Food EducationHealth

Here Are 6 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog

Image via LuAnn Snawder / Flickr

Most of us are guilty for giving our pets treats we know they shouldn’t have, but did you know that some of these foods are extremely toxic, if not deadly to your furry little loved one?

Aside from chocolate, things like avocado and even grapes can be harmful, especially when consumed in large quantities. You might think, “I feed my dog these foods all the time, and they’re still as happy as ever!” – however, the truth is that you could be doing some unintended long-term damage to your dog, which could be manifesting as different health issues that may be seemingly un-related.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t feed your dog vegetables and fruit. There are many plant-based options for fido that will make them strong, healthy and happy, like broccoli, leafy greens, carrots and celery to name a few.

Here are 6 foods you should never feed your dog:

1. Chocolate

Chocolate contains a chemical compound called theobromine, which is extremely toxic to both dogs and cats. It can cause seizures and even death. Domesticated animals like dogs metabolize theobromine much more slowly than humans, which leads to complications of theobromine poisoning. Long-term exposure to chocolate (15 grams of dark chocolate per kilogram of weight per day) can cause right atrial cardiomyopathy. For example, a 44 pound dog will experience intestinal distress after eating 240 grams of dark chocolate, but will not experience heart issues unless it has consumed over 0.5 kilograms of chocolate.

2. Avocado

Avocados are high in persin, which in large amounts, can make your dog extremely sick. Many pet owners have claimed that a little bit of avocado has been fine for their dogs, whereas others have found it to be extremely debilitating to their dog, causing major digestive upset (i.e., diarrhea). Ask your vet if it is okay for your dog, as there is much conflicting evidence. In small quantities it may be alright, but definitely not in larger quantities.

3. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic can destroy the blood cells in your dog, leading to hemolytic anemia (bursting of red blood cells). Onions and garlic contain the active compound thiosulphate, which is the main culprit in producing these effects. Symptoms of hemolytic anemia include vomiting, diarrhea, liver damage, breathing problems, and discoloured urine. Garlic isn’t as toxic as onions, and in small amounts can be beneficial for helping fight infection, but definitely do not allow your dog to consume it in large amounts.

4. Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins have the ability to cause liver damage or kidney failure in your dog. Again, this all has to do with amounts consumed, and dog size. In the 10 cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, each dog consumed between 9 ounces and 12 pounds of grapes or raisins, which is a lot of grapes and raisins. A couple grapes and raisins here and there would not bring about such amazing effects in the organs of your pet, but for smaller dogs, I would refrain from feeding them any at all.

5. Milk and Dairy Products

Milk and other dairy products cause major digestive upset in dogs. Some adult dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase (breaks down lactose in milk), which can cause diarrhea and discomfort in your pet (same goes for cats). Lactose-free milk products are available for pets, but they are usually highly processed, and probably shouldn’t be consumed to begin with.

6. Macadamia Nuts

Stay clear of macadamia nuts. Just 6 nuts can be enough to initiate symptoms like vomiting, tremor, weakness and depression. This is due to the high phosphorous content, and should be avoided at all costs.

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