We all like to treat our pups every now and then and it can be really difficult to resist those puppy eyes when you are tucking into your dinner, but there are so many foods that are toxic to dogs that, unless you are absolutely sure, it is just not worth the risk.
If a dog has been exposed to toxic foods, sometimes symptoms can appear almost immediately, but in other cases, the damage may not manifest until years later. If ever you think your dog has consumed anything toxic, always get them checked by a vet straight away – it’s much better to be safe than sorry!
Now this is a fairly obvious one that most people are aware of, but sadly there are still many cases of dogs ingesting chocolate, particularly around Christmas and Easter. Theobromine, which is found in coffee beans is highly toxic and it doesn’t take a lot to make your dog sick.
These are highly toxic to dogs and should never be given as a treat. The same goes for raisins, currants, sultanas and anything from the grape family.
3. Apple seeds
While lots of dogs love to munch on apple as a healthy, refreshing snack, never let them have access to the core as the seeds contain cyanide which can be extremely harmful. If you’re tempted to let your dog have apple, cut slices off for them so you know it’s safe.
Why anyone would feed their dog alcohol is beyond me, but people still do it. Even the core ingredients are toxic (grapes, hops, yeast etc). Dogs are not built to process alcohol and their bodies cannot tolerate it, so even small amounts can cause alcohol poisoning.
This is an artificial sweetener which is used in lots of foods and products that you may not be aware of. Any amount of ingestion, however small can be catastrophic for dogs. It is commonly found in chewing gum, sweets, drinks and toothpaste, but also in lots of other things like baked goods, so always check the ingredients and make sure you don’t leave anything to chance.
6. Fruit with stones
Many stones found in fruit (for example cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines) can cause serious digestive problems if digested so make sure you avoid them altogether. They can also pose as a choking hazard or block the digestive system leading to emergency treatment. So make sure your fruit bowl is out of reach!
7. Macadamia Nuts
These can make dogs very poorly even in small amounts, so these need to be stored well out of reach. Don’t be tempted to save a bit of your cookie for your pup, he won’t thank you for it later.
It doesn’t matter whether they are raw, cooked or ground, onions are very toxic for dogs. So are chives and leeks, so make sure you are not feeding your dog any leftovers that contain toxic ingredients. Gravy and sauces often contain onion powder so leave these out of your dog’s diet too. You can get specially formulated gravy from pet shops.
As part of the onion family, garlic poses the same risks to dogs and shouldn’t be on the dog’s menu. Lots of snacks also contains garlic or garlic powder, including some crisps, biscuits, and ready meals so make sure your dog steers clear.
10. Tea and Coffee
Like theobromine, caffeine is a strong stimulant that should be kept away from your dogs at all times to avoid harm. They are more than happy to drink their usual cold water while you enjoy your morning cuppa.
Many dogs (like people) are lactose intolerant and cannot process the compounds found within dairy products, leading to severe digestive problems. If your dog is lactose intolerant avoid all dairy products, some dogs may be able to tolerate dairy in small amounts, but if you’re not sure it’s not worth taking the chance.
Some say that the fruit is harmless and it’s just the skin, leaves and stones to watch out for, but others disagree so it’s best to avoid the whole avocado just be safe. They contain persin which is a toxin that can cause sickness and digestive issues in dogs.
If you’re growing rhubarb in your garden be very careful as the leaves are toxic to dogs (and humans).
While some mushrooms are ok for dogs, others are an absolute no-no, so it’s best to just keep away from all of them. You don’t want your dog to get a taste for mushrooms and start foraging when out walking, wild mushrooms are also a huge danger to be aware of.
Too much salt can cause extreme thirst and even poisoning, so it’s best to keep those salty snacks out of reach.
All dogs will react differently if they’ve eaten something that is potentially dangerous but if you leave it too late the results can be fatal, so if you think your dog might have eaten something toxic get advice from your vet immediately.
While it’s nice to treat your dog, they would much prefer to have something that is specifically made and safe for them, so stock up your cupboards with some tasty doggy treats or check out what human foods are safe for your dog to eat.
Sadly, it’s not just food that is toxic for dogs, lots of common plants and can pose a real problem for your pooch. Watch out for our article on plants that are toxic to dogs, coming soon!