There are certain foods that are bad for dogs and foods that are deadly to dogs. It’s vitally important you know what these foods are if you have a pet.
Grapes and Raisins
• Grapes and raisins can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys, possibly resulting in death.
• Eating as few as 4-5 grapes or raisins can be poisonous to a 20 pound dog.
• Signs of toxicity include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and decreased urine flow.
• Toxicity signs usually begin within 24 hours but can start just a few hours after consuming these foods.
• Onions can cause a form of hemolytic anemia called Heinz Body Anemia, a condition that destroys red blood cells. Kidney damage may follow.
• Similar foods such as garlic and chives are also toxic to your dog’s system.
• The quantity of onions considered to be poisonous to a dog is not clear cut, but the effects can be cumulative. Avoid feeding your pet table scraps or any foods cooked with onions.
• Signs of toxicity include pale gums, rapid heart rate, weakness and lethargy, and may be accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody urine.
• Treatment requires blood transfusions and/or oxygen administration, followed by fluid therapy.
• Chocolate and cocoa are definitely bad foods for dogs as they contain a chemical called theobromide that can adversely affect the heart, lungs, kidneys and central nervous system of a dog.
• Pure baking chocolate is the most toxic form of chocolate, whereas milk chocolate requires a higher quantity to cause harm. A 20 pound dog can be poisoned after consuming only 2 ounces of baking chocolate, but it would take nearly 20 ounces of milk chocolate to cause the same effects.
• Chocolate poisoning signs include over-excitement, tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rate/rhythm, hyperthermia and coma.
• Treatment by your vet may include vomiting or administration of activated charcoal with fluid therapy and medications.
• Caffeine is similar to the toxic chemical found in chocolate. It can damage the heart, lungs, kidney and central nervous system.
• Caffeine is found in coffee beans and coffee, large amounts of tea, some energy drinks, and chocolate.
• Signs typically begin with restlessness, hyperactivity and vomiting, followed by panting, weakness, increased heart rate, muscle tremors and convulsions.
• Treatment by your vet may include vomiting or gastric lavage and administration of activated charcoal with fluid therapy and medications.
• Macadamia nuts, while generally not considered fatal, can cause your dog to become severely ill.
• The actually toxin in the nuts is not known, nor is the mechanism of toxicity.
• Ingestion of just a handful of Macadamia nuts can cause adverse effects in any dog.
• Signs include vomiting, weakness, depression, joint and muscle pain, and swelling of joints.
• Onset of these signs typically occurs within 6-24 hours after consuming the nuts.
• Dogs usually recover within 24-48 hours after treatment but may need to be hospitalized if they become very sick.
• Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener often found in chewing gum and candy. In dogs, it stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Xylitol ingestion can also cause severe liver damage.
• As few as two pieces of gum can be hypoglycemic to a 20 pound dog. An entire pack of gum can cause permanent liver damage.
• Signs of toxicity can occur within 30-60 minutes after ingestion and include weakness, sudden collapse, and seizures.
• Your vet may induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage. An affected dog usually needs to be treated intravenously with dextrose (sugar) and monitored closely for 1-2 days. Many dogs improve with supportive care if treated early enough, though liver damage can be permanent.
Alcohol and Yeast Dough
• Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol – a seriously toxic chemical compound that causes central nervous system and respiratory depression in dogs.
• Uncooked yeast dough also produces ethanol.
• Even small amounts of ethanol can cause toxic effects in dogs.
• Signs include sedation, depression, lethargy, weakness, and hypothermia (low body temperature).
• Ethanol is rapidly absorbed into the system, so it is critical that you seek medical attention quickly. It is usually not helpful to induce vomiting in the dog. Proper treatment requires aggressive care with fluid therapy and medications.
• Under controlled circumstances, alcohol is used by veterinarians as an antidote for antifreeze (ethylene glycol) poisoning.
Fruit Pits and Seeds
• Apple seeds, cherry pits, peach pits, and plum pits contain the toxin cyanide.
• Signs of cyanide poisoning include vomiting, heavy breathing, apnea tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmias, coma, and skin irritation.
Food items we take for granted as humans can be bad for dogs, and may seriously injure or even kill your pet. Be a wise owner and be vigilant that your pet never consumes even small amounts of any of the above toxic foods.