It would be nice to let your pooch have a piece of that chocolate birthday cake with the chocolate frosting, but you can't. Chocolate is toxic to dogs. There are a number of foods that will hurt your dog, and some may be surprising.
Chocolate and Caffeine
The darker the chocolate the more dangerous it is. The worst culprit is baking chocolate. Chocolate contains methyxanthines found in cacao seeds. White chocolate contains the least amount of methyxanthines. The results from your pooch eating chocolate can include vomiting, hyperactivity, diarrhea, panting, thirst, tremors, seizures and even death for your precious pet. Caffeine also contains methyxanthines, so any products containing caffeine are toxic for your pooch including soda, coffee and coffee products.
Macadamia Nuts, Avocado and Sugarless Products
Macadamia nuts are commonly used in making cookies and candies. They are also popular in mixed nuts. Symptoms include muscle weakness in the hind legs, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain. The symptoms appear within 12 hours and can last for 48 hours. Dogs usually recover from the ingestion of the nuts.
Avocados contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Dogs are usually fine after the symptoms pass.
Xylitol is a sweetener used in candy, cookies and other baked goods. It's also found in toothpaste. Xylitol can cause insulin release and liver failure. Other symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination.
Grapes, Raisins, Onions, Garlic and Chives
It's not known what is in grapes and raisins that are toxic to dogs, but ingestion can cause kidney failure and more complications in dogs that have other health issues.
Onions, garlic and chives can cause gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage leading to anemia. Some of these products are found in dog food in small amounts. It's larger doses that could harm your pet. Make sure the leftover pizza is not within reach of your pooch.
Milk, Salt and Yeast Dough
Milk and milk products can cause diarrhea and digestive upset. Dogs do not possess enough lactase to break down the lactose in milk and milk products.
Salt can produce excessive thirst, urination and sodium ion poisoning. Vomiting, diarrhea, tremors and possible death can occur. Don't let your pet snack on your potato chips or even have a piece of that steak you just loaded with salt.
Yeast dough can rise and cause gas in your pet's digestive system. It can even cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. It's unlikely you would feed your pup yeast dough, but if it's sitting on the counter while you're cooking, he might grab it.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.