There are many foods humans can eat that are poisonous for dogs. So it’s important to stay vigilant and always recall what these foods are — many may already be familiar to you. But Dr. Jamie can explain in more detail:
Sadly, chocolate can be deadly for dogs. It contains caffeine and theobromine — ingredients that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and seizures. Importantly, the more cocoa the chocolate has — or the darker the chocolate is — the more toxic it is for dogs. We recommend taking your dog to the vet if they consume any amount of chocolate.
Caffeine should also not be consumed by dogs. That means no tea, coffee, energy drinks or any other beverage with caffeine. It can cause severe neurological damage, raised blood pressure and cardiac arrythmias — and if left untreated it can be fatal.
Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, depression of the nervous system and panting in dogs. The poison comes from both ethanol and hops. It’s recommended you keep all alcoholic drinks out of reach of dogs.
Grapes and raisins
While the cause of toxicity is somewhat unknown, for some dogs, even just one grape or raisin can cause severe kidney failure — requiring immediate hospitalization. If you’re dog has eaten a grape or raisin, sudden vomiting or diarrhea may occur.
Xylitol is a sweetener that is often found in candy, gum, baked goods, peanut butter and even toothpaste. Dogs that ingest ingest xylitol can develop life threatening low blood sugar and liver failure. This is caused by xylitol triggering a fast release of insulin from the pancreas — something that happens in dogs but not in humans.
Fruit pits and seeds
When dogs eat pits from fruits such as peaches, nectarines, and avocados, they can become stuck in the gastrointestinal tract and could require surgery. In addition to this, some pits and seeds such as apple seeds can contain small amounts of the poison cyanide.
Don’t panic! Some treats are absolutely suitable for your dog and can be not only nutritious (like green beans and some bones), but also a great training tool. However, as a responsible dog parent you need to be careful.
It is also important to get appropriately sized treats and always a good idea to keep an eye on your dog while they’re consuming them — especially bones, as dogs can easily choke. Speaking of bones, be careful of rawhide — they can cause gastrointestinal upset, obstructions, and some products have even been found to have toxic contaminants. As a rough guide, we recommend no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake in comprised of treats.
You should be able to easily indent a treat or bone with a fingernail. If not, it is too hard for dogs and could result in tooth damage.