Dogs love people food, there is no doubt about it. While giving your dog the occasional bite is fine, you should be aware that there are certain foods that can be very dangerous to dogs. Make sure that your dog never gets access to the following foods. Don’t forget that dogs can also get into these foods by raiding your trash can.
You may have already heard that you should never give a dog chocolate and this is true. However, you also need to make sure that dogs never get into it on accident. On Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Halloween for example, children may accidentally leave it within reach of the dog. The chemicals in chocolate that make it toxic to dogs are caffeine and theobromine. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate is, the more dangerous it is. Cocoa powder is particularly dangerous for a dog. If a dog ingests chocolate, you may see vomiting, increased thirst, abdominal discomfort, muscle tremors, irregular heart rhythm, high body temperature, seizures and even death.
Grapes and Raisins
If a dog eats grapes and raisins, it can cause their kidneys to fail. What isn’t clear however is why some dogs can eat them and others can have life-threatening problems after only eating a few. The best way to avoid problems is to never feed either one of them to your dog. Toxicosis that is caused from grapes or raisins will cause vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea within 12 hours of the dog eating them. As it gets worse, they become more lethargic and dehydrated and may refuse to eat. Within 3 to 4 days, the dog can die from kidney failure. Those who do survive may have long-term kidney disease.
Onions and Garlic
Every member of the onion family is toxic to dogs. This includes onions, garlic, shallots and scallions. They have compounds in them that can damage the dog’s red blood cells if enough of them are ingested. In general, the stronger that it is, the more toxic it is. Be specifically aware of concentrated products such as dehydrated onions, onion soup mix or garlic powder. These especially put dogs at risk of developing toxicosis. It takes 3 to 5 days after a dog eats these vegetables before symptoms occur. A dog that has eaten onions or garlic may appear weak or won’t want to move. They may get tired easily after only a little bit of exercise. Their urine may become orange or dark red in color. In severe cases, the dog may require a blood transfusion to stay alive.
Alcohol and Hops
Some people may think it would be cute to give their dog a little bit of beer or other alcohol. Those that do this are poisoning their dog. This is because dogs are much more sensitive to ethanol than humans are. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause them to become intoxicated. When alcohol is ingested by dogs, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, disorientation and stupor. In cases that are severe, a coma or seizures may occur and the dog can even die. Dog who ingest either fresh or cooked hops will experience a very high fever that can’t be controlled. Their organs will begin to fail, one at a time.
Dough that is made with live yeast is dangerous if a dog ingests it. When the dog swallows the dough, the warm, moist environment of the stomach allows the yeast to multiply, making it grow larger and larger in the stomach. This may cause the blood flow to the stomach to be decreased, which will result in the death of tissue. An expanding stomach may also press on the diaphragm, which makes it difficult for the dog to breathe. When the yeast multiplies, alcohols are produced that can be absorbed and the dog gets intoxicated. Vomiting and disorientation are common, and in extreme cases a coma or seizures may occur. Death can also happen from the alcohol intoxication caused by the dough.
Should your dog happen to eat any of these toxic foods, take them to see their veterinarian without hesitation. Doing so may save the life of your dog.
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