Foods that can be harmful to dogs

Foods poisonous to dogsMost people are aware now that chocolate and chicken bones are dangerous if fed to dogs, but it takes many people by surprise that seemingly every day foods like onions and grapes are also harmful to dogs. Its all to easy to scrape the left over stew into a dogs bowl without realising the onions we have used to favour it are poisonous.Below is a list of common foods and beverages that should not be fed to your dog, and the reasons why. It is not an exhaustive list and some suggestions for further research appear below. If you have any concerns about your dog's diet it really is best to have a word with your vet. If you suspect your dog has eaten something poisonous call the vet immediately as every minute is vital - the sooner you can treat your dog the better chance it has of surviving.

Chocolate contains theobromine, dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains more of the chemical. If ingested in sufficient quantities it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, seizures, coma or even death. 
Grapes &
Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, digestive upset, kidney failure and death. The toxic dose is 32 grams of grapes per kilogram of body weight (11-30 g per kg for raisins).
Dogs have a small body mass, and alcohol does not break down the same way in a dogs body as it does in humans. Dogs are susceptible to adverse effects from even small amounts of alcohol, and in large enough amounts alcohol can lead to coma or death.
Instant gravy granules or powder are made for human consumption and nearly always contain onion powder. Check the label to be sure.
Everyone knows that chicken bones should not be fed to dogs, but fish bones can also be dangerous. Cooked bones can splinter and cause damage to a dog's internal digestive system. Raw bones are the safest, but make sure they are of a suitable size - too small and they may cause a hazard. Dogs not used to such rich food may also suffer from an upset digestive system after eating raw bones / marrowbone.
Tea, Coffee,
These drinks all contain caffeine which affect the heart and nervous system and are not suitable for consumption by dogs.

Liver in Large Quantities

Can lead to vitamin A toxicity which affects the muscles and bones.
Hops, often used in home brewing, can cause Malignant Hypothermia in dogs which can be fatal. Symptoms include panting, increased temperature and elevated heart rate. Can lead to seizures and death.
Onions &
Onions are poisonous to dogs, especially if consumed in large quantities. Although less toxic than onions garlic should also be avoided. They can cause damage to the red blood cells. The effect from the chemical present in onions and garlic is cumulative - it can build up in the body over time, so even feeding small amounts is not recommended.
Fruit seeds
& Pits
Large pits like peach and plumb can form an obstruction in the dogs digestive system, other seeds and pits can contain Cyanogenic Glycosides.
Raw Eggs
Apart from the risk of salmonella raw eggs contain avidin which can affect the way B Vitamins are absorbed.
Raw Fish
Feeding raw fish can lead to thiamine deficiency which can result in loss of appetite, seizures or even death. Cases of death following consumption of Raw Salmon have also been recorded - a micro-organism within the fish causes the illness.
Salt Dogs are susceptible to large quantities of salt because of their small body mass, it can lead to kidney problems which can be fatal.
Can cause problems with teeth and weight gain, and may also contribute to onset of diabetes in dogs.
Yeast Dough
The yeast continues to be active after consumption, this can cause serious internal problems, even ruptures.

To find out more on this very important topic visit the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Centre website which has further information on foods, plants and chemicals which are poisonous to dogs and other animals.

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