While we might give our pups a treat from the table every now and then, many foods that are healthy for humans are harmful to dogs and most other pets. Here’s a list of 12 foods that veterinarians widely agree you should never give to your dog.
- Drinks and foods with caffeine, including coffee and chocolate. Dark chocolate, as well as milk chocolate, is actually toxic to dogs, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, hyperactivity, even death.
- Bones. Although your pet’s wild relatives eat the carcasses of their prey, vets say chicken bones and bones from other animals can cause an obstruction or laceration in your dog’s digestive system.
- Nightshade vegetables, such as mushrooms, onions, garlic, and tomatoes.
- Sugary or salty foods, including gum and those with artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol.
- Milk and dairy products.
- Nuts, especially macadamia nuts. Vets say even 1 to 2 ounces of macadamia nuts can cause temporary paralysis.
- Avocado. Avocados contain an ingredient called persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
- Fruits, such as grapes, raisins, or currants, and those with a pit. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
- Yeast dough. It can rise in your pooches’ tummy, causing gas to accumulate. Small bits of baked bread are okay for an occasional treat.
- Raw or undercooked meat or eggs, and moldy, spoiled foods. Bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli hide out in undercooked and spoiled foods and are dangerous to both people and animals.
- Cat food. It is too high in protein and fat for dogs.
- Tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, including marijuana. A tipsy dog might be the life of the party, but do your pet a favor and leave him out of the festivities.
The best way to keep your pet healthy is to feed him a high-quality pet food and limit or avoid human food. Ask your vet for a pet food recommendation, especially if your pet is older or has special needs. If you must give your dog table scraps, limit them to 10 percent or less of his total diet.
Is your dog a bit of a food thief? Keep human food in dog-proof containers and store it in cabinets where your pet can’t get to it. If you suspect your dog has eaten something potentially dangerous, contact your vet immediately. In many cases, early recognition and treatment are critical.