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Dogs can eat many human foods safely, however, there are some foods that can cause problems. Some pet owners only become aware of this after their dog ingests one of these foods and ends up in the veterinary emergency room.
Below we will review 5 foods that can cause problems in dogs.
Three Human Foods that Make Dogs Sick
There are several human foods that can make dogs sick. Many of you are aware of some such as chocolate but others like the ones below you may not be aware.
- Grapes and Raisins – It came as a complete surprise to many veterinarians when it was discovered that grapes and raisins are toxic to some dogs. Which dogs can be affected and the toxic components are still unknown. Ingestion of as little as one or two grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
Signs of toxicity include lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy and increased or decreased thirst or urination. Learn more in this article Grape and Raisin Toxicity.
- Macadamia Nuts – These wonderful and delicious nuts are toxic to dogs. Macadamia nuts are found in chocolates, cookies, and candies. Signs of toxicity can begin in 10 to 12 hours after ingestion and vary from mild to severe.
Symptoms include a weakness that is often more severe in the rear legs, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and/or tremors. Most dogs improve in one to two days with treatment.
- Peanut Butter, Gum and Other Xylitol Containing Foods – Many foods and human products are sweetened with xylitol. This includes gum, pastries, candy, toothpaste, and mints just to name a few. Certain formulations of peanut butter are sweetened with xylitol. Some of these foods are created for people with diabetics. Ingestion of xylitol causes a release of insulin that leads to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and liver failure in some dogs. Prevent exposure by taking time to read ingredient labels on peanut butter jars and low-calorie foods to ensure that you avoid the active ingredient xylitol if you plan to give any of these foods to your dog or after accidental exposure. Another common cause of contact is from dogs that get into a purse that contains chewing gum or mints.
Signs of xylitol toxicity may include weakness, lethargy, and incoordination as the blood sugar falls. Progressive weakness, vomiting, and lack of appetite develop as liver damage occurs. Learn more about Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs.
An important thing to know is what dogs can eat as well as what they can’t. Learn about the safety and risks of many different human foods. Go to: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.
Two Pet Foods that Can Make Dogs Sick
- Raw Foods – Some people believe that raw meat diets are healthier. This is controversial. There are definitely some benefits to feeding a raw meat diet however some raw diets are not nutritionally balanced and can be contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Learn more about the pros and cons of raw food diets.
- Rawhides – Rawhides are made from the inner layer of hide and are given as a common treat to dogs. Dangers associated with rawhide include contamination with chemicals or dangerous bacteria as well as provide a risk for choking (INSERT LINK TO PILLAR JUNE 2019). Some dogs will swallow large prices that are difficult to digest and become lodged in their esophagus. The Good and Bad of Rawhides.
Safe Treats for Dogs
The best treat for your dog is low in calories and makes up less than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie consumption. If your dog has dietary restrictions, discuss giving any new food or treat with your vet. All treats given should be appropriate for your dog’s size. Big pieces should be cut up so a dog does not choke.
Safe and healthy treats you may give your dog include:
- Vegetables – small pieces of cooked or raw cleaned cut green beans, carrots or peas.
- Rice cake or air-popped popcorn are good low-calorie treats.
- A small amount of canned dog food of the same brand and flavor as the dry dog food you are feeding.
- A few kibbles of your dog’s regular food.
Prevention of Toxicities in Dogs
The best way to prevent these food toxicities is to prevent exposure to toxic items. Here are some tips:
- Do not feed your dog human foods. That is the best way to prevent exposure.
- Encourage your company not to give your dog food or treats without your permission. Dogs are commonly given foods and treats during holiday parties or picnics.
- Keep cupboards closed, purses out of reach and closed, and food sealed out of reach on countertops.
- Pay special attention during holiday parties where grapes are at the table or in fruit baskets.
- Consider putting your dog in a room during parities where well-meaning guests won’t feed your dog a treat.
- Feed a high-quality AAFCO approved food to your dog.
- If you suspect that your pet has eaten or potentially ingested a toxic food, please contact your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately.
Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Foods that Make Dogs Sick:
- Watch Out for These Unexpected Things That Make Dogs Sick
- Adding Some Green to Your Home? Reconsider These Plants Dangerous to Dogs
- Outdoor Dog Safety 101: Keeping Your Pup Safe in Nature
- Keeping Your Dog Safe from the Most Common Dog Illnesses
- The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat
- Grape and Raisin Toxicity
- Green Bean Diet for Dogs
- Raw Food Diets – the Pros and Cons
- The Good and Bad of Rawhides
- The Danger of Bones
- What You Should Know Before Feeding Your Dog Table Scraps
- Human Foods That Are Dangerous to Dogs
- Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs
- Peanut Butter Toxicity in Dogs
- Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
- Why You Shouldn’t Feed Your Dog Garlic