It can be almost impossible not to share a tasty treat when your canine buddy is sitting there giving you “the look” with his big, pleading eyes. Before you give in, take a good look at what you’re eating, and make sure your snack isn’t going to poison your pal.
Dogs love chocolate, but it can kill them. It contains methylxanthines, naturally-occurring substances that can cause anything from diarrhea to seizures and heart problems. Methylxanthines are also found in some types of soda and foods containing caffeine.
While you might not be planning on handing your dog a chunk of onion anytime soon, the slice of onion on your hamburger or the chopped onions in a casserole may be enough to cause him some problems. Too many onions at the very least may upset his stomach, and in some cases can damage his red blood cells, resulting in serious health consequences.
Despite the fact that people do sometimes feed raw eggs to their dogs, the avidin the eggs contain can cause problems with biotin absorption. The result is that your dog’s skin and coat may suffer. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also warns that eggs may contain E. coli and salmonella, both of which can cause serious health problems when ingested.
Tossing grapes or raisins to your dog may seem harmless enough, but both are known to cause kidney failure, though the exact nature of the toxin isn’t known. Watch out for foods that contain either of these, especially raisins, since they may turn up in bread, muffins and other seemingly innocent foods.
Macadamia nuts add flavor and crunch to lots of foods, especially cookies, specialty breads and treats. If your dog eats any of these, he may tremble or show signs of weakness, as well as vomiting. The symptoms typically show up within 12 hours of eating the nuts, and can last as long as two days.
While not really food, medications can quickly kill your pet if he eats the wrong one, or even if he gets too much of his own medicine. Always ask the vet before giving your dog anything for pain, stomach upset or other problems. Simple drugs that people use all the time, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can kill your dog.
Enough foods can be harmful to your dog that you shouldn't give him anything you aren’t sure about. If he manages to scarf down something toxic despite your best efforts, call your veterinarian immediately and ask for advice. Quick action may spare your pet from a lot of suffering, perhaps even death. Ask your vet what you should keep on hand to make your dog vomit in case he eats a food that’s bad for him. Hydrogen peroxide and mustard are two of the possibilities she may suggest, but go with whatever she advises and keep it handy, just in case.