Dogs are famous for their vacuum cleaner abilities. Who doesn't have a dog who waits under the dinner table for those scraps that "accidentally" fall to the floor? Some people foods are okay to share with your dogs, in small amounts. But there are some other foods that should never be fed to dogs.
These ten foods should never be fed to your pets - they can cause serious health problems!
- Chocolate. Almost everyone know that you should never feed chocolate to your pets. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. When dogs or cats eat chocolate (and theobromine), it can cause anxiety, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures if they eat a lot.
- Avocados. Avocados have a lot of healthy fats for people, but it turns out they aren't so good for dogs and cats. Avocados contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Persin is in all parts of the plant, so it's not a good idea to let your dog chew on branches or sticks from an avocado tree, either.
- Onions and garlic. Most dogs won't try to eat onions or garlic, but some seem to like the strong smells. Both onions and garlic can cause damage to your dog's red blood cells. Any form of onions or garlic can cause this damage - even dried onion or onion powder. Pets with red blood cell damage may seem tired, weak, or not be interested in eating or drinking. And, no, garlic is not a good heartworm preventative.
- Grapes and raisins. No one knows why, but grapes and raisins can be very dangerous to dogs. Something in the grapes and raisins can cause severe kidney damage. A dog with kidney damage may be drinking and urinating a lot (or not at all), and may be vomiting or have diarrhea.
- Macadamia nuts. it only takes a few macadamia nuts to make a dog very sick. Dogs who have eaten macadamia nuts can have muscle weakness and tremors, and may even appear to be paralyzed in their back legs. Be sure to keep cookies that have macadamia nuts in them out of reach of your dog, too!
- Xylitol. Xylitol is in some sugarless gums and in some candies to make them taste more sweet. If dogs eat xylitol, they can over-produce insulin in response to the sweetness. This extra insulin can make their blood sugar level drop dangerously low. Pets with low blood sugar may be weak, tired, or even unresponsive and go into a coma if the sugar level gets too low.
- Yeast dough. As yeast dough gets ready to bake, it is usually put into a warm place so it can rise. For some reason, this big dough ball often looks tasty to dogs! Unfortunately, the inside of a dog's stomach is also a warm place, and if they eat raw yeast dough, the dough will continue to rise after they eat it. As the dough expands in their stomach, it is very painful. Dogs who have eaten yeast dough will look uncomfortable, may look very tired, and may vomit. Surgery is usually needed to take the dough out of their stomachs.
- Milk. This may be a surprise, but most adult dogs are lactose intolerant! Lactose is the naturally-occurring sugar in milk. Puppies can digest lactose because it is in their mother's milk. But as they grow up, they lose the ability to digest this sugar. Drinking milk can cause an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. This means your dogs shouldn't be given milk, cheese, yogurt, or ice cream!
- Alcohol. This should go without saying, but dogs should never be given alcohol. Drinking alcohol will make your dog drunk, and this is very dangerous in an animal. It takes much less alcohol to cause problems in a dog than it does in a person. Just a little bit of alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, and even make your pet go into a coma.
- Bones. It may be really tempting to toss the bone from your steak or chicken to the floor so your dog can chew on it, but this isn't good for him. Bones can break into small pieces as they are chewed. These pieces can be swallowed, and can cause damage in your dog's esophagus, stomach, or anywhere in their intestines. Larger pieces of bones can get stuck in your dog's mouth, which can be very painful!
If your dog gets into any people food that you aren't sure is safe to eat, call us (or your regular veterinarian), or come in right away. Some of these problems may not be noticed for a week or two after your pet eats the food (like with onions, garlic, grapes, or raisins). Once your pet is showing signs of damage from eating dangerous foods, it can be very difficult to treat them. But if we know right after it happens, there are some things we can do to keep the damage from getting too bad.