Believed by scientists to be a 33,000-year-old bond, the friendship between man and dogs has definitely withstood the test of time. Many dog owners consider their furry friends to be part of their family; they are happy to splurge on food, toys, and accessories for their pets to ensure that their lives are as comfortable as possible.
Sometimes, this leads to owners giving dogs food that they themselves enjoy as treats. Though they do this with the best of intentions, they are actually putting their dogs at risk. There are certain foods that are safe for humans to consume, but toxic to dogs. Here are 10 foods you’d definitely want to avoid feeding your dog.
There’s a good chance you already know this, but it still bears repeating: keep chocolates away from your puppy! Chocolate contains the compounds theobromine and theophylline, both toxic to dogs. These can cause vomiting, seizures, panting, diarrhea, heart and nervous system damage, and even death. Add that to chocolate’s natural caffeine content (more on that in a bit), and you’d know why you should keep that chocolate bar to yourself.
One can find salt in a wide variety of foods, from bacon to your favorite bag of chips. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s okay to feed salty foods to your dog. Too much salt may cause electrolyte level imbalance, dehydration, and even diarrhea. Considering the tropical weather in the Philippines, this makes salty food especially dangerous to our furfriends.
In this case, dogs and humans suffer the same risks from sugar consumption: obesity, dental problems, and diabetes. Feeding your dog too much sugar will lead to increased fat deposits. The problem may become so serious that it could even affect their ability to walk.
Coffee and other caffeine-rich products
That extra push some of us need to get up in the morning is too much for our dogs to handle. The boost of energy causes dogs to overwork their muscles, leading to tremors and heart palpitations. Our furry friends are more sensitive to caffeine’s effects, so much that even moderate consumption of coffee grounds or tea bags can cause death in small dogs.
Unlike us, dogs can’t handle the enzymes present in cow’s milk. Dogs lack the enzyme to effectively break down lactose in milk. Thus, dairy product consumption in dogs can lead to intestinal problems and diarrhea.
Dogs are much more vulnerable to alcohol poisoning. Alcohol consumption can cause intoxication, lack of coordination, poor breathing, and abnormal acidity in dogs. In a worst-case scenario, the dog may even fall into a coma or die. So yeah, forget about pouring your dog a shot.
Onions & garlic
These two are part of the allium genus, an entire group of plants to keep away from your dogs. These are toxic to your dog, and may cause anemia and weakness when ingested in large quantities.
To keep their fruit and bark safe, avocado trees produce their own insecticide: persin. Unfortunately, dogs (and some humans) are extremely allergic to this. While large amounts of this can be lethal for dogs, there’s also the danger that they’ll choke on the pits before they even feel the symptoms.
Grapes & raisins
Grapes are unsafe for canine consumption, as they contain a toxin that may cause kidney failure and liver damage. The effects are quite potent — aside from vomiting and becoming lethargic, dogs can also die from consuming even just a handful of grapes.
Does your dog seem depressed or weak? Pay a visit to the vet, as your pet may have consumed macademia nuts. These contain a toxin that may inhibit movement and cause swollen limbs, panting, and internal damage in dogs.
Bonus: Bones and raw food
Here are two dog-specific (and almost iconic) treats that we actually shouldn’t give our pets. Household dogs may accidentally swallow and choke on large chunks of bone. Barring that, the sharp edges of crushed bone can also scratch the walls of their stomach and intestine. As for raw food, dogs are just as susceptible to salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria and viruses as we are. Avoid feeding your dog contaminated meat by cooking it first.
Stick to these tips to enjoy many more years with your furry best friend. –MF