Dog owners will go to great lengths to find out what products are best for their pet. Online resources such as Furry Friends Gear come in handy in this regard. Unfortunately, there’s a presumption that certain things do not require research. Sharing a meal with the family dog is one of them.
Whereas we rightly consider dogs as members of our households, treating them the same way we do human members of the family can be harmful to them. Dogs are loving, intelligent and just all-round fantastic. But they certainly aren’t homo sapiens. And that can limit what we can feed them.
5 Human Foods You Should Not Feed Dogs
It’s vital that you understand the types of human foods that aren’t in the best interest of your dog’s wellbeing.
Chocolates are a precious delicacy but they are harmful to your canines. The type and quantity of chocolate your dog consumes will determine the toxicity levels and symptoms they experience. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your dog. Darker chocolates have a high concentration of theobromine and caffeine, both of which can trigger canine toxicosis.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, unusual thirst and lethargy. In more severe cases, the dog may experience fever, irregular heartbeat, muscle tremors, seizures and even death. Keep your dog away from beverages containing caffeine such as coffee and caffeinated soft drinks.
Alcohol is bad for your dog’s health. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of dog owners will not subject their dogs to alcoholic drinks. The problem though is that alcohol is present in certain everyday foods such as raw bread dough, syrups and drinks not packaged as alcoholic. These kinds of products contain ethanol which can lead to alcohol intoxication.
Symptoms of intoxication include disorientation, restlessness, vomiting and fever. More serious signs of alcoholic intoxication are muscle tremors, seizures, organ failure and death. The yeast in raw dough can lead to abdominal bloating. This may cause breathing difficulties and tissue damage.
3. Sugar-Free Sweet Foods
Sugar-free candy, sugarless gum and baked goods may contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Xylitol can also be found in mouthwash, toothpaste, cough drops and chewable vitamins. Ingestion of any substance containing xylitol may lead to a dangerous drop in a dog’s blood sugar. Where large quantities are ingested, liver damage may also occur.
Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include seizures, vomiting and loss of coordination. These signs may show up anywhere from minutes to hours after the initial ingestion.
More Human Foods You Should Not Feed Dogs
4. Onion Family
From chives and scallions to shallots and garlic, anything in the onion family is toxic to your dog. Certain dog breeds like Shiba Inus and Akitas have above average sensitivity to onion poisoning. Onions contain chemical compounds that may trigger anemia, gastroenteritis and damage to red blood cells. Garlic is more potent than onions—as much as 5 times as deadly.
The symptoms include weakness, lethargy and orange/dark-red urine. A key risk with onion poisoning is that the signs won’t show up until days after ingestion.
Guacamole is an international delicacy. Unfortunately, your dog cannot join in the fun. Avocados contain persin. Persin might cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. Even the plant itself is a health hazard. Persin is not just in the flesh of the avocado fruit but also the seed, leaves and bark.
The seed itself poses an additional risk—if swallowed it could cause a fatal obstruction in the dog’s stomach or intestines.
If you have any doubts about whether a certain food you like can be fed to your dog, get in touch with your veterinarian first. Best practice is to avoid feeding your dog any human food.
It won’t always be easy to ignore those puppy eyes staring at your dinner plate. However, you have to do what is in the best interest of your dog in the long term.