We all know how hard it is to resist our dogs’ sad faces and trusting eyes, especially when they’re silently begging for just the tiniest morsel of our delicious meals. Obviously we can’t concede every time, as there have to be limits and after all, your dog should have his/her own structured, healthy diet. However, from time to time it’s perfectly okay to throw a treat to a happy pup, it’s just important to remember that not all human food is good for dogs. Sometimes it’s even deadly. There are many foods that don’t sit well with dogs in terms of digestion and sickness, and here we’ve compiled a list of the most dangerous and toxic foods for our canine friends, so you can ensure that you are taking the best possible care of your dog. These are also super important things to keep in mind if you’re a dog sitter or dog minder – the last thing you want is a sick dog on your watch.
Avocados are becoming increasingly popular in many recipes, which means they’re more likely to be in our homes than ever before. While they might be delicious and versatile, they contain a chemical compound called Persin, which will likely cause a dog diarrhea and vomiting, and possibly heart congestion.
2. Cooked Bones
Some of us like to give our dogs bones to chew on and enjoy, even if they do end up buried in the backyard half the time. The most important thing to remember is that while bones are (usually) good for your dog’s overall health as well as dental hygiene, it’s vitally important that they are only given raw bones. The reason for this is that cooked bones can splinter off and cause a foray of issues from cuts to indigestion to choking.
3. Cat Food
If you’re out of dog food but happen to have some cat food lying around, it can be tempting to just give that to your dog and wait until the next time you head to the store to replenish their preferred meal options. However, it contains a range of proteins and fats that are specifically included for cats, not dogs, and sometimes the protein levels are too high for a dog and thus unhealthy.
We all know about this one, as despite our dogs’ pleading eyes when we open a block of chocolate, it simply isn’t good for them. Chocolate contains theobromine and theophylline, which are toxic to dogs and will probably cause panting, vomiting, diarrhea and worse – they can permanently damage their hearts and nervous systems. So, keep the Cadbury (and all other brands, for that matter) for yourself.
Cats love fish and it can be a healthy part of their diet, in moderation, but for dogs it’s important to steer clear. Most importantly, salmon and trout should be avoided. Raw salmon can cause death in many cases, if a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola is present. If your dog does happen to consume raw salmon, it’s best to get them to the vet straight away as they have a good chance of recovering if treated early.
6. Fat Trimmings
It might be tempting to give your dog the off cuts of meat you’re preparing, instead of throwing it into the bin, but it’s actually not a health option at all. Pieces of animal fat can actually cause pancreatitis which will result in abdominal pain, swollen and tender tummy, nausea and vomiting, fever and an increased heart rate.
7. Garlic, onion and chives
Garlic can actually be okay if given in very small amounts, but this isn’t recommended unless your vet has specifically prescribed it as part of a flea treatment. Large quantities however, are often very problematic due to the relationship to onions. Whether your onions are raw, dry, powdered or mixed into other foods, they’re absolutely terrible for your dog as they contain sulfoxides and disulfides which lead to anemia and damaged red blood cells.
8. Corn on the cob
This is a bit of a random one, but feeding your dog corn on the cob will almost always result in a blocked intestine. The corn itself can be digested but the cob will get stuck, and if not removed surgically, can result in death. It’s also best to steer clear of corn pieces in general as they can also wreak a bit of havoc on the digestive system in large doses.
9.Grapes and Raisins
Many people don’t know about this one, but feeding your dogs grapes and raisins is in fact toxic. There’s a toxin present in grapes that can lead to liver damage and kidney failure in your pup and there are stories of dogs who sadly passed away after having only eaten a 5-10 grapes. Conclusion: do not feed your dog grapes under any circumstances.
10. Milk and Dairy Products
While cats have somewhat of an affinity for dairy (not many animals like to drink the milk of other species) this isn’t a good option for dogs. Dogs, like many humans, are actually lactose intolerant. The Lactate enzyme isn’t present enough in their systems to aid in the digestion of dairy foods, which means a bit of cheese, milk or yoghurt will result in some seriously bad smells and diarrhea.
Tiahn Wetzler is a journalist, writer, editor and animal lover. Follow her on Instagram @tiahnwetzler