Don’t Even Think About Feeding This to Your Doodle! The Shocking Foods That Could Land Your Pup in the ER!

by | Jul 29, 2023

Don’t Even Think About Feeding This to Your Doodle! The Shocking Foods That Could Land Your Pup in the ER!

As a doting pet parent, it’s natural to want to spoil your pup by sharing tasty treats and table scraps. However, some people’s foods can be downright dangerous for dogs to ingest. From fruits to seasonings, many everyday foods lurking in your fridge and pantry could cause severe or even fatal reactions in canines.

The worrying truth about common forbidden foods for dogs that should never cross your pup’s bowl. We’ll explore the scary side effects of these hazardous eats so you can keep your four-legged friends safe. Read on to discover the top human foods to absolutely avoid feeding dogs – their health and life may depend on it!

Toxic Produce – Grapes and Raisins

First up on the list of frightening fruits are **grapes and raisins,** which can cause severe kidney damage in dogs (1). The toxin is unknown, but these fruits can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even sudden kidney failure. All types of grapes should be kept far away from your dog, whether raw, cooked, or in smoothies and baked goods.

Likewise, infused dried grapes known as raisins, currants, and sultanas are extremely toxic. A small handful of raisins can put your dog at risk of life-threatening coagulative issues in their blood cells and kidneys. If ingestion is suspected, immediately contact your vet to induce vomiting and give intravenous fluids.

Deadly Dairy – Chocolate

Most people know **chocolate** and cocoa should not be fed to dogs, but may not realize just how life-threatening this sweet treat can be (2). Chocolate contains methylxanthines like theobromine and caffeine, which dogs cannot metabolize, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, racing heart rate, seizures, and even death.

Dark chocolate and baking chocolate contain the highest levels of dangerous theobromine and are the most lethal. But all chocolate, even milk chocolate, poses a risk and must be avoided. If your dog gobbles up chocolate, rush to the emergency vet immediately before toxicity sets in.

Macadamia Misery  

Most nuts are too high in fat to feed dogs frequently. But macadamia nuts, in particular, can bring on scary neurological and muscular symptoms if eaten (3). Vomiting, weakness, hyperthermia, swollen limbs, and paralysis can occur after macadamia ingestion. Never let your pup snack on macadamia-containing cookies, candies, or nuts.

Deadly Dose – Xylitol 

The sugar-free sweetener xylitol is used in many candies, gum, toothpaste, and baked goods. But while it seems harmless to humans, it is highly toxic to canines (4). Even small amounts of xylitol can rapidly lead to a dangerous insulin spike and liver failure in dogs. Keep all products containing this sweetener far out of paws’ reach. 

Lethal Libations – Alcohol

Drinking alcohol causes dangerous intoxication in dogs that can lead to coma or death from respiratory failure (5). Hard liquors, spiked eggnog, and beer are all threats. But even exposure to fermenting dough when baking bread or pizza could be problematic. Keep all booze safely stowed and consider non-alcoholic recipe substitutes when cooking.

Deadly Dose – Caffeine

Like chocolate, caffeine poses a significant risk thanks to dogs’ inability to metabolize this toxic stimulant (6) properly. Very small amounts from coffee grounds, tea bags, energy drinks, or supplements can lead to hyperactivity, racing heart rate, seizures, and collapse. Never let your pet lap up your unattended lattes!

Seedy Situations – Apple Cores

Whole apples are fine for dogs, but apple cores and seeds should be kept away from canines. Apple seeds contain cyanide, which is released when chewed or digested (7). The toxin can hamper oxygen transport, leading to dangerous complications. Stick to seedless apple slices to avoid this risk.

Allium Agony – Onions, Garlic, Chives

Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks pose a double danger to dogs (8). First, they can potentially cause gastrointestinal irritation or even red blood cell damage. But more surprisingly, they can also lead to Heinz body anemia in dogs when ingested in large amounts. Never flavor your pup’s food with onion or garlic, no matter how savory the results may seem.

Avocado Anxiety  

Avocados are high in healthy fats for humans but contain persin toxins that can damage your dog’s heart, lungs and tissue (9). The highest concentrations are in the pit and skin, but all parts of avocados should be kept away from curious canines to avoid distressing health complications.

Nefarious Nutmeg

Nutmeg is a toxic food for dogs that can trigger neurological issues, heart problems, and hallucinations (10). Ingestion of even a teaspoon of this pungent spice can land your pet in critical care. Avoid sprinkling nutmeg on pet treats or meals.

Fake Fats – Salt and Xanthan Gum

Excess salt and sodium can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even kidney issues in dogs (11). So avoid salting their meals. Xanthan gum is a thickening agent in many low-fat dressings that can also wreak havoc on your pup’s digestive system. Read labels to pick pet-safe condiments.

Yeasty Dangers – Bread Dough

Raw yeast bread dough containing live cultures of yeast can dangerously expand in your dog’s stomach, potentially causing painful bloating, retching, and blockages requiring emergency surgery (12). Only give dogs fully baked, cooked bread products after verifying there are no other toxic ingredients. 

Deadly Desserts – Candy and Gum  

Many desserts pose a triple threat containing chocolate, xylitol, and high-fructose corn syrup, all hazardous to dogs. Candy, gum, cake, cookies, and ice cream should never be fed as sweet treats. The sugar crashes and toxicity just aren’t worth the risk.

Putrid Produce – Moldy Foods

Moldy, rotten, or spoiled produce contains nasty mycotoxins that affect the nervous system, liver, and kidneys when ingested (13). Never feed dogs moldy leftovers or compost scraps. Inspect fruits and veggies for fuzz, slime, or unpleasant odors before offering them.

The Verdict: Avoid These Dangerous “People Foods”

While it’s tempting to toss occasional table scraps Fido’s way, many everyday human foods pose a serious threat to canine health. From fruits and veggies to nuts, spices, and sweets, dogs simply lack the digestive and metabolic mechanisms to safely process things that seem harmless to us. 

Always verify human foods are pet-safe before feeding. Your pup’s life depends on your awareness of the many forbidden foods that could land them in the ER. Stick to quality commercial dog food and vet-approved treats to nourish your dog deliciously without risk. Furry family comes first, so keep dangerous eats far away from their bowls!

Frequently Asked Questions

What human foods are safe for dogs?

Some human foods safe for dogs in moderation include cooked chicken, pumpkin, carrots, peas, rice, yogurt, and peanut butter. Always introduce new foods slowly.

What should I do if my dog eats something toxic?

If your dog ingests anything on this forbidden food list, call your vet or the ASPCA poison control hotline immediately for advice. Time is critical!

How much is too much when it comes to dangerous foods?

For foods like chocolate, even small amounts can be toxic. For other foods, only large quantities may cause issues. But it’s best to avoid these risky ingredients altogether.

Can I give my dog food containing onion or garlic powder?

It’s best to avoid all forms of onion and garlic as flavorings or powder since they can still potentially create GI upset and anemia.

Should dogs have special treats like birthday cake?

It’s safer to celebrate with dog-friendly alternatives. Pupcakes made from dog-safe ingredients can let your pet join the fun without risk!

How can I know if a food is safe?

When in doubt, avoid feeding it. Check lists of approved human foods online or call your veterinarian with any questions.

Why are grapes toxic when other fruits are fine?

The reasons behind grape/raisin toxicity remain unknown. But their dangers have been confirmed. Other fruits may be harmless, but grape ingestion can be fatal.

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