As doggy parents, it’s our job to make sure that our four-legged family members are kept comfortable and safe at all times. This sometimes means taking a look inside our own cabinets or refrigerator to take an inventory of the foods and drinks we have stored there. This is because many of the everyday snacks that we humans indulge in can be toxic to our dogs if consumed. It’s always better to be safe than sorry so study the list and make sure that all non-dog friendly foods are kept packed away!
Everyone knows that chocolate is toxic to our canine companions, but it’s the amount and type of chocolate that really matters to the severity of the poisoning. 100% raw cocoa is the most dangerous for your dog to ingest while milk chocolate is less so. However, before you panic, chocolate ingestion is rarely fatal in dogs and it’s more likely that your pup will suffer from upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea or increased thirst and panting.
Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute that is used in many sugar-free candies, gums, mints, baked-goods and even toothpastes and vitamins. It’s perfectly safe for us humans to ingest but when non-primate animals eat Xylitol it gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream and can cause a huge decrease in the level of that animal’s blood sugar. This applies to our dogs and other household pets as well! It’s important to keep anything that could contain Xylitol packed away from our pets in cabinets or sealed containers.
Grapes are a great snack for us humans because they’re not only sweet and juicy but healthy as well. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for our canine companions. While it’s not known exactly which substance in the fruit causes the problem, grapes can lead to muscle weakness and lethargy in dogs and, in extreme cases, acute kidney failure. So enjoy your healthy snack but make sure your pup keeps his paws off!
4. Raisins & Currants
Since raisins are dehydrated grapes, it makes sense that they would also be toxic to your pup. Just like their non-dried selves, raisins can cause muscle weakness, lethargy, bloating, and even kidney failure in dogs when eaten in large amounts. Since raisins are also usually coated in sugar or dipped in chocolate or yogurt, this makes them more likely to be eaten by your dog and therefore more important to keep out of reach. Currants and currant-raisins also have a similar effect on our pups since they are part of the same Vitis species.
5. Macadamia Nuts
Similar to grapes, raisins and currants, macadamia nuts are toxic to our dogs with the exact substance or reason why remaining a mystery. However, what we do know is that the sweet, creamy nut can cause vomiting, muscle weakness, tremors, and ataxia in our furry friends and should be kept high and away from them at all times. However, if you’re willing to spend a pretty penny the nuts are quite good for us humans!
Avocados are one of the trendiest foods on the market right now for being both delicious and nutritious. However, the fruit also contains persin, a fungicidal toxin which, although fine for us, can cause serious health problems for our four-legged companions. While veterinarians say that dogs are slightly more resistant than other animals, avocados can still cause upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and myocardial damage. Not to mention that the pit of the fruit can cause a blockage or intestinal damage if swallowed whole. Avocados are great overall, just not for Fido!
Onions are a culinary favorite for many people because they add a strong, pungent flavor to many of our meals. However, onions also contain a toxic principle known as N-propyl disulfide that can cause anemia in dogs. By attaching to the oxygen molecules in your dog’s red blood cells, the toxin can not only reduce the amount of oxygen your dog’s body receives, but can actually trick the body into thinking the blood cells are foreign invaders. This results in the body’s white blood cells attacking the red ones and leading to anemia. While this toxin doesn’t affect humans, our dogs should never eat onions in large amounts. Luckily, not too many pups enjoy the flavor!
Similar to onions, garlic can add a delicious flavor to our human meals but is toxic to our canine friends. Garlic belongs to the family of Alliums which also includes onions, chives and leeks, but doesn’t cause as severe of a reaction if ingested. Signs to look out for if your dog eats some garlic by mistake would be drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness and, in severe cases, elevated heart rate and breathing problems. However, most dogs don’t like the smell or taste of garlic and usually avoid this stinky snack!
Many people depend on coffee to get them going in the morning, but our dogs should never share in a cup of Joe with us to start their day. This is because coffee contains caffeine which, if consumed regularly or in large amounts, can cause serious health problems for our pups. Dogs can experience hyperactivity after consuming caffeine coupled with vomiting, elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, tremors and, in serious cases, seizures or collapse. This is true of other snacks that also contain caffeine such as sodas, teas, and energy drinks. We might need the boost but for our dogs, caffeine is just bad news!
We might enjoy throwing back a few beers at a party or having a glass of wine during dinner but for our pets, alcohol can be quite toxic. Just like if we humans were to consume large amounts of ethanol (the intoxicating agent found in beer), dogs, too, can suffer from dizziness, confusion, vomiting, upset stomach, increased hunger or thirst and loss of consciousness. Since dogs are also smaller than humans, consuming too much can happen much faster than expected and cause your dog to suffer from poising at an elevated rate. Luckily, alcohol poising is rare in dogs if only because most of our furry friends hate the taste!
It’s important for us humans to have a colorful and expansive diet, but it’s also important to remember that not all of our foods can be shared with our furry friends. If you’re concerned about the types of treats you have stored away, do your research and ask your vet if certain food are okay for your dog. After all, we want to make sure our canine companions are kept healthy and safe!