Some foods that we eat can be lethal to your dog, so although you may consider them a member of the family, feeding them your dinner leftovers is not always a smart idea.
Here are 10 examples of human foods that could be very dangerous to your dog:
The reason why chocolate is such a big no-no for dogs is because it contains caffeine and theobromine – two chemicals which affect the heart and nervous system of dogs. They’re unable to metabolise theobromine so it also builds up in their system. Any type of chocolate – solid, cocoa powder, or even choc chip cookie crumbs dropped on the ground – is potentially dangerous to dogs, causing vomiting, irregular heartbeat, diarrhoea, restlessness, seizures or even death. Dark chocolate is the most potent for dogs because of its high concentration of caffeine and theobromine.
Onions and garlic
Before you scrape the leftover bolognese sauce into your dog’s bowl, know this. The onions and garlic in the sauce can damage a dog’s red blood cells. If your dog is given regular meals containing these bulbous plants – be it raw onions and garlic in mince meat, cooked leftovers, or the powdered and dehydrated variety often found in packaged foods – regular consumption can lead to haemolytic anemia.
Although bones are synonymous with dogs, there are some bones that dogs just shouldn’t gnaw on. Small and brittle bones like fish and chicken leg bones can break into sharp pieces when chewed on by a dog. Also, cooked bones can do the same thing and can choke or puncture the digestive tract. If you want to give a dog a bone, stick to raw bones that are the right size for your dog – so big bones for big dogs like pork bones or lamb leg bones and smaller bones for little dogs like chicken neck bones.
Grapes and raisins
Along with not slipping your pooch choc-chip cookies, try to keep the raisin toast from dropping on the kitchen floor. Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that can cause damage to dogs’ kidneys with large quantities leading to vomiting, diarrhoea and even kidney failure.
Ok, this is a controversial one with many dog owners swearing eggs are great for their dog’s coat because egg yolks contain biotin, a B-group vitamin responsible for the growth of hair. While this is true, raw egg whites also contain avidin a protein that depletes biotin. Excessive consumption of raw eggs can therefore lead to skin and hair problems. There’s also the risk of a raw egg containing salmonella or other harmful bacteria.
If you spill coffee, tea or soft drink on the floor, be sure to wipe it up before your dog cleans it up for you. These drinks all contain caffeine, a stimulant that can cause heart palpitations and seizures in dogs.
Fatty and oily food
Fat trimmings, fried dishes, some dairy products and other greasy food are not good for dogs, especially the small ones. Too much of it can cause pancreatitis, the symptoms of which include diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Macadamia nuts and walnuts
Watch out for these when giving your dog a treat. Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can affect different systems in the body. Symptoms include a rise in temperature, faster heartbeat, tremors, and weakness to paralysis of the hindquarters. Walnuts can contain a fungus poisonous to dogs which may even lead to death in severe cases.
Fruit pits or seeds
Aside from the possibility of choking, dogs should not be chewing on fruit pips because some may contain the highly toxic and deadly poison cyanide.
Just like in humans, excessive sugar can lead to health problems such as tooth decay, obesity and diabetes. Be wary of sugar-free alternatives, too. Sugarless sweets with Xylitol may cause liver damage and even death to some dogs.