There are various common foods that are toxic to dogs. Unfortunately, many dog owners fail to realize the dangers to their pets. The following foods that dogs have been known to eat are all toxic…so beware!

Contents at a Glance

Chocolate/Caffeine

Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.

If their pet shows no ill effects after eating a large quantity of chocolate, many pet owners assume their pet is OK. But, keep in mind that the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours, with death following within twenty-four hours. Symptoms include staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia, seizures, coma, death.

The most toxic forms of chocolate are cocoa powder and cooking chocolate. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain 10 times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Thus, a chocolate mud cake could be a real health risk for a small dog. Even licking a substantial part of the chocolate icing from a cake can make a dog unwell.

The next most dangerous chocolate are semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.

Onions/Garlic

Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger.

Dangerous Foods for Dogs that Should be Avoided

Dangerous Foods for Dogs that Should be Avoided

If a pet is affected by onion toxicity it will develop haemolytic anaemia, where the pet’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body. Symptoms include Hemolytic Anemia, labored breathing, liver damage, vomiting, diarrhea, discolored urine.

The poisoning occurs a few days after the pet has eaten the onion. All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Remember that left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to young pets, can cause illness.

While garlic also contains the toxic ingredient thiosulphate, it seems that garlic is less toxic and large amounts would need to be eaten to cause illness.

Mushrooms

Mushroom toxicity does occur in dogs and it can be fatal if certain species of mushrooms are eaten. Amanita phalloides is the most commonly reported severely toxic species of mushroom in the US but other Amanita species are toxic. Symptoms include Abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting diarrhea, convulsions, coma, death

Grapes/Raisins

Dogs can become ill with as few as a handful of raisins or grapes. However, of the 10 cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), each dog ingested between 9 ounces and 2 pounds of grapes or raisins. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are another concern, along with most other kinds of nuts. Their high phosphorus content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.

NOTE: Pets owners should not assume that human food is always safe for pets. When it comes to chocolate, onions, garlic and macadamia nuts, such foods should be given in only small quantities, or not at all. Be sure that your pets can’t get into your stash of chocolates, that food scraps are disposed of carefully to prevent onion and garlic toxicity and that your dog is prevented from picking up macadamia nuts if you have a tree in your garden.

Baby Food

Can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.

Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources

Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.

Cat Food

Cat food is generally too high in protein and fats.

Fat Trimmings

Can cause pancreatitis.

Milk and other dairy products

Some adult dogs and cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.

Raw Eggs

Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.

Raw Fish

Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.