8 People Foods That Can Harm Your Dog (And Those That Won't)

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Pet pooches have the habit of strategically positioning themselves near you while you eat in the hope that they can share your meal. Those two, pleading eyes of your furry companion are hard to ignore, yet you have to be careful about what you encourage them to eat.

Food recommended for human consumption does not always have a healthy impact on your canine. As a responsible pet owner, you must differentiate between what you can and cannot feed your most loyal buddy. Avoid people foods that can be toxic and endanger your dog’s health rather than facilitate their well-being.

 

Foods to Avoid for Canine Consumption

Chocolate

Primarily, chocolates contain caffeine, which is toxic when consumed by your dog. Chocolate contains methylxanthines which are toxic to all types of dogs, especially small ones. Abdominal pain, vomiting, muscle tremor, dehydration, irregular heart rhythm, vomiting, and seizures are some of the ill-effects chocolate has on dogs. [1]

Dairy Products

Like us humans, dogs too can be lactose intolerant; hence it is wise not to feed them on milk and cheese directly. Your pup does not possess the enzymes to break down the fatty components and sugars present in dairy products. When consumed, they are likely to face gastrointestinal problems leading to diarrhea, vomiting, or really bad gas. [2]

Onions

Compounds present in the savory onion can do more harm than good when consumed by your canine. They are capable of damaging your dog’s red blood cells, resulting in weakness and restricted mobility. [3]

Raisins and Grapes

These bite-sized food items, which we love to pop into our mouths, are incredibly toxic for your dogs, causing their kidneys to fail rapidly. The chemicals and compounds present in these foods do not agree with canines one bit. [4]

Bacon

Although a little bit of bacon won't hurt, an excess of any food can be potentially harmful. Feeding your dog a lot of bacon can cause issues with your dog's pancreas. Bacon is high in fat and salt which, just like with humans, can cause a problem is too much is consumed. [5]

Avocado

This fruit contains a substance that has a toxic effect on dogs; hence, best avoided. Avocados, when consumed by your canine, can result in them developing breathing difficulties, upset stomachs, and possibly even death. [6] The high-fat content of avocados can also cause problems for your dog's pancreas. [5]

Tea and Coffee

The caffeine present in these beverages adversely affects your dogs. Most commonly, it stimulates their nervous system causing elevated heart rate, hyperactivity, and tremors. [6]

Citrus Lemons

Lime and lemon skins, when eaten by your canine, can result in diarrhea and vomiting. With excess consumption, they experience liver failure and have trouble walking. Lemon juice also offers no nutritional benefits to dogs and it is recommended that the juice is not consumed either.

 

Foods Safe For Dogs

Here are some people foods your dog can safely tuck into, preferably in moderation:

Carrots

Whether cooked or raw, carrots are a healthy snack that dogs can munch on, especially since they are a great source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Ideally, cut the carrot into smaller pieces to avoid your pet from choking on it.

Eggs

Cooked eggs are the best source of protein for your pup and the safest human food to feed them. Avoid eggs in their raw form to prevent the spread of bacteria. One contaminated egg can do the damage by directly infecting your pet and indirectly you.

Salmon

Boneless salmon, when cooked and eaten, benefits your dog's fur and skin as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Stay clear of raw salmon, which may poison your pup owing to the presence of a harmful parasite.

Pineapple

Eating fresh pineapple is suitable for your dog as it contains minerals, fiber, and vitamins. However, it is recommended you feed them pineapple in smaller doses to avoid diarrhea and nausea from setting in. 

Watermelon 

When feeding your four-legged pals watermelon, avoid giving them the seeds and the rind as these components cause digestive problems. Watermelons are packed with nutrients and low in calories, making them a healthy and safe dog food.

Peas

Fresh or frozen green peas add taste to your dog's regular food intake. Moreover, peas are rich in nutrients and contain minimal calories. Avoid the canned version as they are invariably loaded with salt. This essential condiment for us humans causes harm to your pet when consumed in excess amounts.

Apples

The fiber content in apples benefits your dog’s digestive system. Always slice the apple and remove the seeds before serving your pet. They immensely benefit from the significant amounts of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins present in this wonder fruit.

Chicken

Most dog foods contain chicken as it is rich in protein and considered a healthy diet. Make sure you feed your pet only cooked chicken without the bones as chicken bones can choke and puncture their digestive tract.

Each breed is different and what affects one type of dog may not affect another type of dog. When in doubt, refer to your vet who will position you on the right path.

 

References

[1] Tawde, S N, et al. “Death by Caffeine: Presumptive Malicious Poisoning of a Dog by Incorporation in Ground Meat.” Journal of Medical Toxicology : Official Journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology, Springer New York, Dec. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3550263/.

[2] Wills, J, and R Harvey. “Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy and Intolerance in Dogs and Cats.” Australian Veterinary Journal, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 1994, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7848179.

[3] Spice, R N. “Hemolytic Anemia Associated with Ingestion of Onions in a Dog.” The Canadian Veterinary Journal = La Revue Veterinaire Canadienne, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 1976, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1697286/.

[4] Cortinovis, Cristina, and Francesca Caloni. “Household Food Items Toxic to Dogs and Cats.” Frontiers in veterinary science vol. 3 26. 22 Mar. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4801869/

[5] Hilton, J W. “Do high-fat dog foods predispose dogs to pancreatitis?.” The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne vol. 29, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1680861/

[6] Kovalkovičová, Natália et al. “Some food toxic for pets.” Interdisciplinary toxicology vol. 2,3 (2009), www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2984110/