Dogs are more than man’s best friend. Our furry canine companions help us become better people by teaching us responsibility and patience. And no matter what breed you might have or how big or small they might be, dogs show us just how deep our love can go.
So when you’re snacking around the house and your pet gives you puppy dog eyes (literally), you might feel tempted to give them a small bite. Unfortunately, being generous with your pet isn’t always safe. Common foods that we pick up from our local grocery stores can be bad for dogs.
Using information from the American Kennel Club, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, we determined what foods you need to keep out of your dog’s diet.
This might be obvious, but you should always refrain from giving your furry pet sips of your favorite cocktail. Alcohol can be poisonous to dogs, and just a few sips can cause their organ systems to fail. If you leave your drink unattended and your dog’s curiosity gets the best of it, Hill’s Pet Nutrition recommends immediately contacting a veterinarian to monitor your pet’s health.
Almonds are great for a human diet. They’re packed with protein, and studies have shown that the nut might even lower your risk of cancer. But the crunchy snack is not so great for dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, almonds can block a dog’s esophagus or tear the windpipe if eaten hurriedly and not chewed properly. In addition, salted almonds can increase water retention, which can be lethal to dogs predisposed to heart disease.
Just because you should eat an avocado every day doesn’t mean your dog should. According to the American Kennel Club, avocados contain persin. Persin is a fungicidal toxin, which, when consumed by dogs, can cause health problems, and even death. Dogs are also at risk of choking on the seed found in the middle of the fruit.
Bacon is enjoyed in many different forms around the world. But it’s also a rich and fatty food packed with salt. This overload of salt could be too much for your dog’s stomach, according to the American Kennel Club. Ingesting a copious amount of bacon could also cause pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, in your pooch.
Dogs love a good bone to gnaw on. But feeding your furry friend bones from your dinner plate could lead to choking. And if the bone splinters while your dog is enjoying its treat, it could become lodged or puncture your pet’s digestive tract. So as much as you’d like to share your nicely cooked bone marrow dish with your pet, keep it to yourself.
Bread dough can be extremely harmful to your dog, according to the American Kennel Club. Your dog’s stomach creates perfect conditions for bread dough to rise. As it does, your pet’s stomach will bloat and toxic levels of ethanol will be released into the bloodstream, leading to alcohol poisoning.
Canned fruit is an ingredient people rarely cook with anymore, but if you do find yourself cracking open a can of peaches for a nice cobbler, don’t share any with your pup. Canned peaches contain a large quantity of sugar. They may also use preservatives and artificial sweeteners, all of which can agitate your dog’s digestive system.
No ice cream sundae is complete without a cherry on top, but your dog’s diet is. According to the American Kennel Club, cherry plants contain cyanide. Cyanide disrupts the flow of cellular oxygen throughout the body, meaning your pup’s blood cells won’t get an adequate amount of oxygen.
This might be the oldest rule in the book: Dogs should never eat chocolate. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, toxic substances that can halt a dog’s metabolic process. According to the American Kennel Club, just a small bite of chocolate can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. And if your dog eats a large helping, seizures, irregular heart function and death might ensue. Humans might see health benefits from eating chocolate every day, but your dog shouldn’t have any.
Remember the cinnamon challenge? It’s not just humans that this stunt was bad for. According to the American Kennel Club, cinnamon might not be toxic to your dog, but it still shouldn’t be ingested. Cinnamon can irritate the inside of your pup’s mouth, leading to sickness. And if eaten regularly, cinnamon can lower their blood sugar and lead to liver disease.
You only have to travel to your local supermarket to find some of the best coffee in America. But neither the drink nor the beans should be given to your dog. According to the ASPCA, cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee, contain methylxanthines. When consumed, dogs can experience diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and even possibly death. Now you have an excuse to curb that caffeine addiction.
When barbeque season is in full swing, no plate is complete without grilled corn on the cob. But no matter how tempted you are to share the cob with your dog, the American Kennel Club recommends keeping it out of paw’s reach. Your pet can choke on the cob, and if gobbled whole, it can cause intestinal blockage.
The bread on the top shelf of the cupboard often finds a way to mold over before you can eat it. But just because you don’t want to see good food go to waste doesn’t mean you should feed it to your eagerly awaiting dog. According to the FDA, moldy foods can seriously irritate your dog’s stomach and lead to vomiting and diarrhea. And once you do trash those moldy buns, make sure they’re well out of your dog’s reach.
Fried chicken is very popular, but you’ll have to refrain from giving a bite to your furry friend. According to the FDA, fried foods can give your dog a stomach ache and potentially lead to life-threatening diseases like pancreatitis.
Garlic, when added to a balanced diet, can help prevent Alzheimers and dementia in people. But the vegetable is highly toxic to dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, garlic can create anemia in dogs, a condition in which a reduced number of red blood circulates in your dog’s bloodstream. Side effects can include pale gums, an elevated heart rate and collapsing.
Consuming a grape or two might not immediately harm your dog. But the consumption of the fruit has been associated with kidney failure, making sharing not worth the risk. If your dog eats grapes and experiences vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea, Hill’s Pet Nutrition recommends taking it to a vet immediately. Your pup can develop long-term kidney disease or even die from kidney failure within a few short days.
Ice cream is delicious, but even on insanely warm days when temperatures are high, you still shouldn’t give your dog a lick. Ice cream contains a lot of sugar, and some dogs’ stomachs can’t handle lactose. Instead of ice cream, freeze pieces of safe-to-eat fruit, like strawberries or apples, and share them with your pup.
Macadamia nuts are one of the best nuts for your health, but according to the American Kennel Club, they’re one of the most poisonous foods for dogs. When eaten, macadamia nuts can affect your dog’s nervous system and cause vomiting, an inability to walk, lethargy and depression.
You can enjoy mushrooms at almost every meal, but you shouldn’t feed them to your dogs. We eat mushrooms with seasonings and oils, all of which can be detrimental to your dog’s health. And never let your dog nibble at a wild mushroom sprouting from the ground — it could be poisonous.
After you learn how to properly cut an onion without crying, you might be tempted to spice up every dish with a dash of the vegetable. Just don’t feed it to your dog. According to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, anything in the onion family is toxic to dogs. When eaten, compounds found in onions can lead to anemia and damage to the red blood cells.
According to the ASPCA, plum stems, leaves and seeds contain cyanide. Your dog might experience dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting and shock after eating this fruit, so it’s best to keep it out of reach.
When a craving for a salty and crunchy snack hits, you might reach for a bag of potato chips. But don’t drop a chip or two under the table for your dog. According to the ASPCA, salt-heavy snacks like potato chips and popcorn can cause excessive thirst and urination as well as sodium ion poisoning.
Raisins might seem like a healthier alternative to grapes, but they, too, can lead to long-term kidney disease or even death when consumed by a dog.
Just like humans, dogs can also contract salmonella from the consumption of raw eggs. And prolonged feeding of raw egg whites can lead to a deficiency in biotin, a vitamin that supports healthy skin, digestion and metabolism. The American Kennel Club recommends cooking eggs before feeding them to your pup. Just don’t put in any extra flavorful ingredients that you would normally add.
Dogs might be served large slabs of raw beef in the movies, but the FDA strongly recommends that dog owners refrain from feeding their pets raw meat. Raw meat can contain E. coli and salmonella, both of which are harmful bacteria that can be detrimental to your dog’s health. The American Veterinary Medical Association recently released a statement discouraging the feeding of raw or undercooked animal-source protein to dogs. Raw meat also contains sodium. Too much salt isn't only bad for your dog. It can be dangerous for people too. These are the unexpected signs you’re eating too much salt.
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