When it comes to table food, even the most disciplined dog owner can have a hard time saying “no” to the adorable, begging eyes of her poodle. While safe for humans, certain table foods are extremely dangerous for poodles and should be avoided, even as occasional treats or rewards.
While giving your poodle a beer at a party might make for a hilarious scene from a movie, it can have serious consequences in real life. Whether it's beer, wine or liquor, even small amounts of alcohol can cause severe intoxication in dogs. Much like with humans, alcohol poisoning in dogs can lead to vomiting, lack of coordination, nervous system depression, coma or death. Poodles unable to stand due to alcohol intoxication will need to be monitored by a veterinarian.
With so many temptations available, from bite-sized candies, to cookies, to brownies, to baking materials, it's not surprising that dogs commonly eat chocolate. Unfortunately, chocolate is toxic to poodles and other dogs. The compounds in chocolate, known as methylxanthines, cause vomiting, thirst, restlessness, irregular heartbeat, increased body temperature, seizures and even death. Experts report that the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to dogs, but that is not a green light to reward your poodle with white chocolate treats. White chocolate still contains potent levels of methylxanthines. It's best to avoid giving your poodle chocolate all together, as even small amounts can be hazardous.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins, although considered a healthy snack for people, pose extreme dangers to poodles and other dogs. Even a handful of grapes can lead to kidney failure or even death within as few as four days. While it's unknown why grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs, or why certain dogs are affected from eating grapes while other aren't, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals cautions all dog owners to avoid feeding their dogs grapes, even if their dogs have tolerated grapes and raisins in the past.
Many people inadvertently give macadamia nuts to their dogs through cookies, candies and other party mixes. Macadamia nuts are particularly dangerous to poodles, causing symptoms such as weakness, vomiting and tremors. While macadamia nut toxicosis in dogs is unlikely fatal, it can cause extreme discomfort for up to 48 hours and may require veterinary attention for intravenous fluids or pain control.
Never heard of Xylitol before? You're probably not alone. Chances are you have it around your house, though. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in gum, candy, baked goods, toothpaste and several other consumer goods. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, even small amounts cause liver damage when consumed by dogs. While initial signs of Xylitol toxicity can be vomiting and loss of coordination, those symptoms can quickly evolve into seizures and total liver failure.
Jen Gehring is a political consultant and college law professor. She holds a J.D. from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Cincinnati. She began working as a professional writer in 2010.