Not surprisingly, chocolate isn’t the only foods dogs shouldn’t eat as it can have a very negative effect on their health and potentially even kill your loyal friend.
It’s very tempting sometimes to give into those eyes and treat your dog to something tasty and different. However, even the most healthiest of foods for people oftentimes will be harmful to your canine. Dogs have a different metabolism and digestive system than us, and problems from dangerous foods can range from just an upset stomach to severe illnesses and even death.
Seeing how not every person knows about the extreme dangers of something as popular as chocolate, I feel it’s safe to assume that some dog owners also aren’t yet aware of these ultra hazardous foods dogs shouldn’t eat, ever. And even if you are knowledgeable in this area, double-check your comprehension of this subject as it can potentially save or harm your pet one day.
23 Super Dangerous Foods Dogs Shouldn’t Eat
1. Chocolate, cocoa
Chocolate, and anything else made from cocoa beans, is the most infamous food item that dogs should stay away from.
Intoxication from consumption of chocolate is one of the most common food poisonings among dogs, and it mostly occurs during holidays. Caffeine and theobromine (both from the group of methylxanthines) are the two biggest threats that chocolate contains, and the symptoms range from simple vomiting to seizures and even death. Usually, the darker the chocolate, the worse it is, but any kind of chocolate is bad for your pet. It’s advisable to educate children on this subject as soon as you get a dog (or a kid).
Xylitol is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener that is mostly used with all kinds of sugar-free products, like gum or candy.
This is another one on the shelf of most toxic foods dogs shouldn’t eat because it affects their blood sugar levels and can cause indigestion, seizures, and even liver failure, which is absolutely fatal. Symptoms usually show within 30 minutes after ingesting, although in some cases it can take up to 12 hours to notice the negative effects on your dog.
3. Medicine, vitamins for people
All kinds of vitamins, medicine, and supplements manufactured for people can be harmful or deadly to dogs.
Recently, human medicine became another one of the most common causes of dog poisoning. Believe it or not, some people often give ibuprofen to their pets to “relieve their pain,” but what they are actually doing is hurting them. Never give any kind of drugs to your pet unless told to do so by your veterinarian or Pet Poison Control.
4. Raw eggs
Although some advocate that raw eggs might carry certain health benefits for dogs, their cons definitely outweigh the pros.
The outcome of giving your pet raw eggs can be exactly the same as for people – it’s either Salmonella or Escherichia coli poisoning (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.). Additionally, raw eggs contain an enzyme by the name of avidin, which, in dogs, can decrease the absorption of a B-vitamin Biotin to very low levels and cause problems with your dog’s coat and skin.
5. Moldy or spoiled food
There’s a chance that all that moldy, spoiled, rotten food will contain mycotoxins produced by fungal organisms.
Mold is the most frequent supplier of these mycotoxins, and dogs very often would not hesitate to taste this yummy garbage. But letting your dogs to gorge on moldy foods can cause a potentially fatal disease known as Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis. Symptoms of the disease range from vomiting and diarrhea to more severe ones, like strong muscle tremors, seizures, hyperthermia, and dehydration.
6. Bread dough, raw yeast
Raw yeast (or bread dough that it’s made from) is hazardous to your canine because of its tendency to expand in the stomach.
When consumed, the dog’s warm belly will provide a great environment for yeast to multiply and expand there. What this can potentially cause is decrease of the necessary blood flow to your pet’s stomach wall, which will result in stomach’s tissue dying. But most importantly, when the yeast is being absorbed, it produces ethanol (alcohol), which will eventually cause alcohol poisoning and death.
It’s hard to imagine why would you give them to a dog, but if you’re thinking about it – don’t do it.
As you know, hops are used to brew beer, but when consumed by a dog, their most important life-threatening properties can cause your friend to develop an uncontrollably high body temperature, which can then lead to a failure of multiple internal organs. Again, the symptoms are usually tremors and seizures, and if ingested, immediate veterinary assistance is absolutely necessary to avoid death.
Avocado makes pretty much any food taste better for us, but for dogs – it’s somewhat toxic.
The famous fruit contains a fungicinal toxin known as persin, and unlike other dangerous foods dogs shouldn’t eat on this list, persin is an all-around hazardous principle that affects most animals, only on very different levels. Dogs and cats will usually experience upset stomachs, but avocado’s most dangerous part for our pets is the pit, which can cause obstruction in dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
Just like certain types of mushrooms are extremely dangerous to people, even more types of them are toxic to dogs.
