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Human Food: What’s Toxic For Your Dog’s Health?

Human Food: What’s Toxic For Your Dog’s Health?

Chase Correll | July 31 2018

It’s hard to resist the charm of our pups around dinner time. When human food is around, our furry little friends seem to transform into the pure essence of cute. Sometimes we fall victim to that cute charm, and we give our pup some scraps. We tend to think we know what’s good and bad for our dog; there’s a pretty widely known list of foods dog owners know they should never give to their dogs: things like chocolate and grapes, but you’d be surprised just how many foods and ingredients have adverse effects on your dog’s health. In this article, we’re going to cover the foods that are downright toxic for your pup, and the ones that are potentially dangerous.
If your pup happens to ever consume substantial amounts of any of these foods, please contact your vet immediately. You can never be too safe when it comes to your dog’s health and wellness.

Like That One Britney Spears Song, These Foods Are Toxic

We’ll start with the most dangerous and potentially fatal foods; the following foods will give your pup “a taste of a poison paradise.” I bet you can guess which food comes first!

1. Chocolate
    a. You probably guessed correctly, because chocolate is a notorious no-no for your furry friend. There’s a specific ingredient, called theobromine, that is very poisonous for your pup. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine. Avoid chocolate at all costs, please!

2. Onions and Garlic
    a. This one may surprise you. An ingredient in these two pungent foods, called thiosulphate, is lethal to your pup’s health. This ingredient can lead to red blood cell damage and blood related diseases, like anemia. Steer clear from these smelly root veggies.

3. Nuts
    a. Too many nuts can poison your pup. All types of walnuts, hickory nuts, macadamias, and pecans cause health issues in your pup. Black walnuts and pecans contain a toxin called juglone, which can lead to gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea. Macadamia nuts lend a potential threat to your pup’s pancreas, as they can contribute to pancreatitis. Not to mention, most nuts are high in salt and fat, which can also be detrimental to your dog’s health. We’ll talk more about that later on.

4. Xylitol: A Sugar Substitute
    a. The sugar substitute, xylitol, can lead to drastic changes in your pup’s insulin levels. This can lead to liver failure or problems with the pancreas. So, keep sugar free gum, candy, and other sugar free items out of reach from your furry friend.

5. Grapes, Cherries, and Raisins
    a. This fruit trio can severely harm your pup. Grapes and raisins contain a toxic substance that is unknown. However, this unknown toxic substance is known, for certain, to cause kidney failure for dogs. Cherries contain toxins from their seeds that cause breathing issues for dogs.

6. Alcohol
    a. This one may be a bit obvious, but important nonetheless. Because our dogs are much smaller than us, even small amounts of alcohol can poison them. So keep your pup away from the margaritas on Taco Tuesdays.

Potentially Dangerous Foods

These foods aren’t as much of a cause for concern as the ones listed above. Still, don’t go around feeding your pup any of these foods; you never know how much it takes to adversely affect your dog’s health.

1. Fatty Foods, Fat Trimmings, and Bones
    a. Those juicy hamburgers and brisket tacos have high amounts of fat, which is why we feel so guilty after chowing down on them (but it’s still worth it, by God). Although, do avoid having your pup chow down on them. Foods with high fat contents can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, and gastrointestinal issues. Be careful with leftover bones, too. Cooked bones run the potential risk of splintering inside your pup, leading to possible internal bleeding and organ damage.

2. Raw Eggs and Raw Fish
    a. While cooked eggs benefit your dog’s nutrition and diet, raw eggs can harm your pup’s skin and fur health. Excess consumption of raw eggs creates a biotin deficiency in your pup, which is bad for your dog’s skin and fur. Take caution with raw fish because of the potentially harmful bacteria and parasites they contain that can poison your pup.

3. Salt
    a. A little bit of salt, like a chip here and there, won’t hurt your pup. However, high amounts of salt can lead to salt poisoning, which causes seizures and brain swelling.

4. Milk
    a. Most dogs are lactose intolerant, so milk can lead to stomach issues like gas and diarrhea: it’s best to avoid it.

5. Yeast
    a. A common ingredient in bread, yeast can be dangerous for your dog. Yeast is what makes bread expand into its fluffy final product; the danger, here, is that yeast can continue to expand in your pup’s stomach, leading to possible organ damage or stomach issues. Yeast continues to expand in a dog’s stomach because it’s warm and moist, which is the ideal condition for yeast to grow. Yeast consumption also lends the possibility of alcohol poisoning in your pup. If the yeast ferments in your dog’s stomach, it will turn into alcohol and can become fatal for your dog.

6. Caffeine
    a. As cute as it would be to have your pup sipping a fresh latte at the breakfast table, caffeine can damage your dog’s nervous system and heart. Cacao, the seeds used to make coffee, contains methylxanthines. Methylxanthines are toxic to dogs and cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart tremors, and seizures.

More To Come

While this article may have felt like a giant influx of don’ts, it’s important to know which foods are dangerous for your pup. Don’t worry, though, our next food article will detail some of the safer, healthier human foods that benefit your dog’s health and wellness. Stay tuned!