Most people have a pet of some kind. It’s estimated that over two-thirds of all American households have a pet. The most common pet out there is man’s best friend – the dog. It’s estimated that roughly one in every two homes in America (that’s half) has a dog. Every dog owner knows that it can be a hassle to keep the curiosity of their dogs in check. It can be annoying when they go after your shoes or eat your homework (which can happen!), but it can be downright dangerous if they break into the pantry and get their paws on something they shouldn’t. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received some 200,000 poisoning cases in 2017, one-fifth of which were caused by animals eating human food that they shouldn’t.
When you think about what treats to offer a dog, you’ll likely think about foods that you enjoy. The problem is that some foods that humans eat are dangerous for dogs. Everyone knows how dangerous chocolate for dogs is, but that’s just one example. Dogs have different metabolisms than humans. They aren’t able to process the same foods that we can. Some foods will only cause minor digestive issues, while others can prove more toxic and can even be fatal.
It’s all too tempting to share your food with your dog, especially when they start begging, but you should remember that they can’t handle everything. You should know which foods your dog can and can’t eat. Not every human food is going to be harmful for dogs. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat and many dog food brands contain human-grade ingredients.
With that said, here are some of the foods that we eat that our dogs shouldn’t.
We know that humans are able to safely consume milk from cows. We’ve been doing it for centuries after all. However, dogs have their own metabolism and have to be handled differently. While it’s perfectly fine for a dog to digest milk from their mother, they aren’t able to process cow milk as easily. Dogs, like humans, can be lactose intolerant thanks to the milk sugar in cow’s milk. They don’t have the enzymes they need to safely break down and digest the milk. If a dog consumes cow’s milk it can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and vomiting. While it isn’t necessarily life threatening for a dog to consume milk, it can contribute to major bacterial exposure and increase the risk of them getting another illness or disease.
Cheese is made from milk, so it’s not surprising to learn that cheese has the same sugar and fat that milk does. As such, it’s just as hard for dogs to process cheese as it is for them to process milk. If dogs consume too much cheese it causes issues such as gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. Manufactured dog food is much better for your dog than cheese and milk.
Onions contain micronutrients known as disulfides and sulfoxides. These can be dangerous for dogs if they aren’t digested properly. Onions can damage red blood cells in your dog and lead to anemia. They make dogs weaker and cause them to be more lethargic. If your dog eats too many onions they may require a blood transfusion to undo the damage.
Macadamia nuts contain chemicals known for causing toxic reactions in dogs. When dogs eat macadamia nuts it can cause them to become too weak to walk properly. The nuts can harm their digestive system, nervous system, and muscles. The symptoms of macadamia nut consumption in dogs are depression, tremors, staggering gait, and hypothermia.
Garlic is considered to be a member of the onion family. Just like onions, garlic is considered dangerous for dogs. Garlic contains components that are highly toxic to dogs. One problem with dogs and garlic is that the symptoms of eating garlic may not present for a few days. It causes them to be tired and lethargic and can change the color of their urine; turning it into a dark red. Once again, they may require a dog blood transfusion to deal with the symptoms and move past the problem.
Grapes, currants, and raisins all contain chemicals known to cause rapid kidney failure in dogs. The effect can vary from dog to dog. Grapes can also cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as dehydration and loss of appetite. Kidney failure in dogs is a serious issue that can potentially lead to death.
Avocados have become a smash hit for humans recently, but avocados for dogs are not encouraged at all. The pits, fruit, seeds, leaves, and bark of avocados contain the toxin Persin. Persin has a toxic effect on dogs, the strength of which varies between dog breeds. It can lead to upset stomachs, fluid buildup in the chest, and eventually breathing difficulties in dogs. The avocado pit is the most dangerous part of the avocado for dogs. They are slippery and can easily be swallowed, leading to blockages in the gastrointestinal tract.
If you enjoy eating apples, then you should be careful with the cores. Don’t leave them lying around where a dog might get them as they are dangerous for dogs. Apple cores, along with the cores of apricots, peaches, pears, and plums, contain glycosides. These glycosides can cause problems such as breathing issues, collapse, seizures, hyperventilation, seizures, and possibly even comas in dogs.
Yeast dough is used for making bread, which is harmful for dogs. Yeast dough can damage a dog’s stomach. It expands in their stomach and intestine and creates a lot of gas in their digestive system. This causes problems including stomach pains, abdominal discomfort, lethargy, and vomiting.
Caffeine contains the component methylated xanthine. This increases the level of functioning in a dog’s nervous system. It causes vomiting, heart palpitations, restlessness and – in the worst case scenario – death. Make sure that you keep your dog away from things like coffee and other substances rich in caffeine.
Dogs require special care and attention. It is the responsibility of every dog owner to keep their dog away from foods that are harmful to them. Keep in mind that dogs are like humans in that different dogs will react differently to these foods. The damage can vary depending on the breed and size of your dog. Pick out the best dog food you can and feed them properly. Be careful about how much you feed them even with completely safe dog food, as dogs can quickly become overweight.