While it is okay to indulge your dog in a bit of hamburger, steak, or chicken on rare occasion, there are other common foods around your house that can be dangerous or even lethal to your dog. Some of them may surprise you.
You’ve probably heard chocolate is a no-no for dogs. The reason? Cacao, the basic ingredient in chocolate, contains a substance called methylxanthine. The more cacao in the chocolate, the more methylxanthine it contains; dark chocolate and baking chocolate have a lot of it, while white chocolate has much less. Methylxanthines have proven to be beneficial for humans, but they can be deadly for pets. Symptoms of methylxanthine ingestion could include vomiting, diarrhea, heavy panting, excessive thirst, and seizures.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are also rich in methylxanthines; in fact, caffeine is probably the most recognized methylxanthine, so don’t let your pet get into your supply of coffee or tea.
Grapes, raisins, and currants
Scientists have not yet determined exactly what makes grapes, raisins, and currants dangerous to dogs – but they do know that these fruits can cause a highly toxic reaction. In some dogs, this reaction can lead to kidney failure and potentially death.
Onion and garlic
A plant in the allium species – which includes onion, garlic, scallions, and chives – can be toxic to dogs (and even more so to cats). Ingesting any of these vegetables in significant quantity can cause a dog’s red blood cells to be damaged, lead to anemia, and in some cases result in death.
Excess salt is unhealthy for humans and it isn’t advisable for dogs, either. Too much salt can make a dog thirsty and increase urination, but it can also lead to sodium ion poisoning. So no salty chips or pretzels for Fido!
It’s generally not a good idea to feed your dog nuts, despite their nutritional value to humans. Most nuts are not easily digested by dogs. Nuts can also cause an obstruction when swallowed. Macadamia nuts are particularly dangerous to dogs.
Any food product or beverage that contains alcohol should be off limits for your dog. Even a small quantity of alcohol can cause diarrhea, vomiting, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, and worse.
If you suspect your dog has ingested any of the above foods and is showing signs of distress, contact your vet immediately, or call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at their 24-hour-a-day hotline: 888-426-4435.
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