Many dog owners love to spoil their beloved canine companions, but feeding your pup certain human foods can be dangerous. Some human foods can cause diarrhea, vomiting or even result in an emergency trip to the veterinary hospital.
The top 10 foods never to feed your dog are:
1. Chocolate: Most pet owners know that chocolate can be dangerous for your pooch- but why? Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which if ingested in high enough concentrations can cause hyper excitability, GI upset, seizures, irregular heart rhythms and sometimes even death. Dark chocolate is more dangerous than the lighter varieties, but when in doubt, call your veterinarian to determine whether or not you should bring your dog in for treatment and observation.
2 and 3. Grapes and Raisins: Both grapes and raisins contain toxic substances that can damage a dog’s kidneys. In the worst case scenario, kidney failure and death are the result of consumption, so keep grapes and their dried cousins out of reach!
4. Sugar-Free Gum (xylitol): Xylitol is a common ingredient in sugar-free gum, candy and other low calorie treats. Consumption of xylitol can result in a drop of blood sugar to dangerous levels. An extremely low blood sugar level can cause weakness, confusion and sometimes seizures and death. Even if the dog survives the initial event, he remains at risk for liver failure.
5, 6, and 7. Onions, Garlic and Chives: These ingredients may be tasty additions to human foods, but they’re downright dangerous for dogs. All of these related plants contain sulfoxides, which in high enough doses can damage red blood cells and lead to potentially life-threatening anemia.
8. Avocados: An avocado has a large pit that can lead to gastrointestinal obstruction if swallowed. Even without the pit, the rest of an avocado contains persin which can cause canine vomiting and diarrhea.
9. Macadamia Nuts: An unknown toxic element in macadamia nuts can make dogs vomit, become lethargic and weak and even result in temporary hind end paralysis.
10. Fatty Foods: Foods with a high fat content are linked to weight gain and pancreatitis, a potentially fatal disease that causes abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Not all human foods are unsafe for canine consumption. If you feel the need to indulge your pup, try apple slices, baby carrots or a small piece of low-fat meat that has been cooked thoroughly. Of course, treats made specifically for dogs are always a safe choice. Some dog treats, like Greenies, even have added dental health benefits. Whatever treat you choose to reward your sweet pooch, always keep their health in mind.