Picture this — you’re at the dinner table ready to enjoy a scrumptious meal, only to look up and see the adorable face of your dog eyeing your food.
As a pet parent, reducing our little furry friend’s puppy-dog eyes is easier said than done. But it’s a necessary precaution if you want to ensure your pet’s health.
Remember, not all foods that are good for us are also safe for our dogs. Some foods that you would consider healthy, like grapes, can be highly toxic to your pet.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common toxic food for dogs and what you can feed your dog instead.
Foods That Are Toxic For Dogs
All pet owners know that chocolate is a complete no-no for dogs. Even in trace amounts, chocolate can cause a lot of problems for your pooch. But do you know why?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be toxic to dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for dogs.”
Theobromine is a chemical that works as a heart stimulant as well as a diuretic and is also found in caffeine. And dogs cannot metabolize this chemical, which leads to health issues.
The severity of chocolate toxicity symptoms depends on the size of the dog and the amount and type of chocolate ingested. Even in small amounts, chocolate is among the most toxic food for dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and seizures, while larger amounts can be fatal.
It’s best to keep all chocolate and cocoa products out of your dog’s reach and dispose of any packaging properly.
Grapes and Raisins
You may have seen some dogs eat grapes and be completely fine, so this one may come as a surprise. But grapes and raisins are one of the most toxic human food for dogs and can cause kidney and renal failure in dogs.
“Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. If you suspect your dog has ingested grapes or raisins, seek veterinary care immediately.” — ASPCA
Consuming these foods even in small amounts can result in different health issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and lethargy. And if left untreated, they can be fatal.
It’s thus crucial that you keep grapes and raisins out of your dog’s reach and check ingredient labels on foods like trail mix and baked goods. When in doubt, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog any food that may be harmful.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic can add a lot of flavor to our meals, but they’re bad news for our dogs. Both these ingredients contain thiosulphate, a compound that dogs and cats cannot digest. And if consumed in large amounts, it can damage a dog’s red blood cells and even result in anemia.
“Onions and garlic can cause damage to a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Always keep these foods out of your pet’s reach.” — PetMD
Symptoms of onion or garlic toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. However, in severe cases, your dog may even require a blood transfusion. It’s important to remember that all forms of onion and garlic are dangerous, including raw, cooked, powdered, and dehydrated.
Like chocolate, caffeine is also a toxic human food for dogs. It also contains theobromine, which can lead to a number of health issues and can even be fatal.
Ingestion of caffeine can cause heart palpitations, rapid breathing, muscle tremors, restlessness, and even seizures. And since caffeine is a diuretic, it can also cause dehydration in your dog.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in various sweet foods, including sugar-free gums, candies, and baked goods. If your pup gets its jaws on any food that contains xylitol, it can cause a rapid insulin release, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
A few other symptoms of xylitol toxicity are vomiting, seizures, liver failure, and loss of coordination. So, make sure you read labels carefully when buying packaged foods and keep any product containing xylitol away from your dog.
You may not be taking your dog bar-hopping, but our furry friends can often find their way to your alcohol stash, which can lead to disastrous consequences. The smallest amount of alcohol can be dangerous for our dogs since they are much smaller and have different metabolism.
Consuming alcohol can lead to diarrhea, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and in severe cases, coma or death. Remember, products like mouthwash and cooking extracts may also contain alcohol, so it’s important to read labels carefully.
Non-toxic Food For Dogs
Now that we’ve got a list of toxic food for dogs out of the way, what can your dog safely eat instead? Fortunately, there is no dearth of non-toxic, healthy, and tasty food options for your four-legged friend. Here are a few your pup will enjoy scarfing down:
Cooked Lean Meats
Cooked lean meats, including chicken and turkey, are healthy and safe protein-rich options for dogs.
But make sure you remove any bones before feeding them to your dog because cooked bones can splinter and cause choking, blockages, or even perforate the digestive system.
And while cooked lean meats are excellent for dogs, seasoned or processed meats, including bacon, sausages, and deli meats, can cause health problems. Processed meats tend to be high in sodium and preservatives, which can be harmful to your dog’s health.
Plain Cooked Rice or Pasta
Plain cooked rice or pasta are also healthy foods for dogs. Rice and pasta are both good sources of carbohydrates, which provide energy to dogs. They are also easy to digest and can help soothe an upset stomach.
Make sure the rice or pasta is not spicy or overly seasoned as it may cause gastrointestinal upset.
Most fruits are perfectly safe for your dog in moderation. Fruits like apples, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries are safe and even healthy for dogs to eat. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help support your dog’s overall health.
However, fruits are high in natural sugars and should thus be fed to your dog in moderation. So, if you’re wondering can dogs eat kiwi or plum, they can but only in small amounts. Too much fruit can cause digestive problems, including diarrhea and stomach upset.
It’s also important to note that some fruits that can be toxic to dogs, including grapes and avocado. So, make sure you do your research on whichever fruits you’re planning to feed your pup.
Like fruits, many vegetables are safe and healthy for your furry friend. Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Some of the best vegetables to feed your dog include carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, and broccoli.
However, some other vegetables like onions, garlic, and mushrooms can be toxic to your pup. So, make sure you introduce any new vegetable gradually and in small amounts.
As a responsible pet owner, you want to give your dog a well-balanced and nutritionally complete diet. But it’s important to know about food toxic for dogs. It’s best to do proper research about any new foods you introduce into your dog’s diet. With a little bit of knowledge and care, you can keep your pup safe and healthy for years to come.
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