Although there are a lot of “human” foods that we can feed our dogs, there are also a handful of harmful or poisonous “human” foods that we should never feed our dogs. Below is a list of foods and a few other items common in our houses that you should never feed your dog. Many of these you may already know about, but I bet some of these might even surprise the most seasoned pet owner. Remember, always check with your vet if you have major questions about your dogs health and eating habits.
Avocados – Avocados can contain persin which is toxic and very harmful to your dog. Every part of the avocado is risky, from the pit to the leaves; keep them away from your dog.
Alcohol – I think it is pretty common sense that we shouldn’t be trying to get our dogs drunk, but even if it seems like your dog likes the taste of beer, it is very harmful to their systems. Dogs are much smaller than humans and therefore are a lot more sensitive to alcohol.
Onions/Garlic – Onions and garlic can damage your dog’s red blood cells. Onions of any kind should be kept away from your dog and don’t give your dog garlic to get rid of fleas, it doesn’t kill fleas, but it might kill your dog.
Caffeine – Caffeine can be very harmful to your dog, especially if consumed in large amounts. Make sure there aren’t any coffee beans or grounds getting dropped on the floor because dogs will eat just about anything you drop.
Grapes/Raisins – Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs and should be kept far away from them. The thing about grapes and raisins is that they are small and easy to drop and lose in the kitchen. Be careful when you have these items in your kitchen, grapes can roll off the counter without you noticing and your dog might eat them up before you can grab them. If your dog is vomiting a lot, this could be a sign that they have gotten into the grapes, make sure you get them to the vet as soon as possible.
Dairy – Like a lot of humans, dogs can be very sensitive to dairy. It is best to avoid dairy all together with dogs, it can make their stomachs very upset and cause a mess you don’t want to clean up!
Macadamia Nuts – Macadamia nuts can be deadly to your dog; to make matters worse macadamia nuts can often be found in cookies with chocolate. It doesn’t take too many macadamia nuts to make your dog very ill, they become weak in their hind end and can suffer tremors. Get them to the vet as soon as you can if you suspect they have eaten macadamia nuts.
Xylitol – Xylitol is a sweetener that can commonly be found in gum, candies and diet products. Xylitol will cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop and can very quickly cause seizures or liver failure. Keep any products containing xylitol far away from your dog.
Chocolate – Everyone knows that dogs cannot have chocolate, but remember the darker the chocolate is the more harmful it will be to your dog. Also remember that if you have a small dog it doesn’t take much chocolate to make them sick. Keep chocolate out of any areas your dog can access.
Seeds/Pits of Fruit – If you are going to feed your dog fruit always make sure to remove the pits and seeds. Some fruit pits and seeds contain cyanide which is a poison to you and your dog. The pits and seeds can also cause inflammation and obstruction in your dog’s intestines, so keep the pits and seeds away from your dog.
Medicine – Dogs can get into our medicines and sometimes we feed them our medicines. As a rule of thumb, never give your dog any of the medications you take. Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin) and ibuprofen are perfectly fine for us to take, but they are not appropriate medication for your dog and can be very harmful. Take your dog to the vet if you think they need medicine and please let them know if you have already medicated them at home so your vet can avoid certain fatal drug combinations.
Nutmeg – It might be hard for your dog to get its paws on your nutmeg, but if you ever spill it on the floor or counter be sure to clean it up right away. Nutmeg and other spices can be toxic for your dog and should never be left out.
Rat Poison – This might seem like a no brainer, but rat poison will not only poison rats. Keep rat poison out of places that your dog can get in to, they will think it tastes delicious and won’t stop eating it until it is gone. Get them to the vet right away and bring the packaging with you.
Antifreeze – Keep your antifreeze on a high shelf and away from your dog. To a dog it tastes like a sweet treat, but their insides will disagree. It doesn’t take long for your dog to get sick from antifreeze so keep it out of reach from your dog.
Toilet Cleaner – This is an important one because dogs love to drink out of the toilet. If you have a dog that drinks out of the toilet you should avoid using any non-organic toilet bowl cleaners. Unless you are meticulous about keep the seat down or the door closed, you should not use chemical cleaners in your toilet. If you suspect your dog got into a toilet with cleaner in it, get them to the vet and bring the cleaner with you.
With some of the above items it is less about feeding them directly to your dog and more about making sure the items are not in a place that your dog can get into. Make sure that your home is a safe place for both you and your pets.