Dogs are notorious for eating things that they shouldn’t. The reason for this varies depending on the dog, and the situation. They could eat something because it seems new and exciting, or because they’re bored, or because they’re a labrador and like to eat anything they can get their mouth around. Regardless of the reason, your dog can easily get itself into trouble by eating something that it shouldn’t. There are many different foods that you may or may not know that can be deadly to your dog. Some of these foods are so common place you may be feeding them to your dog without realizing that it can negatively affect their health.
I recently adopted a dog who LOVES to try to get food off of the counter top when I’m not looking. This is not something that is okay by me! Not only was I afraid that he’d steal my dinner, but I also realized that these foods might actually hurt him, so I began to research. What I found is that many websites on the internet only list a handful of deadly or poisonous foods on their lists, so I found myself flipping through multiple pages to get all of the information that I needed. This prompted me to make a mega super full list of the household foods that can be deadly to dogs. Here we go.
Many people know that chocolate can be poisonous to dogs, but many people don’t know to what extent. Cocoa contains a toxin called methylxanthines. The darker the chocolate, the more deadly it is (dark chocolate possesses more cocoa than milk chocolate). The size of the dog and the amount of chocolate it has consumed predicts how deadly it will be for the dog. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, irregular heart rhythm, tremors and death. Symptoms will occur 4-24 hours after ingestion.
The actual toxin that is poisonous for dogs is unknown, but it does cause kidney failure. Raisins are a dehydrated version of grapes, and so contain the same toxins. Until more is known about it, it’s best to steer clear of both grapes and raisins.
3. The Onion Family (onions, garlic, leeks, chives)
Causes gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Symptoms will only occur a few days after ingestion, so it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the cause of the poisoning. Although cats are much more susceptible to this form of poisoning, dogs will also be affected if enough is ingested. This can be a controversial topic because some vets will prescribe garlic to a dog, but, as with anything, it is all about quantity vs. body size.
4. Macadamia Nuts/Walnuts
Macadamia nuts may cause hind end weakness or paralysis. Symptoms will appear 12 hours after ingestion and will last for 12-48 hours. Walnuts contain a toxin that causes seizures or neurological symptoms.
5. Tomato Leaves/Stems
Tomato leaves and stems can be quite poisonous for dogs. This isn’t the fruit of the tomato, but is the green section that humans typically don’t eat. The leaves and stems of tomatoes contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
6. Mouldy/Bad Food
Your dog is not a garbage can. The same bacteria in mouldy food that is poisonous to humans is also poisonous to dogs. If something has gone bad, don’t feed it to your dog, throw it in the garbage.
7. Corn on the Cob
Many people will feed their dog corn on the cob as a kind of treat or chew toy, while this isn’t poisonous to your dog, it can be deadly. The kernels are difficult for a dog to digest, and the cob can become lodged in the dog’s intestines.
Dogs do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzymes that break down lactose in milk). Milk and other dairy-based products can cause digestive problems, and diarrhea. In small doses dairy is alright for dogs.
9. Baby Food
Many people will add baby food to a dog’s kibble as a supplement. While baby food itself is not poisonous for dogs, some of the ingredients in it can be, including ingredients like grapes, onions and garlic. If you do choose to add baby food to your dog’s diet be sure to look at the ingredients thoroughly to be sure there is nothing in it that can harm your dog.
Ingesting too much of anything can cause problems for dogs, the same is true for salt. While salt itself isn’t deadly for dogs, too much of it can cause an imbalance in electrolyte levels, dehydration and potentially diarrhea.
11. Coconut/Coconut Water
The flesh and milk of fresh coconuts contain oils that can cause an upset stomach, loose stools and diarrhea. Coconut water is high in potassium and should not be given to your pet. While small amounts of coconut will not seriously harm your pet, it is best to steer clear of them.
