All dog owners have asked themselves the question “can my dog eat that?”
Knowing what food can be toxic to your dog can help you prevent your dog from becoming sick.
Apples – While apples can be a good source of fibre, and vitamin A and C for your dog, the seeds can be harmful. Apple seeds contain cyanide which, when ingested in large quantities, are poisonous to your dog. Signs of cyanide poisoning include vomiting, heavy breathing, irregular heartbeat, dilated pupils, hyperventilation, shock, skin irritations, and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and heart. In extreme cases it can even cause death or cardiac arrest.
Apricots – Just like apple seeds, the seed, leaves and stem of an apricot also contain cyanide. The seed can also be a choking hazard to your dog and potentially cause intestinal obstructions.
Avocados – While avocados are not extremely toxic they do contain a toxin called persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
Bread Dough – Bread dough can be dangerous to your dog for two reasons. The first being that the dough expands when in the dogs stomach causing intestinal obstruction. Secondly the warm environment of a dogs stomach creates an ongoing fermentation of the alcohol in bread dough, causing your dog alcohol poisoning. Symptoms include distended abdomens, vomiting or attempts to vomit, lack of coordination, disorientation, loss of bladder control, and changes in their behaviour. In extreme cases coma or seizures can occur and potentially lead to death from alcohol poisoning.
Caffeine – Dogs are a lot more sensitive to caffeine than people. Caffeine can cause vomiting, tremors, restlessness, rapid heart rate, panting, weakness, muscle tremors and convulsions in dogs. In severe cases seizures and even death can occur.
Cherries – Just like the seeds in apples and apricots, cherry pits also contain cyanide which is toxic to dogs.
Chocolate – Chocolate contains two ingredients which are harmful to dogs. The main ingredient theobromine which is toxic to dogs, and caffeine which can cause over stimulation of the nervous system. Symptoms to look out for include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, restlessness, excessive panting, shaking and seizure. Theobromine, the main ingredient in chocolate, can also effect the central nervous system, heart and kidneys, and can even lead to death.
Cooked Bones – You should only ever feed your dog raw, uncooked bones. Cooked bones can splinter easily and can cause internal damage or intestinal obstructions.
Corn on the Cob – Corn can be dangerous for your dog as a large enough piece can cause their small intestine to become blocked, and if not removed surgically can become fatal.
Grapes/Raisins – Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and have been found to cause kidney failure. While there are some dogs who don’t seem to be effected by grapes or raisins it is best to be safe and avoid feeding them to your dog. Signs of grape or raisin toxicity include vomiting, diarrhoea, abnormal drinking or urination, weakness, refusal to eat and abdominal pain.
Macadamia Nuts – The exact toxin that causes signs of poisoning is unknown, and although a rare toxicity, it is safest to ensure your dog does not accidentally ingest any. Macadamia nuts can cause vomiting, severe lethargy, tremors, high body temperature, inability to walk and joint stiffness, but are unlikely to be fatal.
Onions/Garlic – Onions and garlic contain a compound which can cause oxidative damage to the red blood cells if ingested in large amounts. Certain breeds, like Japanese breeds of dogs, seem to be more sensitive. Signs of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, weakness, pale gums, elevated heart rate, elevated respiratory rate, drooling and collapse. If large doses are ingested on a regular basis it can lead to Heinz-body anemia and even death.
Peaches – Just like most other fruits, the pit of a peach contains cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs. The pit of a peach can also be dangerous to a dog and obstruct or block their intestines if accidentally swallowed.
Potato Peelings – Potato peelings and skins contain oxalates which can be detrimental to your dogs digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, fatigue, tremors, seizures and heart arrhythmia.
Salt – Food that contains large amounts of salt are not good for your dog. Salt can cause your dog excessive thirst and urination, and even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your dog may has ingested too much salt includes vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.
Xylitol – Xylitol is a natural, sugar-free sweetener found in many chewing gums, mints and foods. The content in each individual product varies depending on the brand and flavour. Xylitol poisoning can cause your dog low blood sugar, liver failure, and even death. Signs that your dog may have ingested something with xylitol in it includes vomiting, seizures, tremors, weakness, collapse and lethargy.
If your dog has consumed anything that may be toxic to them, regardless if they are showing any symptoms or not, you should bring them to a veterinarian immediately. Every minute counts, generally the longer you leave the dog with a toxin in their body, the more dangerous it will be.