8 Foods You Should NEVER Feed Your Dog
The meal on your plate is always going to be more interesting to your dog than what’s in his own bowl. Can you blame him for choosing sizzling chicken fajitas served in warm tortillas over dry kibbles in a steel dish? Sure the occasional morsel from the table is fine, but whether it comes from your hand, or a midnight counter raid, there are some foods that are potentially dangerous to your dog and should never be shared. Despite our best efforts at prevention, accidents still happen, and if your dog ingests any of these foods, and shows symptoms of sickness, have him examined by a veterinarian immediately.
Foods that can be Toxic to Dogs
Caffeine and Therobromine are the chemicals in chocolate that are toxic to dogs, and dark baker’s chocolate and raw cocoa contain the highest levels, and pose the greatest risk. Go ahead and make your sweetheart feel special with Belgian dark chocolate on Valentine’s Day, but have a chicken or beef flavored surprise on hand for the one with four paws and the curious nose.
Home-brewed beer is becoming more popular than polyester in the 70’s and there are more than a few households with freshly harvested or cooked hops on hand. Both have been traced to poisonings in dogs where symptoms included high fever, restlessness, excessive panting, and even seizures.
Like a teenager sneaking her first sip of beer, dogs are especially sensitive to alcohol. And while a video of your dog lapping up Pabst might seem like a hilarious idea that’s sure to go viral, dogs are even more sensitive to alcohol than humans, and even the tiniest amount of any product that contains alcohol can cause common symptoms of intoxication, but sometimes even seizures, coma or death.
Grapes and Raisins
The perfect snack to pack alongside the peanut butter and jelly sandwich in your first grader’s lunchbox, grapes and raisins can cause kidney related problems, including kidney failure, in your dog. The chemical responsible for these symptoms hasn’t been isolated yet, and some dogs who eat grapes and raisins are unaffected while others show a range of serious symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and erratic urination.
Baking a loaf of sourdough seems harmless enough, but think twice before you run out for eggs and leave the bowl on the counter. Raw Bread dough made with live yeast can expand in a dog’s stomach, making it hard to breathe. The yeast can even create alcohol in the dog’s stomach, causing intoxication and a range symptoms consistent with a late night keg party, including disorientation and vomiting.
Advertising leans heavily on Xylitol to push guilt free chewing gum and cookies, and it’s true that the popular sugar substitute doesn’t affect blood sugar levels in humans. With dogs, it’s another story, and ingesting xylitol can result in a dangerous drop in blood sugar level. Symptoms can develop within 30 minutes, and include disorientation, seizures and even liver failure.
It might seem like a clever way to avoid wasting food that’s a little past its prime for your own plate, but feeding moldy food to your dog can potentially expose her to dangerous tremorgenic mycotoxins. Symptoms can range from fine muscle tremors to convulsions, and other tempting items in your dog’s environment, like dead animals or fallen fruit and nuts, can develop this toxic mold variety, and should be removed.
Onions and Garlic
While it might seem that worrying about your dog raiding the pantry for onions or garlic should rank just above fear of being struck by lightning, dangerous symptoms can occur if they do happen to ingest chemicals in the onion family, which also includes shallots and scallions. Concentrated powders and soup mixes are especially dangerous, and if ingested in large quantities, can damage red blood cells, causing symptoms including weakness and reluctance to move.