Dogs (and cats) eating toxic foods account for up to 98% of all reported animal cases and an urgent rush to the veterinarian. The two seasons of the year where these types of harmful exposures occur are in the summertime and December (aka holiday season.) Most of these dangerous reports are accidental and occur at the owner’s home.
We researched and found some excellent explanations of the common food items that your dog should never ingest. We all know (or perhaps are the culprit) of people who sneak their dogs little pieces of human food under the dinner table. Most of the time we don’t know if it contains harmful ingredients and this can be a fatal mistake. Understanding what foods are harmful and toxic to your pup has life-saving benefits, such as:
Makes sure you and others do not feed potentially hazardous food to your dog.
You are aware to keep this toxic food out of reach for your dog to help themselves.
You can make sure to keep this harmful food out of reach from your kids who do not understand the repercussions of feeding dogs anything.
Help safely monitor your toddler/kid when they are eating these foods to keep the dog away.
Provides education that can be life-saving to your pup and other’s dogs.
Table of Contents
Chocolate And Other Methylxanthines
Chocolate is extremely harmful and just bad for your dog! Chocolate is from the roasted seeds of Theobroma cacao and its toxic principles are methylxanthines (say that five times fast!), theobromine, and caffeine. So this harmful item is also found in tea, cola, and other beverages. Chocolate can result in potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and CNS dysfunction. Chocolate can be lethal to all species so do your research, check your labels, and never give your pup anything containing these substances.
Examples of chocolate-based foods to avoid giving dogs:
Dry cocoa powder
Unsweetened (baker’s) chocolate
Cocoa bean hulls
Sweet dark chocolate
Refined chocolate candies
Refined cocoa beans
Grapes, raisins, and sultanas
Grapes contain an unknown poisonous toxin with evidence supporting renal failure in dogs. Any dose of grapes that your pup consumes could be problematic so ensure you are taking the necessary precautions to make sure they never digest any amount.
Note this means raisins are toxic for dogs, too, so your pup should never eat raisins. Estimated amounts of grapes with renal injury are about 32 g/kg and raisins 11-30 g/kg – so just a few of grapes or raisins have been associated and documented with potentially fatal and dangerous consequences. Key takeaway – don’t risk it by even giving your puppy one raisin or grape.
Examples of these foods toxic to dogs
Golden raisins (typically smaller than raisins and sweeter/lighter-colored)
Onions are also damaging and bad for dogs. All forms of onions can be harmful for dogs including raw, cooked, and dehydrated. Onions can damage their red blood cells and cause hemolytic anemia (where red blood cells are destroyed faster than they are produced.) The first symptoms of onion toxicosis with your pup includes vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, loss of appetite, and dehydration.
It will take a few days for a dog to display symptoms that show their red blood cells are being destroyed. These include pale mucous membranes, rapid or difficulty breathing, tiredness, dark-colored urine, jaundice, and weakness.
Examples of onions to avoid feeding pups:
Cooked, raw, or dehydrated onions
Macadamia nuts are toxic to pups. These nuts can secretly and are commonly found in cookies, so make sure you are always reading ingredients. Both raw and roasted macademia nuts contain an unknown toxin in dogs. Some scientists believe it could involve a constituent of the nuts, processing contaminants, or mycotoxins. This toxin affects their muscles, nervous system, and digestive system. They can cause an array of bad symptoms for your dog such as weakness, tremors, swollen limbs, and trigger pancreatitis. Dogs are the only species this toxin has been reported in and within 12 hours their symptoms emerge.
Macadamia nuts can be found in:
Avocados and dogs
The avocado fruit, leaves, pits, and the actual plant can be poisonous to dogs and most animals. Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin found in all points of the avocado tree. Avoid feeding avocados to any animal. This poison in avocados can trigger lung and chest fluid accumulation (this can also occur in the heart, abdomen, and pancreas), which leads to difficulty breathing and death because of oxygen deprivation.
Alcohol toxicosis in dogs
There are some people who give alcohol to their dogs as a joke. This is the opposite of funny since dogs cannot even handle small amounts. Alcoholic contains ethanol (so do rotten apples and uncooked bread.) This can cause signs including sedation, hypothermia, vomiting, poor breathing, liver failure, coma, and death. Note that the hops in beers are dangerously toxic as well and can trigger high temperatures, seizures, elevated heart rate, and death. Make sure you always keep alcohol away from your dog as this can lead to fatal implications.