If you took a quiz about what your dog can or cannot eat, would you pass? Here is a little refresher course on this very important subject.
Avocados -The toxic effects are due to the compound persin, an oil-soluble toxin found in specialized cells (idioblasts) within the avocado fruit, as well as in its skin. The toxicity of avocados to dogs is under question. Although one case report indicated that two dogs developed fatal heart failure after ingesting a "large amount" of avocados, most dogs who eat avocado suffer no serious injury. However, until the susceptibility of dogs to persin is further investigated, it's safest to avoid feeding avocado to your dog.
Onions and Garlic in all forms - Whether they are powdered, raw, cooked or dehydrated onions and garlic can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. An occasional small dose is probably okay. Eating a large quantity one time or small amounts over a long period of time can cause poisoning. Signs to watch for include weakness, vomiting, not wanting to eat, dullness and breathlessness.
Caffeine - In large quantities caffeine can be fatal and there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning are restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits and bleeding. Anything containing caffeine should be avoided, things like cocoa, chocolate, sodas and energy drinks. It's also found in some cold medicines and pain killers.
Raw Eggs - The dangers of your dog getting sick from bacteria like salmonella or E. coli increase when you feed them raw eggs. Most people don't know that there is an enzyme in raw eggs that interferes with the absorption of the B vitamin biotin. This can lead to skin problems which, if given over a long period of time, can affect your dog’s coat.
Grapes and Raisins - There hasn't been enough research to know why but grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Just a small amount can cause a dog to become ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign and within a day the dog will become lethargic and depressed.
Dairy - Milk and milk based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems as well as set up food allergies, which can manifest as itchiness.
Macadamia Nuts - They may be small but macadamia nuts can be fatal. As few as six macadamia nuts can cause a dog to become ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, high temperature and rapid heart rate.
Candy and Baked Goods - Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods and some diet are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can increase your dog’s insulin levels. That can cause their blood sugar to drop leading to liver failure. The symptoms are vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Seizures can also occur. Liver failure can happen within a few days.
Persimmons, Peaches and Plums - The problem lays deep inside these fruits otherwise known as the seed or pit. The pit of a persimmon can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. Not to mention seeds can also cause an obstruction. Peach and plum pits contain cyanide which is poisonous to both dogs and humans; the difference is humans know not to chow down on those pesky pits.
Salty Foods - Sodium ion poisoning occurs when your dog has too much salt. Excessive thirst and increased urination occurs but more serious symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever and even seizures. Sodium ion poisoning can be fatal. Avoid giving your dog anything with high sodium levels.
Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen - These ingredients are commonly found in some over-the-counter pain relievers and cold medicine. Dogs can have fatal reactions to drugs that were prescribed for humans and given to dogs instead. Never give your dog any over-the-counter medicine unless told to do so by your vet.
Fat Trimmings and Bones - Most table scraps include fat trimmings and bones which people do not eat but think twice before passing it on to your dog. Fat trimmed from meat, cooked or uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Even though it seems second nature to give a dog a bone to chew on they are dangerous. Bones can block the dog’s airway causing them to choke or splinter and cause an obstruction or laceration of their digestive system.
Sugary Foods and Drinks - Ever heard the term "dogs are like people?" When it comes to sugar its true. Consuming too much sugar can lead to obesity, dental problems and even the onset of diabetes.
Keep the number of a local vet and the closest emergency clinic in an easy to remember place. If you need to contact the ASPCA animal poison control center dial (888)426-4435. If you think your dog has eaten something toxic call for emergency help immediately.
There are foods that you can share with your pet that are healthy and won't result in a trip to the vet.
Lean Meats - Most dogs are more than okay with eating lean cuts of meat after being thoroughly cooked. Be sure to remove any fat and or bones. Also remove the skin if it's poultry.
Certain Fresh Fruit - Apple slices, oranges, bananas and even watermelons are all yummy treats your dog can enjoy; don't forget to remove the seeds and stems before giving them to your dog.
Certain Veggies - Carrot sticks, green beans, cucumber slices and zucchini slices are perfect for a dog to snack on plus you can pick them up in your grocers produce aisle, now you can never say you forgot the doggie treats.