You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t give your dog chocolate. But there are dozens of other things you should never give your dog as well. Here’s your ultimate list of foods and beverages that you should never feed to your dog:
-Alcohol: Yes, it may be funny to watch your dog lick up some VB from the floor during a party, but it’s not safe for your animal. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause your dog to become intoxicated. Larger amounts can lead to toxicity, breathing problems, and even a coma or death. The hops in beer is also very harmful for your dog, and can cause increased heart rate, fever, seizures, or death.
-Avocado: Avocados contain a compound called persin, which is a fungicidal toxin generally harmless to humans, but potentially damaging to dogs. Fortunately, dogs have to eat a lot of avocados before they develop symptoms, so one lick of guacamole shouldn’t send you running for the vet.
-Cat Food: Cat food contains high levels of proteins and fats, which aren’t intrinsically harmful to your dog, but they’re not designed to support its healthy diet.
-Candy or Chewing Gum: Xylitol – a common ingredient in gum and candy – can lead to insulin imbalance in your dog, causing kidney failure or worse. Sugar is also not great for dogs.
-Grapes and Raisins: Many people have heard not to feed grapes and raisins to a dog. It’s because grapes contain a toxin that damages the liver and kidneys of your dog. Even a small handful of grapes has been shown to kill a dog.
-Coffee: Coffee is poisonous to your dog. No matter how tired he may look, don’t give him coffee. Caffeine is very bad for a dog, and the other compounds in coffee don’t help.
-Chocolate: Most dog owners know about the chocolate rule. Chocolate is bad for your dog because it contains caffeine, but it also contains theobromine and theophylline, both of which can be toxic to your dog. Symptoms include panting, vomiting, and diarrhea or possible long-term damage to your dog’s cardiovascular and nervous systems.
-Raw Salmon and Trout: Dogs shouldn’t eat too much fish, but salmon and trout are particularly harmful when served raw. They contain a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola that can lead to an infection in your dog.
-Corn on the Cob: Dogs who eat corn on the cob often end up in our clinic with blocked intestines. Corn can pass through the digestive system, but it gets lodged in your dog’s small intestine. In some cases, surgical removal is required.
-Macadamia Nuts: Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can destroy the motor abilities of your pooch, leading to tremors and muscle system damage.
-Onions and Chives: Onions and chives in any form are extremely harmful to your dog. Dry, raw, cooked, and powdered onions can all cause serious problems for your dog (and worse problems for your cat). Both contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate) that can cause anemia and damage red blood cells.
-Salt and Sugar: Salt and sugar won’t harm your dog in small amounts, but you should avoid giving both ingredients to your dog whenever possible. Too much salt can imbalance their electrolytes, while too much sugar can lead to doggy diabetes or, at the very least, obesity.
-Yeast: You know how yeast makes bread rise? When your dog eats it, it will make their stomach expand. In small amounts, this will just lead to gassiness and discomfort (for both your dog and whoever is sharing a room with your dog). In large amounts, however, it can be a more serious health problem.
-Tobacco and Marijuana: We shouldn’t have to tell dog owners about this restriction, and yet here we are. Tobacco and marijuana can both be harmful to your dog. The nicotine in tobacco affects dogs far more severely than humans, while marijuana can have severe effects on your dog’s nervous system.
-Cooked Bones: Many dog owners give their dogs a bone as a treat. However, make sure it’s a raw bone, as a cooked bone can become brittle and splinter, causing chunks to break off in your dog’s body. That’s bad.
-Fruits with Pits and Seeds: This is mostly a concern for dog owners who live around an orchard. Fruits with pits and seeds can build up in your dog’s body, causing serious complications like intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Most of the above foods are either toxic or poisonous to your dog in some way or another. Sometimes, dogs just don’t have the right metabolism to break down the above foods. In other cases, the foods contain physical objects that get lodged in your dog’s system.
In any case, make sure you avoid giving your dog the above foods and you’ll never need to visit our vet’s office!