The majority of pet owners confess that at some point they have shared their "human foods" with their canine companions. Although it is tempting to give Fido an apple slice or the bone from the ham you had for supper not all foods are safe for a dog to ingest. While dogs can eat SOME of the same foods that we do there are many that are dangerous for them to consume. Some common foods you may have around your house could kill your dog if the right amount is ingested.
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If your dog has ingested any of the following foods get veterinary help immediately:
- Animal fat and fried foods: Excessive fat can cause pancreatitis.
- Apples, cherries, peaches, and similar fruits: the seeds of these fruits contain cyanide which is poisonous to dogs as well as humans. Unlike humans dogs do not know to stop eating at the core/pit and easily ingest them.
- Avocados: the fruit pit and plant are all highly toxic. They can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest abdomen and heart.
- Bones: bones can splinter and damage a dog's internal organs.
- Chocolate: chocolate can cause seizures coma and death. Baker's chocolate is the most dangerous since it is the most concentrated.
- Coffee, coffee grounds, tea, and tea bags: drinks/foods containing caffeine cause many of the same symptoms chocolate causes.
- Grapes and raisins: grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. As little as a single serving of raisins can kill a dog.
- Macadamia nuts: macadamia nuts can cause weakness muscle tremor and paralysis.
- Nutmeg: nutmeg can cause seizures tremors and death.
- Onions: onions destroy red blood cells and can cause anemia.
- Raw eggs: raw eggs can cause salmonella poisoning in dogs. Dogs have a shorter digestive tract than humans and can also suffer from food poisoning.
- Salt: excessive salt intake can cause kidney problems.
- Tomatoes: tomatoes can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias. Tomato plants are the most toxic but tomatoes themselves are also unsafe.
If you absolutely feel the need to share your food with your canine companion there are some foods that are generally safe. In fact some foods are actually good for dogs. The key is knowing which foods are safe and to always feed them in moderation. Your dog's nutritional source should primary be his dog food and not treats. Any food that causes stomach upset or digestive problems in your dogs should be discontinued and avoided. Just like people some dogs cannot tolerate certain foods. This is just a small list of examples of foods dogs can eat; not a list of every food they should eat.
- Meats: meats should be boneless and skinless (if possible). Meat should be cooked.
- Vegetables: vegetables should be put through a food process before feeding to your dog since dogs have shorter digestive tracts and cannot easily digest large chunks or whole vegetables. The best choices for vegetables are carrots, green beans, lettuce, potatoes, and yams.
- Grains: grains should not be given in large quantities; however rice and bread are generally safe in small amounts.
- Dairy products: caution should be exercised when giving any dairy products as they are high in fat and can cause pancreatitis gas and diarrhea. Usually nonfat plain yogurt is safe in small amounts.