Most people will gladly share their food with these dogs. And there lies a large problem because there are many common foods that extremely toxic for dogs and can be fatal. Here are some common food to avoid:
- Chocolate: Dogs commonly have access to chocolate especially in households with kids. Chocolate contains theobromine which causes dramatically escalated blood pressure which then impacts the heart, central nervous system, and then the kidneys. The amount of theobromine depends on the type of chocolate and the level of toxicity on the size of the dog. Symptoms of theobromine poisoning will occur between 4 and 24 hours and will include vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, hyperactivity and seizures.
- Grapes & raisins: They are highly toxic. Read about diagnosis and treatment here
- Caffeine: Dogs are very sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people. Even with a handful of coffee beans or tea bags a dog can be in danger. Symptoms are similar to chocolate toxicity.
- Onions & garlic: They cause stomach and gut irritation and potentially lead to red blood cell damage and anaemia. Onions are particularly toxic in all forms including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps such as left-over pizza, Chinese takeaways and sauces and gravies contain onion or garlic powder.
- Alcohol: Even small quantities of alcohol will cause vomiting, diarrhoea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, blood changes, coma and even death.
- Xylitol: It is a common artificial sweetener found in many foods including toothpaste, sugar-free gums, diabetic cakes and diet foods. It is commonly used in the now popular keto diets in powered/ crystalline form. In humans, Xylitol does not produce an insulin response but produces an exaggerated insulin response in dogs leading to potentially fatal hypoglycaemia (lowered sugar levels). Xylitol also then causes acute liver disease and blood-clotting disorders in dogs. The worst part is that liver and blood complications are not dose-related so even very small amounts can be extremely dangerous.
- Milk: Dogs do not have significant amounts of the enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose in milk. Feeding your dog milk and other milk-based products can cause diarrhoea or other digestive upset in any significant amount.
- Blue cheeses: While dogs find all dairy products difficult to digest blue cheeses, such as stilton and Roquefort, are particularly dangerous. They contain Roquefortine C, which dogs are especially sensitive to and cause vomiting and diarrhoea, tremors, twitching, seizures and a high temperature if eaten in large doses.
The information contained in VOSD Expert Vet Advice™ is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical action which is provided by your vet. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For any emergency situation related to a dog’s health, please visit the nearest veterinary clinic.