Dangerous Foods:  Foods Your Dog Should Avoid

Dangerous Foods: Foods Your Dog Should Avoid

One of the most important things that all dog owners should do is research the dangerous foods for dogs and other environmental hazards that their dogs might face.  It’s important to take into account the differences between humans and dogs and avoid giving in to dogs who are always begging for food at the dinner table.  Dogs aren’t always good judges of what is or is not toxic for them and depend on their owners to know which foods and other substances are poisonous to them.

Alcohol 

Many of us will have seen video clips of dogs getting drunk in certain comedies.  This needs to stay in fiction, since even tiny quantities of alcohol can be very dangerous for dogs.  Even a large dog will weigh less than an adult human, so giving a dog alcohol isn’t so different from giving alcohol to a child.  Dogs who consume alcohol will have a reaction that is similar to those of humans who have consumed much too much alcohol, but they will feel that way even with small portions.

Caffeine

Dogs are highly susceptible to caffeine poisoning, especially small dogs.  It’s difficult for vets to treat dogs who have ingested large quantities of caffeine, so dog owners can really only prevent this potentially fatal problem by making sure that their dogs never ingest tea, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, or the over-the-counter medications that might contain caffeine.  Dogs sometimes bite into packages of things and start chewing on them, including packages of coffee grounds, so it is important for dog owners to keep all sources of caffeine away from their dogs.

Avocado

While tiny portions of avocado usually aren’t dangerous to a dog, dogs cannot process a substance called persin, which avocados contain in huge quantities.  Persin levels are high in avocados leaves and the levels lower once the food is ripe, so eating avocados usually isn’t a problem for dogs and at most may case a stomach-ache.  It is the pit of the avocado that is the biggest danger, because it is just the right size to cause an obstruction and poses as a choking hazard to your dog.  And as we know, dogs are naturally attracted to ball shaped objects.  Therefore, people who grow avocados should keep their dogs away from them, and people who eat avocados at any point need to keep their table scraps away from their dogs.

Chocolate

Many people have heard that chocolate is toxic to dogs, although some people still debate whether or not this is true.  Let it be known, then, that it is true, even though some types of chocolate are worse than others and some dogs are more susceptible to the effects of chocolate consumption than others.  It is the theobromine content of chocolate that can poison dogs and it is present in higher quantities in the dark chocolate and unsweetened ‘natural’ chocolate that many people favor today than in milk or white chocolate.  The caffeine in chocolate and the nut content of some prepared chocolate candy are also dangerous to dogs, which is why chocolate can become one of the most deadly substances for them.

Macadamia Nuts 

Six macadamia nuts might not even be noticeable to a human, since it is possible to fit all of them in a cookie.  It is enough, however, to fatally poison a dog.  If the dogs are eating macadamia nuts with chocolate, it’s an almost guaranteed death sentence.  Dog owners should always be on the lookout for symptoms of poisoning in dogs, which can include muscle tremors, vomiting, an elevated heart rate, paralysis, weakness, and a high body temperature. They need to avoid giving their dogs macadamia nuts at all costs

Garlic and Onions

One of the dangers of feeding dogs table scraps in the first place is the fact that a lot of prepared dishes will contain some garlic and onions, and garlic and onions can be highly toxic to dogs in large doses.  Dogs process garlic and onions in such a way that garlic and onions can affect their red blood cell count, rendering them lethargic and anemic.  While dogs certainly aren’t going to become anemic right away as a result of a little garlic or onion powder, the effects of these herbs and vegetables may be cumulative, so the dogs that manage to get lots of small doses over time might still sustain some negative side effects.

This is one of those subjects that is highly debated and controversal.  Some people recommend giving your dogs small portions of garlic with their meals to boost their immune system, and others feed their dogs garlic because it is said to repel fleas and ticks.  In-fact some dog owners have been using garlic safely for years, and it is even placed in some dog foods and treats.  However, with the lack of research to support the effectiveness of the health benefits of garlic for dogs, and with the questioned dangers that surround it, I choose to avoid it all together. If you choose to feed your dog a controlled amount of garlic for health benefits, make sure to monitor your dog over time to make sure that they are feeling normal. Symptoms of poisoning can be nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and a feeling of weakness.  

Raisins and Grapes

The people who think that grapes constitute a healthy snack for dogs could not be more wrong.  Large enough quantities of grapes can give dogs kidney failure.  Tiny quantities won’t usually fatally injure a dog, but even these small amounts are enough to make a dog terribly nauseous.  One grape is equal to one raisin, but it is much easier to accidentally give dogs large quantities of raisins than grapes because raisins occupy a much smaller surface area.  As such, keeping raisins away from dogs is important, and making sure that dogs don’t eat anything that contains grapes is essential to their health.

Xylitol

People who aren’t used to studying food labels might not even know what Xylitol is, but it is an artificial sweetener that’s found in a lot of processed food products, including gum and candy.  In the best of cases, it can cause low blood sugar in dogs.  In the worst of cases, it might lead to toxic shock and liver failure.  Many of the most dangerous foods for dogs are processed foods, because they might contain several ingredients that are dangerous.  Processed baked goods could contain Xylitol, some derivatives of chocolate, and caffeine all at once.  Unless owners want to check all food labels, they should keep these processed baked goods away from their dogs at all times.

Conclusion

Being a dog owner is a-lot like being a parent; One must carefully monitor their dog, especially during their youngest years.  I recommend properly training your dog the potentially life-saving command “Leave It”, just in-case you drop one of these food items next to them. 

WATCH MY TUTORIAL VIDEO ON TEACHING “LEAVE IT” HERE: HOW TO TRAIN A DOG TO “LEAVE IT”

Monitor what your dogs eat, and teach your kids, family, and friends which foods are poisonous to dogs.  Here is a picture that I made which features a long list of food items that may be poisonous or just plain dangerous for your dogs.

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