Toxic foods for Dogs

We all love to feed our dog’s our snacks or share a bit of our meals every now and again, especially when they are sitting there drooling with desperation. But do we really know the foods that may be possibly toxic to them?

Chocolate is something that most of us love, but it can be extremely fatal to dogs. Cocoa contained in chocolate contains a chemical called theobromide, which affects the heart, kidneys, lungs and nervous system. Sometimes symptoms do not present for several hours after consumption, but eventually may show signs of labored breathing, fever, increased heart rate, staggering, vomiting, diarrhea and possible seizures. If you suspect your dog has consumed chocolate or cocoa, veterinary attention should be sought immediately.

Caffeine, including coffee, tea, energy drinks and soft drinks can all cause damage to the heart, kidneys, lungs and nervous system. Some of the first signs of toxicity may be restlessness, hyperactivity and vomiting. They can also get increased heart rate, muscle tremors, staggering gait and convulsions.

Xylitol is one of the most common ingredients found in human foods such as sugar free biscuits, lollies and gum. When this is ingested in small amounts, it can lower blood sugar, cause seizures, liver failure and possible death. Symptoms can appear within 30 minutes of ingestion and veterinary attention is immediately required.

Avocado contains a substance called persin that can cause possible toxic effects, some of the early signs being vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Not only is the avocado fruit toxic but also the leaves, seed and bark, so if growing avocados at home it is best to keep the dog away from the plant.

Onions and garlic- in any form such as raw, cooked, dry or powdered contain thiosulphates, which are toxic and destroy red blood cells that can lead to anemia. Some symptoms can be weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate and pale gums. Urgent veterinary treatment is required if presented with these symptoms.

Grapes, raisins and sultanas are also poisonous, and just a small amount can make a dog ill and can cause kidney failure. Signs may be reduced urination, appetite and water intake, abdominal pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea, which generally appear within 24 hours after consumption.

Macadamia nuts or foods containing these can make a dog ill, symptoms being muscle tremors, weakness, staggering, joint and muscle pain and swelling within 24 hours after consumption.

Fruit pits and seeds- Apple seeds, cherry, peach, plum and apricot pits contain the toxin cyanide. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, panting, rapid heart rate and coma. Not only is the cyanide a toxin, but obstruction may also be of concern from consuming the pits and seeds.

Tomatoes, potatoes and rhubarb contain oxylates that can affect the nervous, urinary and nervous system. Green tomatoes, tomato leaves and plants, green potatoes and potato skins are the most toxic- triggering tremors, seizures and increased heart rate.

It is important to contact a veterinarian if there are any concerns about your dog ingesting these foods, or if experiencing any abnormal symptoms. It is best to avoid exposing your dog to these foods to prevent any chances of possible toxicity. Instead, purchase some healthy dog treats from a local pet store or supermarket to ensure the safety and health of your pet.