Fido gets more treats from the kitchen table than he should. Whether your pooch serves as the floor's clean-up crew or the coddling outlet for empty nesters, a menu of human food can spell trouble for dogs. Certain foods are considered toxic and should not be given to our four-legged friends. Check out the top six offenders:
As delicious as chocolate is to our palates, the treat is toxic to dogs. It contains caffeine-like stimulants known as methylxanthines, which, if ingested in large amounts, can trigger vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat and even death. As little as 4 ounces of milk chocolate can cause methylxanthine poisoning in a 10-pound dog, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Generally speaking, the darker the chocolate, the higher the potential for clinical problems from methylxanthine poisoning. While baking chocolate contains the highest methylxanthine content, white chocolate has the lowest methylxanthine content. Still, the higher fat content of lighter chocolate could still lead to vomiting and diarrhea, as well as other harmful conditions.
Not only do onions lead to cringe-worthy dog breath, they contain compounds that can damage dogs' red blood cells. In fact, all close members of the onion family - shallots, garlic and scallions - pose the same toxic threat. Garlic tends to be more poisonous than onions on an ounce-for-ounce basis. Although it's rare for dogs to eat raw onions and garlic, exposure to concentrated forms of these vegetables, such as onion soup mix or garlic powder, could put dogs at risk of toxicosis. Avoid leaving these foods out on the counter or other reachable areas to prevent your dog from getting sick.
3. Grapes and raisins
While grapes and raisins are healthy for us, these fruits have been associated with the development of kidney failure in dogs. Some dogs experience no harmful effects from them, while others do not become ill until later on. Dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicosis typically undergo vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion. It is not entirely clear why some dogs are more susceptible to grape and raisin problems than others, but the safest course of action is to avoid feeding them to your pooch altogether.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but more owners than you might think find it humorous to give dogs alcohol. Dogs are even more sensitive to ethanol (the main ingredient in alcohol) than humans. Even a small amount of alcohol can intoxicate canines. Do not give your dog alcoholic drinks, such as beer, wine or mixed drinks (those with dairy, like white Russians, are appealing to dogs). Alcohol intoxication can trigger vomiting, loss of coordination and disorientation. Dogs exhibiting mild signs of alcohol intoxication should be closely monitored.
5. Bread dough
Raw bread dough made with live yeast is not something you want your furry friend to eat. When raw dough is swallowed, the warmth and moistness of the stomach provides a suitable environment for the yeast to multiply, leading to an expanding mass of dough in the stomach. As a result, some dogs may experience stomach issues and breathing difficulties.
Avocados contain a toxin called persin that can cause upset stomach and breathing difficulties in canines. Persin can be found in the leaves, seeds, and body and bark of the fruit. Ingesting the pit is a whole new beast, as this can lead to obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract, which requires immediate veterinary care.
Avoid giving your dog these food and beverages. Want to get rid of dog breath? Try Dr. Katz for Dogs & Cats Oral Solution, a safe and easy way to instantly stop your pet's halitosis.