The stems, leaves, peels, seeds and fruit of citrus plants contain citric acid which can cause irritation and possibly central nervous system depression in significant amounts. However, eating small amounts of the fruit will not cause serious problems for your dog beyond an upset stomach.
13. Yeast Dough
Yeast dough is not poisonous to your dog, but it can be deadly. The yeast can rise in the stomach, making the stomach bloat and potentially twist, which is a life threatening situation that can result in death.
This includes coffee, coffee grinds, and tea bags. The symptoms of caffeine poisoning are similar to that of chocolate. A couple of laps of caffeine won’t kill your dog, but in large portions it can serious harm it.
Pits and seeds can be a serious choking hazard for your dog, no matter the size. There are also some seeds that contain traces of cyanide.
16. Eggs/Raw Meat/Raw Fish
Just as with humans, the bacteria that grows on raw meat and fish can be dangerous to dogs. Raw meat, fish and eggs can contain bacteria like salmonella and e. Coli. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems.
A substance called Persin is in the leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocado and will cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs. The pit in an avocado can also be a choking hazard.
Sugar is bad for dogs for many reasons. Sugar contains xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener found in gum, candy and some baked goods. Xylitol destroys the liver and can drive blood sugar down which causes seizures. Dental issues, obesity and diabetes are also a concern for pets that are fed sugar. Signs that a dog has had too much sugar include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination.
Alcohol is extremely toxic for dogs. Most animals will not willingly ingest alcoholic products, but in the occasion that they do there are a wide variety of symptoms. Alcohol consumption can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.
Some people will give acetaminophen in the form of drugs like tylenol and advil as a painkiller for their dog. This can actually be quite dangerous for the dog. Acetaminophen destroys the liver cells and damages the kidneys resulting in poor oxygen circulation throughout the body. Drug companies have come up with a special painkiller that is safe for dogs, so if your dog requires painkillers then talk to your vet about that option before giving your dog acetaminophen meant for humans.
Contrary to popular belief, cooked or rendered fat is bad for dogs. It can cause pancreatitis and is difficult for the dog to digest. Instead of feeding the “fatty bits” of meat to your dog, throw it in the garbage can instead.
22. Household/Cleaning Products
It goes without saying that many cleaning product is bad for your dog and should be kept up high or locked away when you have a dog at home. Toilet bowl cleaner is a common household item that is easy for dogs to be accidental ingest, especially for dogs that are prone to drinking out of the toilet. Anti-freeze is another common product that is very dangerous to dogs. You may not know this, but antifreeze has a sweet taste, so a dog could ingest more than is safe for it, and it could be deadly. These are just a few examples of deadly household products for your dog. If you have human children in the house, you know that it is important to keep your products up high, or locked away. The same is true for if you have a dog in the house.
There are a ton of videos on the internet that show dogs that are high on marijuana. Although these videos may be funny to some people, from the dog’s perspective it can be terrifying. In most cases, dog are exposed to marijuana ingestion through eating a “stash”. The toxin in marijuana that is dangerous to dogs is called Delta-9-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). When a dog is exposed to marijuana is can lose its mobility, can cause breathing problems, lethargy, lower blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, incontinence, and seizures. This can cause serious anxiety in a dog, which can result in other behavioural issues in the future. Size of the dog and amount of marijuana ingested will play a part in how toxic it will be for your dog.
24. Household Plants
Many dogs will chew anything that they can get their mouths around, this includes your household plants. As a general rule, keep your dog away from all of your plants, as many of them can be poisonous. Some of the most common poisonous plants being Aloe Vera, Baby’s Breath, and Carnations.
Believe it or not, bones can be deadly for dogs. Bones that have been cooked can easily splinter, getting caught in the intestines or injuring the mouth. Raw bones, however, don’t splinter in the same way that cooked bones do, so they are not a choking hazard in the same way. If you chose to give your dog a bone as a treat, make sure that the bone is raw, and don’t give your dog bones when you are not there to monitor.