Most of us want to give our doggies a little treat, but how many of us know exactly what foods are okay for dogs to eat? You’d be surprised by how many foods we, as humans, can eat that our best friends cannot.
In order to help you provide your dog with the best care, we have crafted a list of the top 10 foods that could seriously harm your dog.
1. Chocolate and Candy
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine. Humans can process this chemical, but dogs lack the ability to do so. It is important to note that different types of chocolate have different levels of theobromine. Cocoa has the most, followed by dark chocolate. White chocolate has minimal levels of this chemical.
Candy also contains a chemical that dogs have trouble processing known as xylitol. Both xylitol and theobromine can kill your dog. The bigger your dog, the less effect it will have, but it will hurt them.
Both chocolate and candy do not make good treats or rewards for your dog. Instead, find dog foods that your best friend enjoys.
2. Dairy Products
Your dog’s stomach doesn’t much like dairy; while it won’t always kill them, it will give them digestion problems and diarrhea.
Many dogs are also lactose intolerant. For some, it may cause discomfort, but it can also result in an allergic reaction.
The one exception to this is cheese. You want to make sure that your dog isn’t allergic or lactose intolerant first by trying a very small amount of cheese. Pick a cheese with little to no fat. Cheese should be used sparingly and in small to moderate amounts.
Related: 10 Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy
3. Garlic and the Allium Family
Allium is a family of foods that contains garlic, onions, leeks, and chives. These ingredients may taste great on our food but for dogs, that is another story. All of the foods in the allium family is poisonous to dogs and symptoms can often be delayed so it is a good idea to keep a watchful eye on them.
Out of all of the allium family, garlic is the most poisonous. It is 5 times more potent to dogs than the rest of the allium foods. For those interested, the chemical in the allium family that dogs cannot tolerate is known as thiosulphate. The reaction to thiosulphate in dogs can be lethal, especially when they eat a large amount of it.
Salt is great, right? Well, it isn’t too good for dogs. Any human food you decide to share with your dog should be salt-free. That includes French fries, even if it is cute to watch your dog lap up the fries. Salt can dehydrate your dog quickly, especially in the amounts that humans eat.
If your dog does consume a large amount of salt, it is important to ensure proper hydration. Keep an eye on their water bowl and fill it more than normal for at least a day. This may result in more potty trips but it will also result in bad dog health.
Along with salt, nuts are also bad for dogs. Many nuts are salty and you will have to deal with the side effects of salt if a dog eats nuts but, most nuts are also poisonous to dogs. For example, macadamia nuts are one of the most poisonous foods for dogs. If your dog eats macadamia nuts it is important to get them care quickly.
6. People Medications
If your dog is feeling sick, you may be tempted to give them some of your medication. Don’t do this. Most human medications will kill dogs or, at least, harm them significantly. Our medications are dosed for our body weight and our genetics. Dogs are different.
Before giving your dog any kind of medical dog care, including medication, it is always best to check with your vet first. This will help you to filter out what you can and can’t use for your “best friend.”
Related: 7 Ways to Comfort your Sick Dog
7. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes are another one of those foods that you need to keep away from your dog at all times. A dog may be able to handle a few grapes with only minor kidney problems (depending on the dog’s size), but more than a couple of grapes and your dog could be looking at sudden kidney failure. Since raisins are aged and dried grapes, they also fall under this category.
Persin is a chemical that is contained in all parts of an avocado, from the skin to the pit. This chemical does not harm humans but can play havoc on a dog’s digestive system. Common symptoms of persin exposure include vomiting and diarrhea.
One of the biggest trends on the internet right now is to give your dog an egg and see what they do with it. While some dogs will just hold the egg in their mouth, others will crush it and some will eat it. Unfortunately, a raw egg isn’t good for your dog. It can lead to them developing nutrient deficiencies. Cooked egg is completely fine for dogs, though, as long as the egg is cooked through.
10. Raw Meat
It is true that dogs can tolerate raw meat better than we can as humans, but it still isn’t a good idea to give it to them. Raw meat contains a number of bacteria and pathogens that can affect your dog. That includes the same ones that can affect people. It’s probably best to not serve them raw meat.
A recent human (and dog) diet is the raw diet. While partaking in this diet you only eat raw foods. This is not a healthy eating choice. You should avoid taking up this diet with yourself or your dog. Keep in mind that while dogs did eat raw meat in the wild, you likely have a dog that comes from a long line of domesticated dogs. Their bodies are not prepared to fight off the risks that come from eating raw meat.
Bonus: More and More Dogs are Allergic to Chicken
Dog health experts and pet stores are seeing more and more dogs who are allergic to chicken. There are many theories out there as to why this might be. One of them being that the overbreeding of chickens in a controlled environment has lead to a change in their DNA, one that dogs cannot handle.
No matter what the cause may be, more and more owners are seeking out limited ingredient dog foods to avoid their best friends getting sick. Symptoms can range from uncomfortableness in the dog to loss of fur to allergic reactions.
Making your dog’s health a focus is essential. The healthier they are the longer they will live and the happier they will be. Avoiding the foods on this list will be a good start. Again, if your dog does happen to get ahold of any of the above foods, it is crucial to call a veterinarian quickly. You will also want to monitor them for the recommended amount of time. We wish your dogs the best of health!