Many foods harmful to dogs seem safe to us, because they are healthy human foods. This makes it very easy to poison your dog unintentionally.
The irony is that most people foods poisonous to dogs, are actually healthy snacks for us.
Take walnuts, for example.
Most of us know that the chocolate dessert you had for dinner is a big NO-No for dogs.
But did you know that the walnuts on top of it can hurt your dog also?
Dog poisoning can be a real emergency!
Foods Poisonous to Dogs
So let’s look at some of the common foods that can hurt your dog. I’m sure that you already know about some of them. But there could be a few surprises as you go down the list.
Beer for Dogs
Beer contains hops which can cause increased heart rates, fever, seizures and even death.
Even a small amount of beer or any other alcohol can cause intoxication or a coma for your pet!
I’ve seen men, in particular, offer a dog a drink of their beer to a dog. Not a good idea!
And there are lots of photos on the internet, where people have taken pictures of their dogs with beer bottles–thinking that it’s cute or funny.
Since most people don’t think of beer as being one of the foods toxic to dogs, you’ll need to keep an eye on your family and guests when they are drinking.
Are Baby Foods Toxic to Dogs?
Baby foods are not a balanced food for your dog. I wouldn’t even recommend using them as a snack either, as they can contain garlic or onions (See section below). Baby foods were meant for human babies–not dogs.
Many ingredients are not listed on baby food jars, because it is not required. So, to be on the safe side, it’s best not to feed baby foods to your dog.
Bones Can Be Harmful to Dogs
Dog bones are almost synonymous with dogs. Traditionally people often gave bones to their dogs–that simple act goes back hundreds of years.
But there is a dark side to dogs and bones.
Animal bones can break into splinters and cause a deadly bowel obstruction. The splinters can also puncture your dog’s intestines or stomach.
The worst bones for doing this are chicken bones and fish bones.
Chocolate and Dogs
While most people know that you shouldn’t give chocolate to your dog, dogs love chocolate and they have creative ways of finding and getting pieces of it.
This article on what to do if your dog eats chocolate gives more details on how chocolate affects dogs.
Coffee and Tea
I don’t usually think of giving a dog coffee or tea, but apparently some people do!
Caffeine in any form is a toxic food for dogs and can affect the heart and nervous systems.
Raw Egg Whites
Many people avoid eating egg yolks in an attempt to keep their cholesterol numbers down. Because of this, dog owners may believe that feeding their dogs raw egg whites is healthy.
However, raw egg whites contain a substance called avidin. It causes B vitamin deficiency, skin problems and bone deformities in dogs.
In addition, raw egg whites can give your dog salmonella or e-coli poisoning.
Meat Fat Trimmings
Don’t be tempted to give fat to your dog just because it smells so good, or you don’t want to waste it! Too much fat can cause pancreatitis in dogs.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. If your dog has pancreatitis, you may see bloody stools, bloody vomit or diarrhea. He can even become dehydrated and die.
You probably don’t think of raw fish as being one of the foods toxic to dogs. However, raw fish is harmful to dogs in another way…
Dogs like to be with you, no matter what you are doing. And that includes when you are cleaning the fish from your Sunday afternoon fishing trip.
Avoid the temptation to fling some of the scraps to your dog. It may seem harmless, and your dog will egg you on–but raw fish may contain parasites that will be harmful to your dog.
Garlic and Onions
Veterinarians now know that garlic and onions are both foods toxic to dogs. They damage red blood cells in your dog and cause a type of anemia called hemolytic anemia. It takes awhile to develop, but hemolytic anemia can, in time, lead to death.
Onions are worse than garlic. But garlic presents a special problem in that, for years, even veterinarians were recommending the use of garlic to get rid of, or prevent fleas, and also to lower blood pressure in dogs. Now we know that garlic and onions are actually foods poisonous to dogs!
DO NOT be foolish. Make sure that your beloved dog does not get garlic in his food or supplements, as it can be very harmful!
Grapes and Raisins
Veterinarians aren’t quite sure why grapes and raisins are toxic foods to dogs and cats, but they do know that even a few of them can damage your pet’s kidneys!
