Foods your dog shouldn't eat
The scene: it’s dinnertime. You’ve served up a delicious supper for your dog, and you’re just about to sit down and eat your meal of the evening. As foody smells fill the air, a wet nose nudges its way into your hand, accompanied by a huge pair of pleading puppy eyes. As tempting as it is to give in and feed your furry friend a bite or two from your plate, I suggest you don’t. Why? There are many common foods out there that could potentially cause harm to your dog – some might even be surprising to you. It’s important that your dog is given an appropriate diet, in all instances. Not only that, but it can lead to your dog developing undesirable habits. Below, I guide you through all the foods considered toxic. I recommended keeping them out of reach and telling all family members to avoid.
MEET RORY THE VET
We’ve partnered up with animal whisperer and renowned veterinarian, Dr Rory Cowlam, to share his wisdom when it comes to all things furry. And boy, does this man know his stuff.
Starting with his degree from the Royal Veterinary College, Rory has since co-starred in the CBBC’s series The Pet Factor, shared his knowledge on the likes of Blue Peter and written all about it in his book, .
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The dangers of feeding inappropriate food to dogs
Different foods can cause different problems for your dog depending on the particular food. Some foods are toxic, some can cause irritation to their gut and some can even obstruct in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, which can be very serious. And while some human food can be fed in moderation, they can also be a choking hazard if they’re not cut into safe proportions.
"If you’re ever unsure about a food that is not on this list, always double check with your vet first before feeding it to your dog"
Foods to avoid feeding your dog
The following list features common toxic foods for dogs. It includes both low level toxin foods your furry friend may be able to ingest a small dosage of without risk, as well as the high level toxin foods you must avoid feeding your dog at all costs. If you’re ever unsure about a food that is not on this list, always double check with your veterinarian first before feeding it to your dog.
Theobromine is the toxin here. It can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in mild cases, and seizures and tremors in severe cases. It’s also worth noting that the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. If you want to treat your pooch, there are plenty of out there that’ll do the trick.
Dogs are far more sensitive than humans are to caffeine. This low level toxin can increase their heart rate and cause tummy upsets. If you suspect that your dog has ingested caffeine, seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.
Cherries, grapes and raisins
Although there are certain fruits that are fine to feed your dog in moderation with supervision, cherries, grapes and raisins are toxic and should never be offered. Grapes and raisins are the most common problem I see in practice. We always have to treat every dog that comes in as if they have had a toxic dose, as it is almost impossible to know the level of risk in each case. Serious cases can cause acute kidney failure.
Avocados are a mild toxin for dogs. They contain a fungicidal toxin called Persin which is technically toxic. The main concern when it comes to consumption is the pit, as this can be a choking hazard or can cause an obstruction in their gut. If you think that your dog may have eaten some avocado, keep an eye on them for any symptoms including diarrhoea and vomiting.
Tomatoes are considered low level harmful when it comes to your dog, due to being acidic. They are more of an irritant rather than a toxin. Young green tomatoes, however, can cause tomatine poisoning. Symptoms of this include seizures, tremors, weakness gastrointestinal upset, lack of coordination and abnormal heartrate.
Onions, garlic and chives
All three of these can be fatal for your dog if consumed. They can cause anaemia where the body breaks down the red blood cells. Seek veterinary advice if your dog is exposed to them. Some pet owners use garlic as a method to get rid of fleas – not a good idea!
Most plain, unflavoured nuts are considered safe to give your dog as an occasional treat (as long as the outer shell has been removed to reduce the risk of choking or abdominal obstruction!). However, if your dog eats something that has macadamia nuts in it, like cookies or sweets, they could experience vomiting, weakness and even hyperthermia.
Sugar and sweeteners
Sugar is considered a low toxin for pooches. They can eat a tiny amount in, for instance, a dog-safe fruit that contains naturally occurring sugar (in moderation!), but if they consume sugar in larger amounts, they’re at risk of an upset stomach, obesity, metabolic changes and diabetes.
For example, honey is not considered toxic for dogs, but I would suggest you avoid giving it to your dog, due to its high sugar content.
Xylitol is a high toxin artificial sweetener used in sugar-free gum and candy (although, it’s used less so in gum now). If your dog eats anything containing xylitol, it can cause hypoglycaemia, coma and seizures.
Alcohol is extremely harmful to dogs. They are much more sensitive to it than humans and can’t be exposed to even a drop. If your dog has ingested any alcohol, they may exhibit the same symptoms we would.
If you suspect that your dog has eaten anything in the above list, I recommend consulting your vet as soon as possible, If your veterinarian is not available, contact a 24-hour emergency animal hospital.
There are other foods not mentioned here that can be dangerous to your little one’s health. Any time you feel unsure about a food you are feeding your dog, always discuss with your veterinarian beforehand.
Safe foods to give your dog
There might be lots of foods out there that your canine companion can’t eat, but there are also plenty of they can have as part of a balanced diet. Along with the many tasty recipes Lily’s Kitchen carry, this includes:
• Meat and offal (such as Lily’s freshly prepared proper meat and offal)
• (Some) fruits
Dig in, doggos!