By Ellen Epstein
Whenever I read an article by Jennifer Nelson on IHeartdogs.com I find so much useful information that all dog owners should know. Here is her latest article. Read it and remember this list, for the love of your dog!
You love to spoil your dog. Who doesn’t? Whether you feed your dog a home-cooked diet or you just like to share your food scraps with them, it’s important to know which foods can be harmful for your dog.
You probably already know some of these, but I’ll bet you don’t know all of them! Here are 10 foods you didn’t know could hurt your pup and what to do if your dog eats something they shouldn’t.
#1 – Peaches, Persimmons, and Plums
While the flesh of these fruits can be safe for dogs, the seeds or pits may be very dangerous. While persimmon seeds can cause problems with the small intestine, peach and plum pits can cause blockages anywhere in your dog’s digestive tract and may require surgery. Peach and plum pits also contain cyanide, which is poisonous for dogs and humans alike.
#2 – Chives and onions
While small amounts of chives or onions might not hurt your dog, large amounts can be very dangerous. They may lead to gastrointestinal irritation or damage to red blood cells.
#3 – Coconut Water and Coconut in large amounts
Coconut-based products in small amounts are safe and may even be beneficial for your dog. Large amounts of coconut products may be a problem, particularly coconut water, which should never be given to dogs because it is too high in potassium for the canine body. Also, when introduced suddenly and in large quantities into your dog’s diet, the oil from the flesh and milk of a fresh coconut can lead to an upset stomach or loose stools – but offering your dog the oil in small amounts, gradually increasing the amounts can prove to be just fine.
#4 – Caffeine, chocolate, and coffee
Methylxanthines are substances found in cacao seeds and the fruit of coffee plants. These substances can cause symptoms ranging from hyperactivity to vomiting and diarrhea, to seizures, and other problems all the way up to and including death. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for a dog.
#5 – Dairy, including milk
Dogs don’t have much lactase, which is the enzyme that helps to digest dairy. As a result, dairy-based products, including milk and cheese, can cause digestive problems, including diarrhea. While the occasional piece of cheese probably won’t hurt, make sure not to overdo it.
#6 – Xylitol
While xylitol itself is not a food, it can be found in a surprising number of foods including some peanut butters. The artificial sweetener can increase insulin, leading to liver failure. Always check the ingredients of any processed foods before giving them to your dog. Other foods that may contain xylitol include gum, candy, and baked goods, especially those labeled as “sugar-free.”
#7 – Fried or fatty foods
Eating too many fatty or fried foods can lead to pancreatitis in dogs. They aren’t designed to handle that much fat in their diet.
#8 – Currants, grapes, or raisins
Those scientists aren’t quite sure why, currants, raisins and grapes can be highly toxic to dogs, creating potentially deadly kidney problems.
#9 – Macadamia nuts
While the fats and oils in any nuts can cause problems for dogs, macadamia nuts are especially toxic. They can cause weakness, vomiting, tremors, and overheating.
#10 – Raw eggs or meat
While many vets are starting to recommend raw diets for dogs and cats, just as many are warning about the dangers of such a diet. Raw eggs and meat can contain Salmonella, E. Coli, and many other pathogens. If you choose to raw feed your dog, you at least need to take precautions for your own health. Always make sure to wash and disinfect your hands and any surface that comes in contact with raw meat.
What to do if your dog eats something they shouldn’t:
If you caught your dog eating something they shouldn’t but they haven’t started showing any symptoms yet, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. If you know approximately how much of what your dog ate, they can help guide you as to the best course of action. If your dog is displaying symptoms of poisoning, they should be taken straight to the vet.
Any questions feel free to call me anytime!