If you feed your dog people food, remember that raisins are often included in foods like cookies and cereals.
Human Vitamins with Iron
Human vitamin supplements that contain iron can be harmful to your dog. Too much iron can damage the lining of your pet’s digestive system and it can be toxic to your pet’s liver and kidneys
Most of the time, you don’t need to supplement your dog’s diet with dog vitamins. There are some special circumstances, however, when you should consider using Canine Vitamins. For example, your dog might need to take a vitamin supplement, if she has been ill or is older.
If your dog needs a vitamin supplement, make sure that it is not high in iron.
Believe it or not, even though dogs love liver, you need to limit the amount that you allow your dog to have.
In small amounts, liver is a healthy treat for your dog. But make sure that you are not feeding him liver treats exclusively, as liver is one of those foods toxic to dogs, in larger amounts.
Here’s the reason–too much liver can cause vitamin A toxicity, which affects your pet’s muscles and bones.
Macadamia nuts are included in foods toxic to dogs, because they contain an unknown toxin that is a dog poison.
Macadamia nuts cause weakness, tremors, panting and swelling in a dog’s legs.
Moldy or Spoiled Food
It seems that I shouldn’t have to mention this, but you can make your dog sick by feeding him garbage. Garbage has all kinds of foods toxic for dogs in it. Put your garbage in the garbage can!
Vomiting and diarrhea are not fun for him—or for you!
Mushrooms are complicated. Different varieties of mushrooms contain different toxins. Unfortunately it’s pretty hard to sort them out.
Mushrooms can cause dog poisoning and shock in your pet, and they can even result in his death.
You probably wouldn’t consider giving your dog mushrooms. But, here’s the tricky part. Mushrooms are often found in other, processed foods. If you give your dog table foods, make sure you read the labels–and don’t give him any foods containing mushrooms.
Here is another twist. Most of us never think of this, but, please be aware that mushrooms can sprout up on your lawn at any time—especially after a nice rain.
Keep an eye out for them, and remove any mushrooms or toad stools that you find in areas of your yard, where your dog likes to explore.
Nutmeg is a spice that you might put in pies or cookies. Nutmeg can become an unintended toxic foods for dogs, because you might not realize that it is in an ingredient in a human treat that you share with your dog.
Spices are often not listed on the labels of baked goods that you purchase
Nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures or death in dogs.
You may know that sprouted grains (like alfalfa) become more nutritious than they were before they were sprouted. However, with potatoes you need to be careful about sprouts.
The sprouts on potatoes will turn green if they are exposed to sunlight. Raw potatoes, with green sprouts, can be toxic foods for dogs (and people, as well).
On the other hand, cooked potatoes are quite nutritious for dogs, so if you only feed your dog cooked potatoes, this is not an issue.
Turkey Skin and Grease
While giving your dog turkey dog treats is just fine, giving her turkey skin is not! Turkey skin and turkey fat or pan drippings, can give him pancreatitis.
The effects of the turkey skin treat will not be instantly felt, but the long term suffering (by your dog) as a result of eating toxic foods like grease and turkey skin–will be felt for a long time afterward.
Walnuts may have a fungus or mold that can causes drooling, lack of coordination, jaundice and vomiting in dogs.
Walnuts are not a good choice to use in homemade dog treats, and you should check the ingredients on any people cookies that you feed to your dog, for walnuts.
Small amounts of Xylitol have killed rats in laboratory studies. Xylitol can cause diarrhea and a liver reaction in dogs, that can lead to liver failure in just a few days. Giving xylitol to dogs is very, very dangerous!
While earlier studies showed Xylitol as a preventative to tooth decay in people, recent studies are inconclusive.
Xylitol is found in chewing gum, candy, toothpaste and in some pastries.
Well, that’s quite a list of foods toxic to dogs! In conclusion, most natural foods are perfectly safe for your dog. And many healthy people foods make really healthy dog treats.
If you are still unsure about whether a particular food is safe for your homemade dog treats, you can see information about a number of safe dog treat ingredients here.