Not everything we eat as humans is safe for dogs to eat. It is important to know what foods to avoid in dogs and keep them out of their reach.
Here are 5 Foods To Avoid In Dogs:
1. Xylitol is an natural sweetener found in sugar free foods like sugar free gum, sugar free candy, cough drops and other foods. It is widely used as a sugar substitute. Xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs. Even small amounts can cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs. If you suspect that your dog has ingested a xylitol containing product, please contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) immediately.
Symptoms of xylitol poisoning develop quickly, 15-30 minutes of consumption. Symptoms can also occur after several hours. Signs of low blood sugar may include any or all of the following:
Difficulty walking or standing
Depression or lethargy
In severe cases, the dog may develop seizures or liver failure. Dogs that develop liver failure from xylitol poisoning often show signs of hypoglycemia.
If you personally use products containing xylitol, make sure they are stored safely out of reach of your pets. Do not share any food that may contain xylitol with your pets. When brushing your dogs’ teeth, only use toothpaste intended for pets, never one made for human use.
2. Raisins, Grapes and Currants are known to be highly toxic to dogs. They can cause kidney damage or kidney failure in dogs. Even foods that contain raisins like raisin bran cereal, trail mix, granola mix, baked goods are all potential sources of poison.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) received 3,722 calls, or cases, involving grapes and raisins in 2016.
Here are the signs and symptoms that may occur after raisins or grape ingestion:
Loss of appetite
Lethargy, weakness, unusual stillness
Vomiting and/or diarrhea, often within a few hours
Abdominal pain (tender when touched)
Dehydration (signs include panting; dry nose and mouth; pale gums). A quick way to test for dehydration is to gently pull up on the skin at the back of your dog’s neck. It should spring back immediately.
Increased thirst and/or urine production or diminished amount of urine or complete cessation altogether
Kidney failure (can lead to death)
If you suspect that your dog has eaten grapes, raisins or currants, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control service, immediately.
3. Chocolate is toxic because it contains a chemical called theobromine, as well as caffeine. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine and caffeine as well as people can. This makes them sensitive to it.
The amount of toxic theobromine varies with the type of chocolate. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to dogs.
Baking chocolate and gourmet dark chocolate are highly concentrated and contain 130-450 mg of theobromine per ounce, while common milk chocolate only contains about 44-58 mg/ounce.
White chocolate barely poses any threat of chocolate poisoning with only 0.25 mg of theobromine per ounce of chocolate (that said, dogs can still get sick from all that fat and sugar, which can cause pancreatitis).
To put this in perspective, a medium-sized dog weighing 50 pounds would only need to eat 1 ounce of baker’s chocolate, or 9 ounces of milk chocolate, to potentially show signs of poisoning. For many dogs, ingesting small amounts of milk chocolate is not harmful.
The most common signs are vomiting and diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, and a racing heart rate. In severe cases, muscle tremors, seizures, and heart failure can be seen. In older pets that eat a large amount of high quality dark or baking chocolate, sudden death from cardiac arrest may occur, especially in dogs with pre existing heart disease. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline.
4. Macadamia Nuts are toxic to dogs. Macadamia nuts are a very fatty food, dogs in rare cases may experience an inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) after eating them.
Dogs who eat macadamia nuts most commonly experience weakness in the back legs, vomiting and diarrhea.
If your dog starts vomiting, experiencing lack of appetite, stomach pain or a decrease in activity level within three days of eating macadamia nuts, you should contact your veterinarian right away or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
5. Cooked Bones are dangerous for dogs because they tend to splinter.
Per U.S. Food & Drug Administration, illnesses reported to FDA by owners and veterinarians in dogs that have eaten bone treats have included:
Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
Bleeding from the rectum, and/or
Death. Approximately fifteen dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat.
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