As dog owners, we love to share everything with our furry friends. Whether it be lounging on the couch together, going on walks, appreciating the sunrise or even eating together. However, there are many foods that people eat on a daily basis that can be harmful, and even deadly, to dogs. It is important to be aware of what foods to avoid feeding your dog, and to make sure that any food given to them is done so in moderation. 

Today we have a list of foods that are harmful to dogs and should not be given to them under any circumstances:

10 Foods That You Shouldn’t Give to Your Dog

1. Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Dogs are more sensitive to theobromine than humans because they metabolise it more slowly. This means that it stays in their system for a longer period of time and can build up to toxic levels. Even a small amount of chocolate can be dangerous for a dog. For example, a ten-pound dog, such as a Toy Cavoodle, only needs to eat two ounces of milk chocolate to potentially experience toxicity symptoms. 

Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are even more dangerous, as they contain higher concentrations of theobromine. Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and tremors in dogs. In severe cases, it can even lead to death. 

2. Coffee and tea

Coffee and tea both contain caffeine, which is also harmful to dogs. While caffeine is safe for humans, it is toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems. There is no specific antidote for caffeine toxicity in dogs, so treatment focuses on supporting the animal and managing the symptoms. This may include giving the dog fluids to prevent dehydration, controlling seizures with medication, and providing oxygen support if needed. In severe cases, dogs may need to be hospitalised for supportive care.

With prompt treatment, most dogs recover from caffeine toxicity without any long-term effects. However, some animals may develop heart arrhythmias that can be fatal if not treated promptly by a veterinarian. Symptoms of caffeine toxicity in dogs include restlessness, panting, vomiting, and heart arrhythmias.

3. Grapes and raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Grapes contain an unknown toxin that seems to affect dogs in wildly different ways. However, for some dogs, even small amounts can lead to serious health problems, so it’s best to avoid giving them to your dog altogether. If you think your dog has eaten grapes or raisins, call your vet immediately.

4. Onions and garlic

Allium species such as onion and garlic contain thiosulphates, which can lead to Heinz body anaemia in dogs. This type of anaemia is caused when the red blood cells break down prematurely. The symptoms of Heinz body anaemia include weakness, pale gums, increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing. These foods should be avoided in any form, including powder, raw, cooked, or as part of another dish. 

5. Nuts

Nuts can be harmful to dogs if they ingest them whole. They can cause choking or obstruction of the digestive tract. Additionally, some nuts contain toxins that can be harmful to dogs, such as cyanide in almonds or the unknown toxin in Macadamia nuts. 

While peanut butter is a favourite treat for dogs, it is best to use only natural peanut butter with little to no salt and no other additives, such as sweeteners. 

6. Milk and dairy products

Many dogs are lactose intolerant and thus cannot digest milk or other dairy products properly. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, and other gastrointestinal problems. 

If you are going to feed your dog any dairy products, make sure they are lactose-free or give them in small amounts at first to see how they tolerate it.

7. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute used in many products such as gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste. While most people won’t have a can of it sitting in their cupboard, it can be found in a wide variety of commercially available food. It is extremely poisonous to dogs and can cause low blood sugar levels, seizures, liver failure, and death. 

Because this type of sweetener is so common, it’s generally best to not give your dog any kind of candies at all. 

8. Fat trimmings and bones

Fat trimmings from meat can cause pancreatitis in dogs, while bones can splinter and cause choking or damage the digestive tract. It’s best to avoid giving your dog either of these things.

9. Avocados

Avocados contain a substance called persin, which is toxic to dogs. Persin is found in the fruit as well as the pit of the avocado. When dogs eat persin-containing foods, they can experience gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhoea. In some cases, dogs may also develop respiratory distress or heart problems. 

Avocados are especially dangerous for puppies and small dogs since they can easily become dehydrated from vomiting and diarrhoea. If you think your dog has eaten an avocado, contact your veterinarian immediately.

10. Alcohol

Alcohol is toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems. Dogs metabolise alcohol differently than humans, so even a small amount can be dangerous. Some of the common symptoms of alcohol poisoning will include vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, it can lead to coma and death.

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