We’re in the midst of Poison Prevention Week–and, seriously, we didn’t think that really meant much to us. Then we gave some thought to how many pet owners poison their poor dogs all the time without even knowing. Actually, “poison” might sound a little extreme. There are still plenty of foods that can cause serious harm to your dog. The most notorious, of course, is chocolate. It’s a real treat to a dog, but contains theobromine–which is a toxic substance that can cause vomiting, seizures, and in some cases, death.
Everyone knows that chocolate is dangerous to dogs, but there are many more harmful foods that pet parents may not know about. And since dogs use their mouths to explore, there’s always a chance that your pet will get into something that’s just not right. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s number is 1-888-426-4435. Keep that handy just in case you ever need it–but also check out this primer on foods that can be a real disaster… [photo via flickr]
Raw or Cooked Fat Trimmings and Eggs
Pet families discard leftover dinner trimmings and feed it to the dog without considering that fat is bad for him, too! Raw or cooked fat trimmings have been proven to cause pancreatitis in dogs. Raw eggs may be touted for giving dogs shiny coats, but there is danger of poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E.coli. Eggs contain avidin, an enzyme that hampers the absorption of biotin, an important B vitamin. Instead of improving the dog’s fur, this could give him coat, skin, and intestinal problems!
Garlic, Onions, and Avocados
“Vegetables aren’t healthy for dogs?” A lot of people think that if garlic and onions are cooked, they’re safe. These veggies are not good for dogs in any form, even powdered or dehydrated! Large amounts or small, regular amounts can destroy red blood cells, causing anemia. Avocados contain a substance toxic to dogs called persin. If he eats any part of an avocado tree, he will get sick because the whole thing contains persin.
Raisins, Grapes, and Other Fruits
Who would expect such a small thing to be capable of so much damage to a dog’s body? Just a few grapes or raisins could cause kidney failure. Persimmon seeds might obstruct the dog’s digestive system, and will also cause inflammation of his small intestine. Pits from peaches and plums are also a danger. Not only is there fear of obstruction, but these pits contain cyanide, and dogs don’t know not to eat them!
Caffeine, Dairy, and Alcohol
Caffeine can cause heart palpitations, bleeding, and tremors in dogs. Large amounts can be fatal, and there is nothing that can counteract the effects of caffeine. Milk and other dairy products can cause digestive problems in dogs, and can even trigger food allergies. Dogs who ingest alcohol tend to have the same problems as humans who do, only faster and more severe. They experience coordination and breathing issues, liver damage, comas, and even death.
Sugar, Salt, Spices, and Baking Products
Sugar affects dogs the same way it affects humans, with obesity, dental problems, and diabetes. Salt overload can result in sodium ion poisoning, which can lead to death in severe cases. Baking powder and baking soda are also highly toxic to dogs. There are many things in the spice cabinet that can make a dog ill, so it’s best to keep it and the pantry tightly closed.