Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Foods that are Dangerous for Dogs to Eat

Does your dog like people food? Most dogs do. But many of the foods that are safe for humans are down right dangerous for dogs. With the holidays fast approaching, we at Dugan's Barkery ( thought that this might be a good time to provide some information that can help keep your canine family members safe.

This is a list of the top people foods that are toxic to dogs. There may be other "people" foods that are harmful to you dogs that not are on this list. We recommend that you consult with your vet prior to giving your pet a new food. Also, some of the harmful effects can be a result of a cumulative effect. In other words, just because your pooch may have eaten one of these items without a negative outcome, that does NOT mean that the food is safe. The toxic effect can build up over time. If you suspect that your dog has eaten something that is toxic or harmful, note the amount ingested and quickly contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. You can find more detailed information on substances that are toxic to pets at and This particular list is from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. They also have lists of plants and other things that are poisonous to pets.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine
These contain substances called methylxanthines. Methylxanthines can also be found in some sodas. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. These substances can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.

Beverages and foods containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Pets should not be allowed to eat the leaves, fruit, seeds or bark of avocados because they contain Persin. Persin can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. For birds and rodents, Persin can cause congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. In some cases, ingestion of avocado can be fatal.

Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts, whether eaten plain or in cookies or candy can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Symptoms usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last 12 to 48 hours.

Grapes & Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure.

Yeast Dough
Yeast Dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet's digestive system. This can be painful and can cause rupture of the stomach or intestines. The danger diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, but still, can cause problems if large amounts are ingested. Small bits are OK, but should make up no more than 5 to 10 percent of your dog's daily caloric intake.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
Raw meats and eggs can bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can make your pet sick. Raw eggs also contain avidin. Avidin decreases the absorption of biotin. This can cause skin and coat problems. Domestic pets should not be given bones because they can cause a choking hazard, become lodged or puncture your pet's digestive tract or splinter and cause grave injury.

Used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste, Xylitol can cause insulin release leading to hypoglycemia (lowered blood sugar levels) and liver failure. Early symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to a downed animal and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Onions, Garlic, Chives
These can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Small amounts found in some pet foods may not be harmful, but the ASPCA recommends that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these items.

Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

As an added note: Corn on the cob is extremely dangerous to give to your pet. Pieces of the cob can break off, the corn will digest and the cob can become impacted in the pet's digestive system or act like a scouring pad in there.

We hope this helps in your efforts to keep your pet safe. It's a dog's life, let's make it a good one.