You know when you go to a restaurant or food court, get your meal, sit and prepare to scarf it down, but then you look to your right and see someone eating something that looks way more delicious? Well, that’s how dogs must feel. Every. Time. Granted, their meal is usually a bowl of boring kibble, so there’s that, but there’s nothing a dog wants more than people food. With the sweet look on their face, those big, round, desperate eyes, and head tilted just so — it’s hard to resist tossing them a few scraps.
But what you might not know is that a lot of our food is dangerous for our dogs, sometimes even fatal, so maybe you should think twice before giving Baxter or Princess something off your plate. You don’t want your canine to suffer over a diet mistake that could’ve easily been avoided. Feeling guiltier over not giving your pup something is much easier to live with than something that could potentially harm them.
So good for us humans, so, so awful for dogs. It can cause vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pain, muscle tremors, irregular heart rhythm, severe agitation, seizures, even death. Dr. Rebecca Brill of Hollybank Animal Hospital in Milton, Ont., does concede that she’s not too concerned about “one little piece of milk chocolate because the actual chocolate in there is pretty minimal,” but dark chocolate is especially bad for the barkers.
Avocados are cool (and delicious) because they produce persin, their own fungicide. But dogs (and some unfortunate humans) can be allergic to it. The pit is probably the most harmful component of an avocado — not just because of the persin but also because, if swallowed, it can obstruct a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Persin is also found in the bark, leaves and seeds of avocado trees so if you have one in your yard, keep the pooch away from it. Sorry, dogs, no guac for you.
The caffeine found in coffee can result in heart palpitations and muscle tremors in your dog. We doubt Rover wants to drink something that hot anyway.
Chives, Garlic and Onions
These veggies can irritate your dog’s digestive system, especially if consumed in mass quantities. Garlic contains compounds that are strong in toxicity and “onions, especially if they’re uncooked, can cause red blood cells to break down,” said Dr. Brill. “Hemolytic anemia, basically.” You don’t want your pup needing a blood transfusion, do you? Plus, their breath is already bad enough, why would we add garlic and onions to the mix?
A french fry isn’t the most harmful thing, but if Buddy finds the salt shaker and goes to town, you could be in trouble. A large amount of salt can lead to dehydration, vomiting, tremors, depression, high temperature and even death for some dogs.
As is the case with humans, raw foods bring the risk of getting food poisoning via salmonella or E. coli. Raw eggs also contain an enzyme that can mess with a dog’s ability to absorb a particular B vitamin, which can cause skin or coat problems later on. So next time you’re cracking that egg, make sure nothing hits the floor.
Apple, Peach, Plum and Apricot Cores
The pits of these fruits can obstruct your dog’s bowels, and in some cases they contain small amounts of cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs and humans. Why do we eat fruit again?
It’s still unknown what’s in macadamias that can cause a toxic reaction to dogs, but even a small amount will make your pooch sick if he’s sampled a nut or a cookie with them in it. So don’t even.
This will clearly obstruct Fifi’s bowel but a lot of gum also has xylitol, a sweetener that is extremely toxic to dogs and can cause his liver to fail. So make sure while you’re out for walks, she avoids that goopy stuff on the sidewalk.
Giving a dog a bone seems like an obvious treat, but for puppies or those who are more domesticated, the inexperience of sucking on a pork chop or T-bone can be hazardous. Bone splinters can get lodged in a dog’s throat, puncture the digestive tract or tear the esophagus on the way down. Dr. Brill mentioned a recent case of an impaction of the colon in which she had to “pull pieces of undigested bone out of his bum.” Ouch.
These aren’t the most common fruit, but if you do indulge in them, they have a chemical that can react with a dog’s stomach acid and can eventually obstruct the intestines.
Sure, your dog got milk from his mama when he was a teeny-tiny thing, but while humans have an enzyme that breaks down the lactose in milk, a dog’s ability to do so is much weaker and can result in diarrhea or an upset tummy. So even though it’s not the most exciting thing, limit your dog’s bevvie intake to water.
Does this even need to be mentioned? Sure it’s so hilarious to see a drunk dog on YouTube, but for a canine it can quickly lead to alcohol poisoning or death. Not funny.
Grapes, Raisins, Grape Juice and Wine
Researchers and vets don’t know why, but there’s something in grapes and raisins that’s toxic for dogs’ kidneys. “Some dogs can go their entire lives and be fine eating grapes and then they eat one and go into kidney failure,” says Dr. Brill, “while other dogs will eat one and go into kidney failure.” She adds that there’s a toxic dose listed so, technically, there’s a safe amount they can eat. But why would you risk it?
Despite all of this, they can eat rocks, grass, twigs and everything else off the ground. Go figure.