Dog Articles - Think Before You Feed

Think Before You Feed

Most of us are guilty of slipping our dogs a little people food from time to time. After all, who can resist those beautiful brown eyes every single time? It is ok to feed your dog from your menu every once and a while, as long as you don’t feed him from the table, because that breeds horrible manners in even well-trained dogs. However, if you want to give your dog people food, you should be familiar with this list of foods that are perfectly ok for people, but stand to make your dog sick.

Alcohol- Causes liver failure, coma, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, central nervous system depression and death. Also, hops, which are used to make beer, are toxic to dogs.

Avocados- They contain persin, which causes stomach upset, difficulty breathing, and damage to the heart and lungs.

Fish and Poultry Bones- Although fish and poultry are mostly safe for dogs, cooked bones are dangerous. These bones can splinter and wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system. They can also, even without splintering, cause severe and even deadly blockages in the stomach or intestinal tract. Furthermore, these bones can get lodged in your dog’s mouth or throat causing severe pain and choking, and can result in the need for pricey medical procedures.

Xylitol- This is a sugar substitute used in gum, candy, chewable vitamins and lozenges. Xylitol can cause hypoglycemia and liver failure.

Chocolate- Contains theobromine which is a stimulant and diuretic, and affects your dog’s cardiovascular health and the central nervous system. Bakers chocolate has the highest concentration and it does not require very much to make your dog sick. Levels of theobromine are significantly lower in milk chocolate, but it should still be avoided.

Coffee/Tea/Caffeine- Causes central nervous system and heart complications as well as vomiting and in extreme cases, death.

Fat- A diet too high in fat causes pancreatitis, which is the sudden onset of pancreatic inflammation. It causes pain, depression, dehydration, vomiting, fever, arrhythmia, and sepsis.

Grapes/Raisins- Cause kidney failure. The reason for this reaction is still not fully understood.

Hops- Cause malignant hyperthermia and even a small amount of hops can trigger a potentially deadly reaction in some dogs.

Iron Supplements- Too much iron can cause damage to the stomach and intestinal lining, liver damage, and heart damage.

Liver (in large quantities)- Although liver is fine for dogs in moderation, and makes for excellent training treats, too much liver can cause vitamin A toxicity. This can cause deformed bones, unusual bone growth, and weight loss.

Macadamia Nuts- Macadamias are extremely toxic to dogs. They cause stiffness, tremors, hyperthermia, and abdominal pain. The mechanism for this reaction is yet unknown.

Dairy Products
- Approximately half of all dogs are lactose intolerant; this means they lack lactase, the enzyme necessary for digesting dairy products. The symptoms of lactose intolerance include diarrhea, nausea, and excessive gas when dairy products are consumed.

Mushrooms- Amanita phalloides and other amanita mushrooms cause liver disease and neurological disorders. Other forms of mushroom are toxic to your dog as well. Avoid all mushrooms in your dog’s diet just to be safe.

Onions- Contain thiosulphate which causes haemolytic anemia, the destruction of red blood cells.

Potato Leaves and Green Potatoes- Contain solanine glycosides which cause vomiting, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, depression, trembling, paralysis, and cardiac arrest.

Raw Eggs
- The whites contain the enzyme avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). Biotin deficiency is characterized by dermatitis and hair loss.

Raw Salmon- Especially in the Pacific Northwest, raw salmon contains the nanophyetus salmincola parasite, which is, in and of itself not dangerous, unless it is carrying Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which causes “Salmon Poisoning.” The symptoms include vomiting, lack of appetite, fever, diarrhea, weakness, dehydration and sometime death.

Rhubarb Leaves- Contain oxalic acid which causes staggering, trembling, breathing difficulties, weakness, diarrhea, and sometimes death. 

Tomato Leaves & Stems- Contain oxalates, which cause digestive, nervous, and urinary system complications.

- The fungus and mold that are common in walnuts if they get wet can cause vomiting, drooling, lack of coordination, lethargy, loss of appetite, and jaundice.

Yeast Dough- When consumed, the yeast dough (unbaked) continues to rise in the moist, warm environment of the stomach, which then expands the stomach, causing pain and dangerous blockages. Also, the fermentation of yeast results in alcohol, which can lead to alcohol toxicity.

By no means an exhaustive list, this article is intended to inform of many common, and especially dangerous people foods that you should never allow your dog to eat. If you have fed your dog anything besides dog food and notice changes in behavior, appetite, appearance, or general health, contact your vet.

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