Bad Food For Dogs
Who can resist those big brown eyes and cute doggie grin? Can a little reward from the table really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what’s in it. A chip with guacamole can cause your dog some real problems. In fact, there’s a lot of “people food” your dog should never eat. And, it’s not just because of weight. Some foods are downright dangerous for them — and some of these common foods may surprise you.
SWEETS AND CHEWING GUM
Xylitol is a sweetener used in some kinds of candies, chewing gums, and specialty dental products. It’s found naturally in many food plants, although commercial xylitol is usually made from corn husks and Dupont Chemical makes theirs from hardwood. This sweetener is generally considered safe for human consumption. However, it is very poisonous to dogs. This stuff can kill Fido, so if he’s gotten into some, take him to the veterinary hospital or emergency clinic immediately.
A moment ago, we discussed Theobromine. Caffeine causes the same kinds of problems, but worse. In fact, when your body processes caffeine, one of the products is theobromine. Keep your dog away from coffee, mocha, cappuccino, coffee-flavoured anything, chocolate-covered coffee beans, energy drinks, and colas.
Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol — none of it’s good. That’s because alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. And the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.
Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The toxic part is theobromine. It’s in all kinds of chocolate, even white. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating it, even just licking the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.
Certainly, there are some mushrooms that won’t hurt your dog, but mushrooms are tricky. Some species are safe if grown in one are but not safe if they are grown somewhere else, and some are only safe if they are not combined with certain other ingredients. Also, the signs of mushroom poisoning can take a day or more to show up. Play it safe. Fido’d prefer a piece of that steak to the mushroom sauce on it, anyway.
COFFEE AND TEA
Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal. And there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee — including beans and grounds — caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It’s also in some cold medicines and pain killers.
ONIONS AND GARLIC
Onions and garlic in all forms — powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated — can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But eating a large quantity just once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.
MILK AND OTHER DAIRY PRODUCTS
On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream cone with your dog. But if he could, he’d thank you for not doing so. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive upset, as well as set up food allergies (which often show up as itchiness).
PERSIMMONS, PEACHES AND PULMS
The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them. Dogs don’t.
It’s not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.