judges of what is safe to eat so it is up to us to be mindful of what we feed them. Accidents however do happen so if your dog ingests any of the above immediate veterinary treatment should be sought. In all cases the quicker the dog is treated, the better the outcome is likely to be. In any case of toxicity, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.