Not all of them, but certain kinds of mushrooms contain toxins such as Ibotenic acid, psilocyn, gyromitrin, amanitin, muscimol, phalloidin, and psilocybin. These can cause symptoms that range from vomiting to organ damage and even death. There are a lot of shrooms out there that are evil, so for the better of your pet, it’s best to avoid all of them.
10. Macadamia nuts, walnuts
These nuts aren’t deadly, but they can make your dog feel uncomfortable for prolonged periods of time.
The high content of phosphorus in Macadamia and other nuts can possibly cause stones to appear in your dog’s bladder. Other symptoms include tremors, fever, and affected skeletal muscles. As a result, dogs can feel very uncomfortable and even have trouble with standing up. Sometimes, swollen limbs are also part of the deal. Symptoms might last up to 48 hours.
Dairy is also not a deadly product for your dog, but it’s still best to avoid most of its products.
Dogs are lactose intolerant and their bodies generally do not produce enough of lactase enzymes that would help to digest dairy products. As a result, dairy will just cause upset stomach, some smelly farts, and diarrhea in your dog, and occasionally, it can set off some type of allergy (symptoms are usually frequent itchiness). Not a big deal, but best to avoid anyway.
When given big enough dosage, caffeine can be absolutely fatal to dogs.
This is yet another one of the most dangerous foods dogs shouldn’t eat as there’s no antidote to it. If the dog has consumed big enough dose, that could be the end, so make sure to investigate whatever your pet consumes on a daily basis. Avoid giving them things like tea, coffee, sodas, cocoa, energy drinks, and similar stuff, including cocoa and coffee beans. These are toxic to animal’s heart and central nervous system, and can cause death.
13. Currants, raisins, grapes
These and similar berries are known to cause kidney failure in dogs.
Grapes and raisins (currants occasionally) are the most popular among their sort that often poison our pets. The exact cause isn’t clear to scientists yet, and as such, some dogs can eat these without any adverse outcomes whatsoever. Those who are affected will experience diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, dehydration, and, eventually, kidney failure. Because the reason for toxicosis is still unclear, it’s best to completely avoid all such foods.
14. Fruits with seeds and pits
A lot of fruits with pits and seeds can be deadly to your canine for more than one reason.
Persimmons, for example, contain seeds that will cause inflammation of the intestine, which will then lead to enteritis. Other popular fruits like apples, peaches, plums, and cherries have pits that contain cyanide. This chemical is very toxic not only to dogs but also people (if consumed enough) and when poisoned, symptoms in dogs include hyperventilation, shock, coma, and even death.
Ethanol (contained in alcohol) is another substance that should be included on the “very dangerous” list.
While drunk dogs might look funny on YouTube, it’s no fun for dogs themselves. Intoxication by alcohol will cause your dog to lose coordination and have breathing problems. If consumed enough (which normally isn’t much), alcohol will make your dog go into coma and eventually die. Avoid at all costs.
16. Raw meat, fish
Raw fish and raw meat, surprisingly, can also put your dog on a deadly path.
Aside from possible bacteria, usually in the form of Salmonella, that raw fish and meat comes with, these foods also contain the same enzyme avidin that raw eggs do (discussed above). Ingestion of such foods can result in deficiency of B-vitamins, Thiamine, and Biotin. The outcome: problems with skin and coat. However, unlike raw eggs, thiamine deficiency will lead to loss of appetite, seizures, and possibly even death.
17. Chives, onion (including powder)
Onions, chives (and those from the same group) will make your dog develop anemia.
Onions in any form – fresh, cooked, powdered, dehydrated and such – will destroy your canine’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. Be extra careful when picking out different foods for your dog as some of those designed for people (e.g., baby food) contain powdered onion. Symptoms are weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, and problems with breathing. Stick to healthy dog treats and proper organic dog food to avoid the risk altogether.
18. Trimmings of fat, most bones
It’s a cliche to give your dog bones, but the truth is that it can result in a lot of problems.
