A canine body and a human’s body just don’t work the same way, but try telling your dog that! Much as it’s tempting to give your pooch a little nibble of people food now and again, there are lots of human foods that are dangerous to dogs.
There are also many different humans foods that are good for your dog. Many, but not all, fruits and vegetables can have great health benefits for canines. Lean protein and home herbs can be beneficial to our furry friends as well. Be sure to do your research before feeding your pet any type of human food.
Some people food can cause minor irritation to your dog's skin or short lived side effects including nausea or diarrhea, but some can have severe effects and even be fatal. Here’s a list of ten everyday foods and ingredients – some of which may surprise you – that should never be given to your dog.
Foods Dogs Should Not Eat: 10 Human Foods That Are Dangerous To Dogs
Probably the most well-known food on this list, chocolate is bad for your dog because it contains caffeine and theobromine. Theobromine is a stimulant that will affect your dog’s heart, nervous system and kidneys.
As little as one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is enough to be a fatal dose. Symptoms of toxicity can include: extreme thirst, diarrhea, pacing and excessive or nervous energy, panting and shaking, and even seizures.
Remember to be careful with other foods that may contain chocolate such as cookies, cake, ice cream and candies. Apart from the chocolate, the fats and sugars are bad for your dog too.
If you believe your dog has eaten chocolate, don’t wait to see symptoms as they can take anywhere from four hours to a whole day to show up. Call your vet immediately and ask for advice.
9 Tea, Coffee and Soda
Like chocolate, tea, coffee and soda contain caffeine, a stimulant which is bad for your dog. Caffeine is a methyl xanthine and can overstimulate the heart, increasing the heart rate, and can cause cardiac arrhythmias at high concentrations.
On top of this, soda contains high concentrations of sugar which isn't good for your dog either. If you’re a gardener, make sure you don’t use coffee grounds as a fertilizer if your dog can access the area.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener which is found in many foods and drinks, often found in baked goods, candy and diet products. While it’s perfectly safe for human consumption, it can be fatal for your dog.
Xylitol causes a spike in insulin, in turn leading to low blood sugar levels. Signs of xylitol poisoning can include lack of energy, coordination problems, and vomiting. Even very small amounts of xylitol can cause symptoms such as seizures and liver failure, so be extremely vigilant when feeding your pet anything that isn’t specifically a dog treat.
7 Salt and High-Sodium Snacks
Like in humans, too much salt can be extremely toxic to your dog. Some high-sodium foods include chips, pretzels, popcorn, ready-made meals, and takeaway meals, and many other savory snacks.
Too much salt can cause symptoms such as excessive thirst and urination, vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, loss of coordination, abnormal fluid accumulation within the body, and is toxic to the kidneys. Higher doses can induce shaking and seizures leading to coma and death if not treated immediately.
Careful with soups and stews too, as stocks and broths are often very high in salt. It isn’t just food you need to be careful with either; some regular household items such as driveway de-icers can contain high levels of salt, so always make sure you keep any cleaning and household products locked away and out of your dog’s reach.
Also be careful if you take your dog to the beach, as he can ingest seawater. If you think your dog has ingested salt, or you notice any of the above symptoms, seek veterinary attention immediately as salt toxicity can be treated with IV fluids if caught in time.
6 Raw Fish
Consumption of raw fish, particularly red, oily fish such as salmon and trout can cause vitamin B deficiency. The symptoms can include loss of appetite, vomiting, seizures, and in some cases, death. Raw salmon can be fatal to dogs as it contains a bacteria called neorickettsia helminthoeca.
If you have been preparing raw fish, be extra careful to dispose of any leftovers properly, and cover trash bins. If you take your pet along with you while camping, hiking or doing any type of fishing, be sure to keep any leftovers in a sealed bag until you can dispose of them properly where your dog cannot get to them.
5 Yeast Bread and Cakes
Yeast is a fungus which promotes the rise of bread and other yeast products such as cakes and donuts. We all know how good a great bread or cookie dough can smell while it’s rising, and your dog may think so too.
If he ingests raw yeast dough the dough will continue to rise while in his stomach, which will cause him a lot of gastrointestinal discomfort as it causes the belly to swell. In severe cases this can rupture the intestines.
Additionally, yeast can continue to ferment and turn into alcohol after it’s been eaten, causing symptoms of alcohol poisoning for your pup. If you’re a home baker, make sure you keep any yeast dough covered and far out of your pet’s reach.
4 Onions and Garlic
While your dog is unlikely to chew on a bulb of garlic, remember that many foods he might find tempting contain onions and garlic, such as Italian food, stews, soups and pies. The onion family contains compounds that can cause anemia in your dog and you may notice symptoms such as dehydration and extreme lethargy.
Because of how common onions and garlic are in many everyday foods, especially meaty dishes that your dog would be giving you the puppy-dog eyes over, it’s important to be very careful with treating your pup to anything that you haven’t prepared yourself. Also be wary of feeding him snack foods like chips that often contain onion powder.
3 Milk and Dairy Products
Like onions and garlic, dairy is a hard one to avoid and is something that your pup probably drools over! But you must never feed your dog anything containing milk or milk powder, cream, cheese, yogurt or ice cream as dogs are lactose intolerant and they will experience uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
Many treat foods designed specifically for pets might come in milk or cheese flavors, but have the irritating lactose removed so it’s safe for them to enjoy. In fact, there are multiple manufacturers that make ice cream for dogs, so your pooch can enjoy a refreshing treat without the digestive distress.
While not fatal like many of the others on the list, consumption of dairy will make your dog feel uncomfortable and unwell, so it’s best to avoid anything containing dairy altogether.
2 Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are often found in baked goods such as cakes and cookies, and sometimes in flavored trail mixes or nut mixes that your dog might be tempted to eat.
The reason for its toxic effect in dogs is not yet known, but macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression symptoms, overheating, swelling of the legs, tremors and loss of control over their movements. All of which are frightening for both the dog and his owner.
If you think your dog may have consumed anything containing macadamia nuts, call your vet as the symptoms can be treated if caught in time.
1 Grapes, Raisins and Currants
Grapes contain a toxin that causes severe liver damage and kidney failure in canines. These are another food that can be found in many things such as cakes, bagels, cookies and trail mixes, as well as some savory dishes like stuffing and tagines.
Ingestion can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, thirst and excessive urination, tiredness, and dehydration. Also be careful if you grow any grapes in your garden and make sure neither your dog nor anyone else’s, can access the area.
Toxicity can occur even with very small amounts so never allow your dog to eat anything containing grapes, raisins or currants. If you think your dog might have eaten something with a grape product in it, call your vet immediately to seek treatment advice.