We all love our dogs, which often leads to us feeding them some of our meals because we like to give them food - it makes them happy, after all. Loving them should, however, mean more than that. We need to have their best interests at heart, and that entails knowing what’s good for them, and what foods they should never, ever eat.
Chocolate And Caffeine
If there’s one food we all know dogs shouldn’t eat, it’s chocolate. We’re not just being selfish because we want it all to ourselves, but chocolate, coffee, and other caffeinated products are actually highly toxic. They contain substances known as methylxanthines, which cause a huge range of problems, including seizures, heart problems, and even death.
Most artificially sweetened products include a substance called Xylitol. Although, not just in sweeteners, Xylitol is often found in many sugar-free products, like candy and peanut butter. The chemical causes insulin release which can lead to seizures and brain damage. So, check the ingredients before giving anything to your pup.
Grapes And Raisins
While you might think that because grapes and raisins are pretty good for us, they’ll be safe for your dogs, too, but they're actually highly toxic and are known for causing kidney failure. Experts are yet to deduce what it is that causes illness in canines, but either way, they’re certainly a food to avoid.
Alcohol And Medication
So, you probably think this is a given, but it’s surprising how many people think a few drops of whiskey won’t hurt their pup or don’t keep their medications stored away from reach. Even a single ibuprofen tablet can be fatal to your dog, so be sure to hide any medication well away. Alcohol can affect dogs - and any animals - after very tiny amounts, leading to nervous system problems, comas, and death.
Nuts are incredibly toxic to dogs, too, no matter what kind. Peanuts, cashews, macadamias, walnuts, or any other nut can be dangerous. The high amount of oil and fat in them can induce vomiting, pancreatitis, tremors, and hyperthermia in your beloved dog. You can get dog-friendly peanut butter to smear on treats, however.
Onions, Chives, And Garlic
Regardless of their form, be it powdered, raw, or cooked, these foods can cause gastrointestinal irritation and damage to red blood cells. Cats are more at risk of these foods, but they should equally be avoided with dogs.
Raw And Undercooked Meat, Eggs, And Bones
Ignore the general misconception that dogs can have bones from your leftovers - they can’t; they’re a big choking risk, and if they break during digestion, they can puncture your dog’s digestive tract. Undercooked meat and eggs also affect dogs like they do us - risking E. coli and Salmonella, and they can also cause skin problems.
If you are looking to give your dog some of your food, always make sure it’s not going to harm them first. The tiniest amount of any of these products can cause significant damage. Some dogs are more susceptible than others, so don’t ever take a risk with them. Better yet, stick to treats made especially for dogs, and you’re pretty safe.