Who wasn’t ever tempted to give their dog a bone from the table? We all have at least thought about it. Unfortunately, bones can often become a choking hazard or even pierce your dog’s stomach, whether they are cooked or not. Another part of leftovers are fat trimmings that we often avoid eating (my dad never does). When given to your little friend, cooked or not, these can cause pancreatitis.
19. Raw potatoes, tomatoes, and rhubarbs
Any of these three edibles can cause serious problems for you and your dog if eaten raw.
Green or raw potatoes are toxic because of solanum alkaloids, which can possibly cause solanine poisoning. Then raw tomatoes contain tomatine, another alkaloid which is closely related to atropine and solanine, and has similar effects. Lastly, raw rhubarb contains oxalates. All of these can cause your dog to experience anything from nausea to seizures, kidney, heart, CNS, and digestive problems. If you wish to give something raw to your dog, make sure it’s some specially designed raw dog food, which is definitely healthy for your canine.
20. Citrus oil extract
Even though fruits like lemon can be beneficial to your dog, surprisingly, citrus oil extract is not.
Citrus oil extract (or limonene and linalool within it) will usually be found in non-edible things like sprays, shampoos, and fragrances, but there are also some food additives made with this oil extract. Generally, it would be hard to find a way to make your dog consume enough of this for the result to become fatal, but small dosage will cause vomiting.
Your dogs don’t have to smoke it – remember the marijuana edibles?
Marijuana contains THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), and although it is possible to poison your pet through second-hand THC-induced smoke, most of THC poisoning in dogs occurs through ingestion of marijuana edibles. Because the drug has strong antiemetic effects, it prevents your dog from vomiting, which is even worse. If consumed, it can depress your dog’s nervous system and speed up his/her heart beat rate. Symptoms can last up to 3 days.
22. Corn on the cob
Lovely corn is not too dangerous, but the cob itself can cause a boatload of problems for your dog.
First of all, corn cob can block your pet’s intestines, which, if not removed with the help of surgery, can eventually lead to death. Furthermore, too much corn can cause problems with canine’s digestion and trigger allergic reactions in the form of itchy, red skin on your dog. Although not fatal, it’s best to avoid the risks involved and give your dog something else instead.
Even though it’s not technically a food item, occasionally dogs find a way to taste some of this goodness.
As you well know, tobacco’s nicotine is extremely toxic to dogs as well as to humans. However, the effect of nicotine on animals is hundred times worse, damaging their central nervous system and digestive tracts from just small amounts. When more substantial amounts of tobacco are consumed by the dog, it can increase their heart rate, make them lose consciousness, and even result in death.
Too much of a good thing
Salt. A little bit of salt won’t do any harm to your pet, but over-indulging on sodium, just like for people, can cause diarrhea, imbalance of electrolytes, and dehydration.
Sugar. Again, just like with people, sugar can cause diabetes, obesity, and dental problems (remember the obese Dachshund?). Watch out for it, as they put sugar into everything.
Garlic. Read Pet Guide’s page for more information on why too much garlic is very dangerous but a little bit is actually healthy for your dog.
What to do if exposed to these food items?
After any kind of toxic foods dogs shouldn’t eat have been consumed, first thing you need to do is not panic and make sure to follow the instructions.
1. Quickly observe your dog and check if you see any symptoms. Start counting down time.
2. Call Pet Poison Helpline: 800-213-6680 (or any other similar service you have on hand)
3. If necessary, prepare to visit the veterinary or whatever you were advised by Poison Control
– Try to induce vomiting if not advised to do so
– Give any kind of antidote if not advised to do so
– Ignore the problem and hope it’ll pass
For an extensive dog poison list as well as any other dog poisoning advice, please visit Pet Poison Helpline’s website.
What should dogs eat then?
If you really want to give your dog something off the table, then here are some safe and tested foods that will not harm your dog in any way if given in moderation.
Lean meat (with minimum fat)
Vegetables (excluding the ones mentioned above)
Fruit (excluding those from the list)
Rice (not too much)
Pasta (also, not too much)
Ultimately, it’s best to avoid giving your dog human food that isn’t suitable for their lifestyle. Our canines have specially designed, natural and organic dog foods (both wet and dry) that are 100% suited for them, and that is what they should be eating. Remember, dogs only care about the taste.
Here’s to happy, healthy & living dogs!
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Awesome featured photo provided by Andrew Vargas via Flickr.com