Who doesn’t love relaxing after a long day with a glass of wine and a piece of your favourite chocolate? Your dog doesn’t!
Humans and dogs have quite different digestive systems. So what tastes delicious to you won’t always be a treat for your pet. In fact, many human foods are toxic to dogs and can even cause death.
For your dog’s safety, make sure to NEVER let them eat these toxic people foods.
*If you think your dog may have consumed food on this list, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
While you may need a cup of coffee (or four) in the morning to wake up, your dog certainly does not.
Caffeine has a very strong effect on your pet. It can increase their heart rate and make them jittery and restless. The more caffeine your dog consumes, the worse effects they might experience. They could have seizures, diarrhea, a fever, go into a coma, or even die.
Your pup’s size and health will determine how much caffeine they can safely. Ironically, large dogs can lap up more Earl Grey than any teacup breed.
The type of caffeine consumed also affects toxicity levels. Caffeine hides in surprising places. From sodas and ice cream to diet foods, the stimulant can appear where you’d least expect. If your dog ever breaks into your snack stash, it’s a good idea to check the ingredients label.
Garlic and Onions
Garlic, onions, chives, shallots and leeks all contain chemical compounds called disulphides that can be toxic to dogs.
Humans are well equipped to digest garlic (especially our taste buds). But if your dog eats an especially garlicky dish, the side effects can be worse than bad breath.
Ingesting garlic can damage your pup’s red blood cells, causing anemia. Too much can be fatal. And since garlic is approximately 5 times more toxic to your pet than onions, even eating a small portion can be very harmful to your dog.
Milk and chocolate chip cookies make for a yummy bedtime snack for you and a terrible bedtime snack for your dog.
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine. It acts as a stimulant, like caffeine. Your dog can’t properly digest theobromine, so they are more sensitive to its effects.
Dark chocolate and gourmet chocolate are the worst offenders. Of all the types of chocolate, these have the highest concentrations of theobromine. Milk chocolate poses less of a threat, and white chocolate is the least toxic chocolate of them all.
That said, even small amounts of any type of chocolate can be harmful and even fatal to your pet. When in doubt, contact a vet.
Grapes and Raisins
Dogs can’t eat grapes! Or raisins!
Grapes are extremely toxic to dogs. Ingesting them can lead to weakness, pain, dehydration and kidney failure.
Whether peeled, unpeeled, seedless or dried, grapes are not safe for your dog in any quantity.
If your dog begs you for a bite of your freshly baked macadamia nut cookie, do not give in!
Macadamia nuts are toxic for dogs. Eating too much can leave your dog lethargic and in pain, with an increased heart rate. With immediate medical treatment, your dog can likely make a full recovery. Without action, the effects can be fatal.
Dogs react similarly to humans after consuming alcoholic beverages. While you aren’t likely to find your dog in a corner calling their ex after three martinis, there can be plenty of negative consequences if they lap up your cocktail.
Alcohol is a depressant. Consuming too much of it can cause weakness, depression, a decreased heart rate and lowered blood sugar. Vomiting is also common. Worst case, alcohol poisoning can cause organ failure.
Getting your pup drunk is not a cool party trick – it can be fatal to them.
Xylitol (Artificial Sweetener)
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in sugar-free chewing gum, baked goods, peanut butter and more. When dogs ingest it, their pancreas releases a lot of insulin. This causes a dangerous drop in their blood sugar level, which can lead to tremors, liver damage, seizures, or death.
Should you give a dog a bone? It depends on the bone.
Cooked bones can easily splinter or break, injuring your pup’s mouth or digestive tract. Cooked bones are also a choking hazard since small pieces can break off and block your pet’s windpipe.
Many raw food diets recommend giving your dog turkey or lamb bones to chew on. As a precaution, watch your dog to make sure they don’t choke.
The cherry on top of this toxic food list is cherries themselves.
Cherry pits contain cyanide which can be toxic to your dog. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include heavy breathing, dilated pupils and bright red gums. In addition to being poisonous, cherry pits can get caught in your dog’s intestines or be a choking hazard.
However, if you take extra caution to remove the pits, stems and leaves, pitted cherries are relatively safe for your dog to eat.
When letting your pup snack on people food, it’s important to always check that the ingredients are safe for them to eat. When in doubt, contact a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist.