Ten toxic foods you should never give your dog

Ten toxic foods you should never give your dog

Sharing your leftovers with your dog may seem like the ultimate treat, but human food can be harmful for dogs: not only is it often too high in fat and salt, but it also may contain ingredients which are toxic to dogs. It is always best to stick with food made specifically for dogs, as well as dog-appropriate treats to make sure your pets don't eat anything that may harm them.

Below is a list of foods you should absolutely avoid giving your dog.

Alcohol: pets should never be given any food or drink that contains alcohol. If dogs do consume alcohol, it can cause depression of the central nervous system and vomiting - it may very well be fatal.

Avocado: the leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs as well as other pets - so it needs to be avoided entirely.

Bones: particularly if cooked, bones can splinter and cause wounds to a dog's mouth or digestive tract. Small bones can also be swallowed whole and cause a potentially fatal blockage.

Chocolate and caffeine: both chocolate and caffeine contain a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. The most common symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased urination, restlessness, hyperactivity and anxiety, trembling, twitching muscles and epileptic fits, the inability to walk properly (called ataxia), and an increase in the rate of breathing and the heart rate. Ultimately, the symptoms can prove fatal.

Grapes: both fresh grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs, and ingestion can be fatal. Currants or sultanas are dangerous, too. If a dog ingests any, they should be immediately taken to the vet if they show any sign of being unwell.

Macadamia nuts: these nuts can cause vomiting, tremors, elevated heart rate and even paralysis in dogs.

Milk: any dairy product should be avoided, no matter how much your dog would love a bite of cheese! It's unlikely to be lethal, but it can cause stomach upset, which is never ideal.

Raw dough: raw dough with yeast in it should never be fed to pets, as its expansion can be dangerous if it takes place in the pet's digestive tract. Any yeast products should only be fed to pets once cooked!

Pitted fruits: fruit pits are a choking hazard for dogs, or could cause intestinal obstructions. Some pits contain harmful substances too, so if you give fruit to a pet always ensure you give pit and seed-free slices!

If you have any doubt that something your dog has eaten may be harmful, contact your vet or get in touch with the Animal Poison Line for guidance.

Alessandra Pacelli

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