Posted 7 months ago ago
Dogs love treats and dogs love to eat what you are eating. And, let’s face it, when they are staring at you with those big brown eyes it’s pretty hard to resist sharing with them. But, when it comes to tasty treats, many foods you enjoy at home can be toxic to our four-legged friends. Rachel Mainwaring investigates what foods should stay on your plate and not in your pup’s tummy
1. Onions, garlic and chives
It’s easy to miss these ingredients, as they’re included fresh, cooked or powdered in many pre-packaged foods. The onion family, whether dry, raw or cooked, is particularly toxic to dogs and can cause gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage. Signs of illness are not always immediate and can occur up to a few days later.
Raisins are in many of the foods that we love to eat such as cakes, biscuits and cereals so don’t be tempted to share a toasted teacake or fruit cookie with your little furry friend as even small amounts can result in lethargy, shivers and a decreased appetite. The active ingredient which causes the toxin is unknown but more extreme cases of grape poisoning can cause kidney failure and even death.
Few of us can resist tucking into chocolate from time to time but however enticing chocolate is for humans and dogs, it’s an absolute no-no for dogs. Chocolate toxicity can cause vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrhythmias and seizures, and can even be fatal. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine, which can be poisonous to pets. The darker the chocolate and the smaller the dog, the greater the danger so be very careful when you are tucking into a choccy treat.
4. Corn on the cob
We nag our kids to eat their veg but the same can’t be said to our doggies. And while it offers loads of nutrients for humans, corn on the cob could potentially be fatal if eaten by your dog. Although the corn is digested by dogs, the cob can cause a blockage in your dog’s intestine.
Nuts can cause stomach upset and other health complaints because of the extremely high fat content and other substances they may contain. In particular, watch out for macadamia nuts, as ingesting even small amounts can cause vomiting, tremors, paralysis, rapid heartbeat and other complications in dogs. They contain a toxin that can affect your dog’s muscles and nervous system resulting in weakness, swollen limbs and panting.
Who doesn’t love a bit of crushed avocado for brunch? It’s one of the healthiest foods for humans but dogs need to leave them well alone. Avocado plants contain a substance called Persin which is in its leaves, fruit and seed and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs.
Our desire for sweet treats, chewing gum and drinks together with low-fat, diet and sugar-free products (including some peanut butters) are often laced with an artificial sweetener called Xylitol which causes an insulin release in our bodies.
It can cause your pet’s insulin to spike, so keep sugarless chewing gum, sweets, medicines, vitamins, condiments, some peanut butters and even mouthwashes locked away. If your dog digests one of these sweetened foods they can go into hypoglycaemia which is linked to liver failure and blood clotting disorders.
8. Cooked bones
You’ll spot lots of bones on sale at pet shops and giving your dog a raw uncooked bone to chew on is great, but avoid cooked bones at all cost. Don’t let those puppy eyes persuade you to give some of the left-overs bones from the Sunday roast as these can easily splinter and in large quantities cause constipation or at worst, a perforation of the gut which can be fatal.
If you have wild mushrooms in the garden, or you see them when you are out for a walk, don’t let your dog eat them. The wild variety typically causes the most harm, as opposed to the ones you buy from a shop but it’s worth knowing so you can protect your pooch while you are enjoying a walk. Even a few bites can cause seizures and vomiting.
It’s so difficult not to spoil your dog when he’s literally got his head on your lap looking longingly to share your crisps. And while a Pringle here or Hula Hoop there is mostly harmless, large quantities of salt can lead to salt poisoning, which has severe neurological symptoms, including seizures and brain swelling. Be sure to monitor your pooch at the beach, since drinking salty ocean water is a common cause of salt poisoning too.
Don’t leave your G&T on the floor if you need to pop out of the room because alcohol has a huge impact on dogs even in small doses. The drink not only causes intoxication as it does in humans, but it can lead to sickness, diarrhoea and even central nervous system damage.
These fruits are poisonous to dogs, causing dilated pupils, breathing problems and, in extreme cases, shock or even death. Beware of cherry trees and shrubs as well. With the exception of the ripe pulp around the seeds, these plants are toxic to pets, as the non-pulp parts contain cyanide.
13. Fruit with pips
Think your dog would enjoy your apple core once you’ve eaten the rest of the apple? Well, wouldn’t for long. Beware of fruits with pits. They can cause your pet to choke or obstruct their intestines, particularly plum and peach pits, which also contain poisonous cyanide.
14. Raw eggs
Cooked eggs can make a healthy addition to your dog or cat’s diet, if eaten in moderation. Excessive consumption of raw eggs, however, can lead to a biotin deficiency that is bad for dogs’ skin and fur.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can damage your pet’s nervous system, heart and other organs. In addition to coffee and tea, soda, ice cream and medications should be off-limits.
What should I do if my dog has eaten any of these?
If consumed, even small amounts of these items can be fatal so always act immediately and take your dog to the vets.