Toxic Foods for Dogs

When choosing what types of food to eat, we know better than to eat foods that might make us sick. If you’re allergic to eggs or shellfish, you’re smart enough not to eat those foods on purpose.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our dogs. Dogs have no idea if a certain type of food could make them ill or even kill them. If your dog thinks the food smells good, and you have put the food in a reasonable position where your dog can reach it, your dog will eat it.

Keeping Dogs Safe

If you’re worried about your dog eating a type of food that could be toxic, the best way to keep the dog safe is to just keep this potentially toxic food as far away from your dog as possible. Don’t leave food out after preparing a meal or keep leftover food on the counter after eating a meal. If the dog is motivated enough, it will find way to reach the food, even if it’s on a counter.

Even if a specific food is not toxic to a dog, it can be dangerous. For example, while some pet owners will give their dogs leftover chicken or beef bones after a meal, these bones can splinter and puncture a dog’s internal organs as the dog chews and swallows the pieces of bone. Some dogs will have digestive problems after consuming leftover fat from a steak or pork chop. And if your dog eats a type of bread dough that contains yeast and has not yet risen, it is extremely dangerous to your dog, as the bread could rise in the dog’s stomach.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten some sort of food that could make it extremely ill, you’ll want to contact your veterinarian immediately. Some dangerous or toxic foods could begin affecting your pet’s health within a few hours.

Toxic Foods for Dogs

The foods listed in the accompanying infographic will affect different types of dogs differently. Some dogs may show no ill effects after eating a type of food on this list, while others will have severe symptoms extremely quickly. Always err on the safe side, and contact your vet immediately if your dog eats any of the toxic foods listed here.

  • Glasses containing tiny bits of leftover alcohol after a party can be tempting to a dog. If the animal ingests alcohol, it may experience problems with its respiratory system or its nervous system. Alcohol affects dogs quickly and far more severely than humans.
  • The caffeine in a drink can cause quite a few problems in a dog, including tremors, seizures, and vomiting. If you add a lot of cream to your coffee, your dog may be tempted to drink the leftover coffee from the cup on the counter. Pour any leftover coffee down the sink immediately.
  • The chemicals in chocolate are dangerous to the dog’s internal organs, potentially causing irreversible damage. A dog may be tempted to eat chocolate chip cookies or brownies, rather than a chocolate candy bar, so think about what types of foods contain even a little bit chocolate and keep them safely stored away from the dog.
  • Grapes and raisins. Just a few grapes or raisins can be deadly to a dog. Dogs can suffer long-term kidney damage after consuming grapes or raisins. Because many types of deserts contain raisins, you have to be very careful before sharing certain puddings or cookies with your dog.

It ultimately may be best to completely avoid giving your dog food prepared for humans. Although it can be difficult to ignore the sad look on your dog’s face while you’re eating dinner, feeding the dog only dog food is the safest option. Try feeding your dog its meal at the same time you’re eating your meal, and it may be easier to avoid feeling guilty.

If your dog does consume a toxic substance, be sure you know the proper procedures to deal with its reaction, or if that’s not possible, have access to a vet who does. For example, a few simple steps can go a long way in treating a dog suffering from vomiting.

For more information on foods that may be toxic to your pet, see the infographic below.

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