Human food: what not to feed your dog

Do you have one of those puppers that patiently waits for you to finish your dinner in the hope that they might get a few leftovers? Whilst it’s tempting to give in to those big eyes and drools, be sure anything you give them is safe before you do and avoid these toxic foods for dogs.

What fruit and veggies can’t my dog eat?

Cherries contain cyanide and are poisonous to dogs. For the chemical to be released, dogs must either chew the pit or ingest broken pits. Cyanide toxicity can be deadly in only a few minutes. Signs of cyanide poisoning include salivation, rapid or difficulty breathing, and even convulsions and paralysis.

Avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called Persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Avocado toxicosis occurs after ingestion of fruit, stems, leaves, or seeds of the avocado plant. Clinical effects include sterile mastitis in lactating mammals. Although dogs appear to be more resistant than other animals it is better to be safe than sorry.

Grapes, raisins, and Zante currants occasionally cause kidney failure in dogs.  Other clinical effects include vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, and dehydration.

Onions, leeks, and chives (allium family) may be tasty to you, but they can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in puppers. Some breeds such as dogs of Japanese descent (Akita, Shiba Inu) are particularly sensitive. The worst outcome of allium toxicity targets the red blood cells causing them to rupture resulting in anaemia, increased heart rate, elevated respiration, collapse, and death.

Other foods your dog can’t eat

Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, and lethargy although they are usually not lethal.

Chocolate contains theobromine. This is like caffeine and your pupper won’t be able to metabolise it. The amount of toxic theobromine varies with the type of chocolate. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to dogs. The most common clinical signs are vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, and racing heart rate. In severe cases, symptoms can include muscle tremors, seizures, and heart failure. Even if the amount ingested is not a toxicity concern, dogs can still become ill from the fat and sugar in chocolate. These can cause pancreatitis in severe cases or in dogs that have more sensitive stomachs.

Xylitol, the artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free products is toxic to dogs. It can be found in sugar-free gum, candies, breath mints, baked goods, pudding snacks, children’s chewable or gummy vitamins, and toothpaste.  When dogs eat something containing xylitol it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, resulting in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas.  This rapid release of insulin causes a profound decrease in the level of blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), an effect that occurs within 10-60 minutes of eating the xylitol. Untreated, this hypoglycaemia can be life-threatening. The most common signs of hypoglycaemia are vomiting, weakness, difficulty walking or standing, tremors, seizures, or coma.

Alcohol is a substance that dogs are thankfully not drawn to but sometimes mistakes happen. Just like humans, a dog’s reaction to alcohol tends to be similar. An adverse reaction will depend on the quantity consumed and the size of the pupper. It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and a lack of coordination and weakness.

Salt is considered a dietary requirement in small doses but too much can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration. Avoid giving your pooch salty snacks like processed meats, chips, or pretzels.

Lyka fresh food is best

We understand that most owners can’t help spoiling their pupper now and then. If you do decide to share your leftovers, be sure to know exactly what you are feeding your dog and always read your food labels. The best human-grade food around is designed by our Lyka veterinary nutritionist.