We all love our dogs, and it can be so tempting to spoil them with tasty treats and what we consider to be everyday foods and drinks.
But there are some things that are simply not safe for our pawesome pooches to eat - we wanted to explore this so that you can learn which foods are particularly dangerous to feed your dog, and why.
Onions, Garlic and Chives
It doesn’t matter whether it’s dried, raw or cooked – the onion family is particularly toxic to your furry friend and can cause gastrointestinal irritation as well as red blood cell damage, leading to anaemia.
Garlic has been shown to be one of the worst human foods a dog can ingest, with a number of health problems observed after eating raw or cooked garlic including hypertension.
The signs that your dog has ingested these foods is not always immediate and can occur a few days afterwards.
Coffee, Tea and Caffeine Products
Although a morning coffee is a godsend for many, the same cannot be said for your pup. In large enough quantities, caffeine is lethal to dogs, and can cause arrhythmias, heart palpitations and tachycardia in dogs.
It has been observed that small breeds and infant dogs are particularly susceptible to the fatal affects of caffeine simply due to their size and the amount their body can handle and the fact that smaller dogs have a lower blood volume.
Similar to garlic toxicity in dogs, there is no antidote to caffeine poisoning in dogs, and in addition to this, studies have shown that caffeine toxicity is also very difficult to notice, confirm and to treat – so beware of those latte spills and keep your espresso out of reach of your beloved pup.
Consumed in very large amounts, macadamia nuts can be fatal to dogs, however, the most likely outcome is that your dog will be severely ill.
The ingestion of macadamia nuts will cause involuntary muscle contractions and shakes, fatigue and paralysis, vomiting, fever and a spike in your dog’s heart rate – so not nice at all for your pup.
A more subtle but equally as worrying symptom of macadamia nut consumption in your dog is the development of joint pain and the inability of your dog to stand or maintain his own weight for any period of time.
It seems that macadamia nuts target the nervous system in canines and that any prolonged changes in a dog’s posture following their consumption is a clear sign to visit the vet as soon as possible.
Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is potentially fatal if eaten by your dog. Although the corn can be digested by your pup, if the cob is ingested, this part can cause a blockage inside your dogs intestine.
Artificial Sweetener (Xylitol)
Artificial sweetener has become more and more prominent in our food and drink, particularly with the rise in popularity of low fat, diet and sugar free products, which are often laden with a sweetener called Xylitol, which causes insulin release in our bodies.
If your dog eats one of these sweetened foods containing Xylitol, there is a risk they can go into hypoglycaemia which is linked to liver failure and blood clotting disorders.
NOTE: Some peanut butter will contain Xylitol so please do check the labels before giving this as a treat to your dog.
It’s a classic treat to give to a dog – but it must be a raw and uncooked bone for them to safely chew on, and cooked bones must be avoided at all costs.
Cooked bones are potentially deadly to dogs as they can splinter into large clumps causing constipation or in worst cases, they can perforate the dogs gut which can be fatal.
The superfood of choice for many and one of the fastest growing staples in the food cupboard of lots of homes because of the wealth of nutritional and health benefits they bring.
But don’t assume that these health benefits for you are the same for your dog as they are potentially deadly for your precious pup.
Avoados contain a toxin known as persin – a substance that humans can process through our digestive system but that dogs can’t. In dogs, persin accumulates in their system and will eventually poison them causing liver and kidney damage and in some studies will lead to significant heart damage and cardiac problems.
If your dog has gobbled the guacamole, you may find yourself taking a trip to the vet to get their stomach pumped.
Grapes and Raisins
This may be a well known one for some - with grapes and raisins being a delicious treat for us humans, but they can quickly turn your doggo into one very sick puppy and it’s important to stress the dangers and toxicity of grapes and raisins in dogs.
It’s not known what the active ingredient is that causes the damage, however, grapes and raisins can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure in your dog.
So be aware of the foods they may be found in – cakes, scones, biscuits, breads and cereals and be mindful of the harm they pose to your dog.
The downfall for so many humans, and very enticing for lots of dogs too – chocolate is another toxic food for dogs that contains a stimulant called theobromine.
Dark chocolate particularly contains the highest content of theobromine and if ingested by your dog has the ability to cause kidney failure.
Alcohol has a massive impact on dogs, even in small doses and not only in the way you would expect.
Most obviously alcohol will cause intoxication as it will to you, but it can also cause vomiting, diarrhoea and in severe cases will cause damage to your dogs nervous system.
What should I do if my dog has eaten any of these?
If consumed, even in small amounts, it is advisable to contact your Vet – as some of the toxins described can prove to be fatal. They will give you the best advice in terms of the situation you find yourself in and will let you know how to best treat your dog.
We have a handy downloadable version of the document above that you can print and have on hand, just click the image above to access.
Let us know in the comments if anything surprised you on the list, or if you have had any experience with your dog consuming any of these foods - it would be great to hear your advice on what you had to do!
We realise that this list is not exhaustive and if you have any concerns regarding anything your dog may have ingested, please do contact your vet immediately.