Despite being good for humans, many different foods we consume can be very dangerous or even lethal to dogs. It often times is very tempting to offer your pet dog scraps from the table, but it should be avoided in most cases, especially if it is one of the foods on this list. In most cases consumption of a dangerous food by a dog should be followed by a call to the vet immediately. Early recognition and treatment is the best way to handle this situation. Here are the top ten worst human foods for dogs:
Like some humans who are lactose intolerant, so are dogs. The digestive system of dogs don’t come equipped with enough lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose, to properly digest dairy products. If a dog consumes dairy products they will experience severe stomach pain, flatulence, diarrhea, and possibly vomiting. Typically, concerning fluids, the only safe fluid for dogs is clean fresh water.
It should go without saying, but alcohol is especially dangerous to dogs. Ethanol found in alcohol causes rapid damage to dogs respiratory and central nervous systems. If you suspect your dog has consumed any alcohol it is important to call your vet immediately because alcohol is absorbed so quickly. Signs of alcohol toxicity in dogs includes diarrhea, depression of the central nervous system, lack of coordination, vomiting, tremors, and difficulty breathing. In extreme cases, alcohol toxicity in dogs can cause coma or even death.
The main reason why coffee is toxic to dogs is because of caffeine, but it is such a common beverage it is worth mentioning on its own. Coffee consumption by dogs can cause a number of different problems including dehydration, diarrhea, abnormal heart beats, and in extreme cases death. An easy way to prevent your pooch from getting ahold of coffee is to make sure it is stored in a sealed container, any left over coffee grounds aren’t in a place easily accessible by a dog, and to use thermoses when drinking it.
Methylxanthines, a chemical present in caffeine, can induce vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, panting, dehydration, and abnormal heartbeats in dogs. Caffeine is found in a number of common products including coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, diet pills, and some pain killers. Avoiding allowing your dog to consume caffeine is of the utmost importance. Be sure to keep anything containing caffeine out of reach of your furry friend.
Despite being a great Hawaiian souvenir, Macadamia Nuts can be lethal to dogs. It is believed as little as six nuts can trigger a reaction in dogs. If you suspect your dog has consumed these nuts, it is imperative to contact your vet immediately. Reactions include vomiting, tremors, weakness, fatigue, depression, and in the worst case paralysis and hyperthermia. Typically reactions start between 12 and 48 hours after consumption.
Onions and Garlic
Both onions and garlic can cause a multitude of problems for dogs. The sulfur contained in these two vegetables irritate the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and cause cause red blood cell damage, asthma, difficulty breathing, and liver damage. Typical signs of onion and garlic consumption in dogs includes discolored urine, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
Besides being an ingredient in guacamole, avocados contain a chemical called persin, which is incredibly toxic to dogs and most other animals. Persin causes dogs and other animals to have difficulty breathing, severe congestion, inflammation of the mammary glands, and fluid build-up around the heart, and in the worst cases even death. If dogs ingest even a small amount of persin it can induce massive vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. If you believe your pet has ingested avocados, err on the side of caution and call your vet immediately.
Xylitol is the artificial sweetener used in a number of products including gum, candy, mints, toothpaste, and mouthwash. It is dangerous to dogs because it causes a dramatic and sudden spike in insulin levels in their blood stream which can cause hypoglycemia. Not to mention, consumption of xylitol can also cause liver damage in dogs. Typical signs of xylitol toxicity include lethargy, lack of coordination, and vomiting. If untreated, in the most severe cases, xylitol toxicity can be fatal to dogs.
Grapes and Raisins
Surprisingly, the toxic element to dogs in grapes and raisins has not yet been identified, but what is known is consumption of grapes and raisins by dogs can cause sudden and acute kidney failure. Clinical signs of toxicity usually occur within 24 hours of consumption and include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. The same peril applies to all products derived from grapes including wine and grape juice.
One of the most dangerous of all foods for dogs to consume is chocolate. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is a chemical fatally toxic to dogs if consumed in large enough quantities. In addition to the theobromine, chocolate also contains caffeine which, listed above, causes its own issues. Even as little as a few ounces of chocolate can be enough to cause serious problems. No amount of chocolate should be considered safe. Signs of chocolate toxicity include rapid or irregular heart beat, restlessness, tremors, seizures, vomiting, and diarrhea. If left untreated, death can occur within a day.
Featured Image: Flickr by -=RoBeE=-