Foods That Dogs Shouldn’t Eat
The holidays are a special time that we spend with our families, and we all know that our dogs are a part of the family. Unfortunately, the holidays also are a time when foods that are dangerous for dogs, such as chocolate and nuts, are in abundance and easily accessible with all the hustle and bustle going on. Plenty of foods that seem perfectly harmless or even healthy for humans are terrible for dogs. They may contain enzymes or minerals that metabolize naturally in humans but not in dogs. These compounds can cause toxicity and make your furry friend sick. We know that you want to treat your dog, but that his health is also a top priority for you. To ensure your dog stays happy and healthy, avoid these foods that are poisonous for dogs:
1. Chocolate or Coffee/Caffeine
Chocolate and coffee contain methylxanthines, which dogs can’t digest very easily. Even small amounts can cause stomach issues like vomiting and diarrhea. Larger doses will lead to excessive thirst, urination, panting, and abnormal heart rate. That element in caffeine that causes us to feel a little extra spring in our step is dangerous to an otherwise healthy canine.
Darker chocolate will contain the highest amount of methylxanthines. Baking chocolates or any kind of cacao powder should be kept far out of reach for our canines. If you bake something with any of these ingredients, which many of us do during the holidays, we recommend storing it where dogs can’t reach it.
2. Sugar Alcohols/Artificial Sweeteners
It’s wonderful that there are now so many foods for humans that contain sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners as an alternative to sugars for those of us watching our weight. Sugar alcohols aren’t fully digested in humans, which is why they lower the number of calories when used as a sugar replacement. Common sugar alcohols include sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, maltitol syrup, lactitol, erythritol, and isomalt. If you’ve ever had a little too much sugar alcohol, you’re already aware that they can cause stomach upset and digestive issues in humans. When dogs consume sugar alcohols, it’s quickly absorbed into their bloodstream, which results in a powerful insulin response from the pancreas. This is followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can be life-threatening to your dog.
While alcohol toxicity in pets is fairly uncommon, and most owners don’t intentionally feed their dogs alcohol, ‘tis the season of parties, which means things can get out of control…even for your four-legged friend. While a glass a wine may not get your pet’s attention, other sweets such as alcohol-based cakes or some spiked punch may be appealing. Because dogs weigh significantly less than humans, even small amounts of alcohol can be a serious issue since their bodies are not able to break down alcohol the same way we do. While the holidays are a wonderful time, be mindful of the various holiday-related events that could present a potential issue for your trusted furry companion.
We know how much you love that avocado toast and extra guac, but don’t share any with your furry friend! Despite the fact that avocados contain healthy fats and lipids that are good for human health, there are mixed opinions when it comes to avocados and dogs. That’s because avocados (mostly the leaves and skin of the plant) contain persin, a toxin that can cause various issues such as vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Even though we generally don’t consume those parts of an avocado, there’s always a risk that the toxins will still be somewhat present in the delicious green part of the avocado.
6. Grapes, Raisins, and Wine
Although we humans love the sweetness of grapes, raisins, and wine, anything derived from grapes is bad for dogs. The enzymes contained within the grape can cause kidney failure and toxicity in pets. Although your pup is unlikely to go after that glass of wine on the table, he could easily aim for the fruit bowl or salads, desserts, or more that contain raisins.
7. Cheese and Dairy Products
Most dogs love cheese. In fact, cheese may be the secret weapon for some pet parents trying to get their dogs to take important medication when they’re sick or need antibiotics. Unfortunately, many dogs can be intolerant of cheese and may not digest it well. If you’re not sure whether or not your dog is tolerant, or you are feeding them cheese for the first time, watch for signs of intestinal upset. Even for dogs that seem tolerant, cheese should be given in moderation. The same rule goes for milk and other dairy products, which can cause issues based on lactose content.
8. Salty Snacks
Most of us are familiar with needing to hydrate after eating too much salt. However, dogs don’t always understand when to hydrate or that certain foods will lead to dehydration. The sodium ions in salty snacks can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or seizures in your dog. Avoid salty treats whenever possible to keep from upsetting your pet’s equilibrium.
9. Nuts & Nut Butters
Certain nuts can present issues for dogs due to their high fat and salt content, as well as size and shape, which can be a choking hazard for dogs. We all know that dogs go crazy over peanut butter–and unlike in humans, peanut allergies are extremely rare in dogs. Cashew butter, which has a higher fat content, is safe as long as you pup only has it in small doses. Some dogs don’t digest almonds as well as other, so you’ll want to be cautious if you’re feeding your furry friend any almond butter (but small doses here are safe, too).
Some types of nuts, such as macadamia nuts, can be toxic for dogs. Pistachios and walnuts are also better kept away from your pup. Some nut butters not come in flavors with things like chocolate and added sweeteners. We already mentioned chocolate and sugar alcohols being a no-no, so be sure that your dog doesn’t get a hold of any nuts or nut butters containing these.
10. Chives, Garlic, and Onions
These pungent vegetables, which are all part of the Allium species, are terrible for a dog’s GI system. Consumption can lead to hemolytic anemia, which is characterized by bursting of their red blood cells. Garlic, which is more potent than onions, is the most dangerous in the Allium species. Dogs and cats are both susceptible to sickness following consumption, so it’s a good idea to keep these away from all pets.
Play It Save to Avoid Foods Poisonous for Dogs
It might not sound fun, but your safest route to avoid a sick pet this holiday season is to stick with dog food and dog treats. It’s much less fun than eating your favorite foods together, but it’s better for everyone’s health. If you want to treat your pet while keeping him healthy, try our grillers and jerky treats! Make sure you check out where to buy our treats at your convenient local retail locations.